Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Life Well Lived--Alene Yoder, 1929-2015

four generations, photo courtesy of Mary Ann (Yoder) Yutzy
While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw Old Death...
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn't frighten Sister [Alene];
He looked to her like a welcome friend.

Alma Jean and I were privileged to be at her sister Alene's bedside at the Country Rest Home near Greenwood, Delaware, just an hour before she died June 16, 2015. Members of Alene's family and other loved ones had joined together in singing hymns and offering prayers for their mother, grandmother and friend who was in the last stage of a long, loving and well lived life.

The following is from Alene's obituary:

Alene Elizabeth (Wert) Yoder was born January 1, 1929 in Bunkertown, PA, to the late Michael and Alma (Lauver) Wert. She chose early to follow Jesus, and the rest of her life was defined by that decision.  At sixteen, she moved to Delaware to work, met the love of her life, Mark Yoder, married him and lived in the Greenwood area for the rest of her years.  She worked side by side with her husband, first as a farmer’s wife and then wherever needed in her husband’s business when he became the owner and administrator of The Country Rest Home.  She also served as a pastor’s wife, and provided care for handicapped adults in her home.  Through all the years, the thing she did best was being an incredible Mama and Grandma.  She loved life and babies and birds and reading.  

Alene was one of my wife's favorite older sisters, deeply loved and greatly missed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn't feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister [Alene]
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus. 

- from James Weldon Johnson's "Go Down Death"   

Here's a link to Alene's oldest daughter Mary Ann's blog:
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