Monday, May 28, 2007

In Memoriam - Marion Lamonte Yoder (1931-2007)

Marion Lamonte "Tex" Yoder (husband of my 3rd cousin, our shared ancestor is my 2nd Great Grandfather Jacob Phend) was born April 7, 1931 near Wellman, Iowa and was the son of Willis G. and Elizabeth Ann (Bender) Yoder. Tex died at home in Kalona, Iowa on January 14, 2007 aged 75 years 9 months and 7 days. On August 10, 1957 he was married to Doris Jean Reber, the daughter of Mary Margaret Phend and Willis Reber, at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church. They lived in the Kalona community their entire married life.

I first "met" Tex and Doris via correspondence while doing the research for my book on 'The Phend Family' and finally got to meet them in person in August 1991 when the book was distributed during a family Reunion. They attended quite a few of the "extended" Phend Family Reunions since 1991 and were the hosts for the reunion held in August 1998 in Kalona, Iowa.

Marion grew up in the community around Wellman, Iowa and attended Brush #8 rural school. He spent two years (1953-1955) in Evanston, Illinois in "1-W" service*, where he received his nickname of "Tex". He was a farmer and was employed in the maintenance department at the University of Iowa Hospital from 1967 until 1989. He was survived by his wife, four daughters, and one son.

*As a member of the Mennonite church, Marion was classified as a conscientious objector during the Korean War. 1-W service was a program for conscientious objectors classified as 1-W by the Selective Service. This service may have involved working in institutions such as hospitals for fairly good wages or nonpaying work done in similar institutions. Another option was working for wages but the wages were then used for the support of mission, relief or service projects of the draftees choice.

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