Amos J. Yoder, 102 of rural Grove City died Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at his home. A funeral service will be held at 2:30 pm Sunday, September, 15 at the Paynesville Evangelical Free Church in rural Paynesville. A visitation will be held Saturday from 4-8:00 pm at Paynesville Evangelical Free Church in rural Paynesville. Burial will be Burr Oak Cemetery in rural Grove City. Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. www.hafh.org
Amos J. Yoder was born on November 26, 1916, to John A. and Barbara (Yoder) Yoder, in Custer County, Oklahoma. He passed away at his home in Grove City, Minnesota, on September 11, 2019, at the age of 102 years, 9 months, and 16 days old.
Oklahoma always had a special place in his memories, especially attending Deer Creek School with Native American and Amish children and farming during the Depression. Amos was known as a good horseman who could make sharp corners with a horse and plow.
Amos was baptized in September of 1935 and became a member of the Old Order Amish church in Custer County.
The Second World War brought huge changes to his life. He registered as a Conscientious Objector. When the letter came, he rode his horse 7 miles to Weatherford early in the morning, then turned the horse loose to walk home by itself while Amos boarded the bus to report for Civilian Public Service.
He was told he would be gone for a matter of months, but it was five years before the war ended and he was free to go home. During this time he served in a variety of CPS camps in the West where he served as camp cook and also worked in soil conservation, forestry, and dairy farming.
After CPS, Amos was asked to serve with Mennonite Central Committee in Paraguay. He and 5 other young men took a freighter to Brazil and then went upriver to Paraguay, where Russian Mennonite refugees were being resettled.
Amos returned to the US, and, in an unusual step for an Amish man, attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and received a Bachelors Degree in German in 1954. During breaks from college, Amos would visit his college friend Moses Beachy in Iowa, where he was introduced to Sara Miller, daughter of Adam and Anna Miller.
Amos and Sara were married at her parents’ home in Kalona, Iowa, on June 15, 1954. This union was blessed with 6 children. They were married for over 59 years before Sara passed away in 2013.
In the years following his marriage, Amos earned a Masters degree at the State University of Iowa. He also taught school in a number of different states and communities, including two different Hutterite colonies in Montana.
The family moved to Grove City, Minnesota, in 1972. Amos farmed for a number of years, then continued raising various animals until well into his nineties. He remained in Minnesota until his death.
Amos was known for his curious mind, his love of reading, and his prolific letter-writing. He was fascinated by different cultures and loved talking to strangers and figuring out their national heritage.
After Sara’s passing, Amos lived with his son Marcus and his wife Anna. He spent many hours writing a history of his life. These stories were compiled and published into a book called A Chirp From the Grass Roots.
Amos is survived by his six children: Philip, of Newberg, Oregon, Marcus [Anna] of Grove City, Minnesota, Fred [Loraine] of Corn, Oklahoma, Rebecca [Rod Barbo] of Chicago, Illinois, Dorcas [Paul Smucker] of Harrisburg, Oregon, Margaret [Chad Koehn] of Cheraw, South Carolina; 17 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his brother, John Yoder, Jr.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five siblings; his wife, Sara; and one grandson, Leonard Yoder.