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Carolyn Yoder

Carolyn Yoder

December 22nd, 1943 - March 12th, 2023

Carolyn's Obituary

Carolyn Louise Wyan Yoder, 79, of Stevensville passed away on March 12, 2023. She was born December 22, 1943 in Greenville, OH to Robert and Bernice (Etzler) Wyan. Born and raised on the family farm and hatchery, she was their only child to live past infancy. After graduating from Arcanum High School in 1962, she worked as a shopgirl at Smith’s Department Store and took bookkeeping and secretarial courses. Later, she was a clerk at Ben Franklin and a teller at a local bank in Arcanum. After her mother’s death in 1968, she continued living at the farm with her father until she married M. Joseph (MJ) Yoder on May 23, 1976 on the seventh green of the Cadillac Country Club in Cadillac, MI. By 1982, they had three daughters. MJ’s work as a Golf Course Superintendent took them to the Ivory Coast (Africa) and Bennington County, Vermont. Their last move brought them to Southwest Michigan in 1992.

Carolyn was driven by her faith and sweet nature to help and care for others. She stayed at home to raise her children and care for her family. When the girls started public school, she worked as a teacher’s aide at the West Rupert School, a two-room schoolhouse in Vermont. Before she stopped working, she provided in-home care to several elderly persons with Healthcare at Home. There is likely not one committee at Stevensville United Methodist Church (SUMC) that she did not serve on in the 30 years she was a church member and leader. She had a passion for missions and dedicated her time and energy to raising money for international food sustainability projects (Heifer Project International, CROP Hunger Walk) and coordinating youth education and hot meal programs with the Benton Harbor Street Ministry.

If you’ve ever had to look after livestock overnight at the Berrien County Youth Fair, and you had a breakfast sandwich or pancakes at the SUMC Food Booth early in the morning, you have Carolyn to thank. During her tenure as Fair Booth Director, she introduced the breakfast menu when the booth moved to its current location near the Grandstand.

In her retirement, she remained incredibly active in community volunteer work. She served with Church Women United (CWU), Benton Harbor Street Ministry, and the Berrien County Association of Churches. In 2011, she was awarded Woman of the Year by her CWU peers.

Carolyn is preceded in death by her parents, three older brothers (two unnamed and Richard), husband, and an unborn granddaughter, Elizabeth. She will be thoroughly missed by her daughters, Julie Elmore, Sonya L. Yoder, and Monique Yoder; son-in-law, David Elmore; grandson, Oliver Elmore; Etzler cousins, Phyllis Fisher, Bob Hartzell, John Hartzell, Sharon Karns, LaJeanne Riegle, Norman Etzler, Sandy Bluhm, Linda Sheppard, Sheryl Jared, Jack Etzler, Ed Jensen, Gary Jensen; Wyan cousins, Phyllis Delaplane, Gene McGuire, Ted Wyan, and Priscilla Ellis; and many other relatives, friends, and acquaintances she treated as family.

Her daughters invite people to gather on April 14, 2023 at Stevensville United Methodist Church, 5506 Ridge Road, Stevensville, for a celebration of life service memorial service at 11AM. Friends may visit with the family from 9 AM until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to consider a memorial donation to Church World Service (CROP Walk), Benton Harbor Street Ministry, or Stevensville UMC in her name. Those wishing to leave online condolences may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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