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Donald Lee Yoder

May 9, 2018

Donald Lee Yoder 83 years, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away May 9, 2018.  Donald was born on December 30, 1934, in Newton, Ks, to John King Yoder Sr. and Anita (Laurin) Yoder. Don grew up on a farm in Harvey County, graduating from Walton High School with the class of 1953.  He joined the Navy and served 4 years. Coming home on leave he met his wife to be, Delores Jean (Esau) Yoder. They were married on February 16, 1958 in Walton, Ks at Walton Mennonite Church. Donald graduated with a 4 yr. degree from Kansas State University and became an electrical engineer. Together for 60 yrs. Don and Delores had five children, Deanna Lynn, Michael Lee, Michelle Renae, Melanie Jean, and Donald Jason Yoder.  Together they raised their family and moved to where his career in engineering took them.  Don had a fascinating career which took them all on great adventures throughout the United States.  He contributed his skills to companies like Motorola, Texas Instruments, Astronautics, Hughes Aircraft, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. He designed many items for the space program including a defibrillator, toilet, and toothbrush, all used in space.  He was an awesome provider for his family.  His fun sense of humor and unlimited optimism was enjoyed by all of those around him.  He loved the outdoors, gardening, and trimming trees on the weekends and taking the family on outings and adventures to parks, lakes, hiking in the deserts and Sunday drives.  His priority in life was tending to the needs of his family and enjoyed being with them. On May 2005, while undergoing a major surgery for a brain aneurism he suffered a stroke leaving him disabled and paralyzed on his left side of the body.  Even though he was disabled for many years he was optimistic and always wanted to contribute to society, and found enjoyment being with his wife daily, ever so grateful to her for her devotion and caring for him in his time of need.  They moved back to Newton, Ks in 2007 to be closer to family, to the place where they spent their earlier years, they would spend their later years too.


He was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors are: wife Delores, 5 children, Deanna Lyn Rice, Michael Lee Yoder, Michelle Renae Schafer , Melanie Jean Yoder, and Donald Jason Yoder, 11 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren, his brothers, Joe, John K. Jr., and Clarence Yoder, along with several nieces and nephews and their children. 


Funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday May 15, 2018 at First Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas with Pastor Kay Schroeder presiding.  Graveside committal service will be at 9:30 a.m., at Walton Cemetery in Walton Kansas.  Visitation is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday evening at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.


Memorials are suggested to First Mennonite Church Caring Fund in care of the funeral home.

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One thought on “Donald Lee Yoder

  1. Fair winds and following seas sailor.

    Thank you for your service to this nation.

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