GOSHEN — Melvin Allen Yoder entered his eternal home with Christ on Nov. 3, 2019 at the age of 95.
He was a kind man who loved his family and served his Lord with his time and talent.
Mel was born Sept. 11, 1924, the fifth of nine children born to Alpheus and Elnora Yoder in Minot, North Dakota. His paternal grandparents moved the family there from Pennsylvania to homestead.
All of his siblings have preceded him in death.
Only one wonderful brother-in-law, Richard Oyer, (wife Margaret) survives.
His family lived a hardworking farming life and loved singing together. They later moved to Ohio.
Mel graduated from Goshen College in 1950 and became an elementary school teacher.
He met Betty Mae Burkey, another elementary teacher, his beloved for 66 years, and they married in 1953.
Mel earned his master’s degree from Indiana University and was a teacher at Chandler and several other elementary schools before becoming principal at Middlebury Elementary and Junior High School. He was principal at Middlebury for 25 years. As a principal, he found his vocational niche and enjoyed going to work each day.
After retirement from the public school system, he worked with elementary teacher education at Goshen College.
Mel and Betty had two children, Rita (husband, Kevin) of Lafayette and Neal (wife, Leslie) of Wakarusa. They have seven wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Mel served in various capacities at the College Mennonite Church and was an active member of Morning Kiwanis, serving as president for many years. He and Betty enjoyed traveling during their retirement years. He loved to sing and lent his tenor voice to Menno Singers, quartets, and various choral groups.
He was an avid bird watcher and expert.
Most of all, Mel loved spending time with his wife and family. He enjoyed being with his grandchildren, taking them on nature hikes, and making them his signature pancakes.
He was a singer of nursery rhymes and teller of stories. He was a jack of all trades and was known to fix, paint, and refinish many items in need of his skillful touch. Mel was an appreciative husband and warm and loving dad and grandpa. He loved his Heavenly Father and served him in his life and work.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, funeral service at College Mennonite Church, in the Gathering Room.
Burial will take place in Elkhart Prairie Cemetery, Goshen.
Memorial gifts may be directed to College Mennonite Church Jubilee Fund or Prison Re-Entry Fund.
Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.