Eli B.Yoder, age 82, of 740 Starbuck Road, Floyd, VA, died Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at his home. Eli 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, Virginia 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, Virginia, and then for the last 20 years at Wills Ridge Mennonite Church, Floyd, Virginia. 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 spent 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 behind his ear, working with wood.
He was preceded in death by a sister Lovina, sister, Esther and husband Robert Yoder, a sister Lucy and 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 Nappanee, IN. 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, CA and Harvey and wife Alma Jean, of Harrisonburg, VA; brothers-in-law, Alvin Schrock of Raphine and Ernest Yoder, Rustburg,VA; two sisters, Magdalena and husband Alvin Schrock of Cumberland, VA and Fannie Mae, of Raphine, VA.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 6 pm to 8pm at Maberry Funeral Home, 367 South Locust Street, Floyd, VA and also Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 6pm to 8pm at Wills Ridge Mennonite Church, 152 Wills Ridge Rd., Floyd, VA. The Funeral service will be held at 10 am Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, 409 Ridgeview Rd., Floyd, VA.
The familywishes to thank everyone for their care and kindness during this difficult time.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.maberryfuneralhome.com.