Eli Yoder was born October 25, 1934, in Nowata, Oklahoma to Ben and Mary (Nisly) Yoder. When he was 11 years old, the family moved to Stuarts Draft, Va. where he spent the rest of his growing up years.
In Stuarts Draft on July 1, 1954, he married Ruth N. Yoder, who survives. Their marriage was 60 plus years of love, trust and devotion. This was made especially evident the last several years as Eli experienced two back surgeries, gall bladder surgery and finally cancer. This involved many hospital stays, radiation treatments, and the almost constant day and night struggle to relieve the severe pain that went along with multiple back fractures that came as a result of his condition.
Eli was ordained to the ministry on January 14, 1962. It was a calling he took very seriously and served faithfully his whole life, first at Bethel Mennonite Church, Gladys, Va., and then for the last 20 years at Wills Ridge Mennonite Church, Floyd, Va. He also was an evangelist, and held gospel meetings here and there all over the country. He officially retired just last month, after serving for 55 years.
Eli spend his early working years as a farmer, heavy equipment operator and carpenter. He built many sets of kitchen cabinets and in his later years built many pieces of fine furniture. He was probably never happier than when he was in his shop, his pencil above his ear, working with wood.
He was preceded in death by a sister Lovina; a sister, Esther and husband, Robert Yoder; a sister, Lucy; a sister, Mary Beth and husband, Harven Shifflett; and an infant brother. He is survived by his wife, Ruth N. Yoder of Floyd, Va.; four sons, Merle and wife, Mary of Long Island, Va., Robbie and wife, Lydia of Gladys, Va., Steve and wife, Joan of Floyd, Va., and Calvin and wife, Sheila of Wakarusa, Ind. Also, one daughter, Judy and husband, David Yoder of Floyd, Va. There are 26 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are two brothers, Sanford and wife, Martha of Costa Rica, Central America, and Harvey and wife, Alma Jean of Harrisonburg, Va.; one brother-in-law, Alvin Schrock of Staunton, Va.; two sisters, Magdalena and husband, Alvin Schrock of Cumberland, Va. and Fannie Mae of Staunton, Va.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, February 7, 2017,from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mayberry Funeral Home, 376 South Locust Street, Floyd, Va., and also Wednesday, February 8, 2017,from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wills Ridge Mennonite Church, 152 Wills Ridge Rd., Floyd, Va. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017,at the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, 409 Ridgeview Rd., Floyd, Va.
The family wishes to thank everyone for their care and kindness during this difficult time.