Neil David Yoder, born March 28, 1964, brought joy and laughter to life. He was loved by family and friends and left us much too soon. Neil was married to Diane Smith Yoder for 34 years and they have two adult children, Kyle (wife Rachel and sons Max and Gus), Urbana, OH, and Kayla, West Liberty, OH. He was very close to his children, spending hours hunting with Kyle and watching “The Bachelor,” sharing advice, snapchats and jokes with his loving daughter, Kayla. Kayla loved to remind Neil that he just “Neiled it.”
Neil’s parents, Harvey Yoder (Dorothy), Urbana, OH, and Rebecca Sommers (Merle), Goshen, IN, had three sons Todd (Kathleen), Neil and Alex (Kim). The three boys were rambunctious and liked to pick on each other but grew to be best friends as adults. A favorite memory is a brothers and wives trip to Chicago last summer to attend a Chicago Cubs game.
In high school, Neil was a participant in the West Liberty-Salem cross-country team, Big Orange, winners of the 1978 Ohio state championship. After high school, Neil began doing construction and eventually started his own business, Yoder Construction, working with his son Kyle. His favorite job was working as a maintenance manager at Bass Pro Shop in the Atlanta, GA, area. He built displays, learned how to scuba dive so he could maintain the bass tank, and earned the honor of Employee of the Year. Neil was creative and careful and committed to quality in his work.
A passionate outdoorsman, Neil loved walking the land, looking for deer, growing trees and keeping bees. He searched for artifacts and morels, and collected the larger-than-life stories that inevitably grew out of deer hunting with Kyle, Alex and Harvey. He had a special relationship with his grandpa, Charlie Sharp, and purchased “the ranch” to create his personal nature sanctuary where he planted prairie grass and trees, fished in the pond and gazed over the Mad River Valley from his deck. Neil spent the last day of his life on his land doing what he loved, getting a 9-point buck with a bow and arrow just hours before he died.
He was known as Uncle Neil to Adrienne Yoder, Madeleine Yoder, Jerrod Yoder, Bryce Yoder, Julie Maurice, Nick Smith, Stephanie Dagger, Ashlee Smith, Brittany Morris and Taylor Morris. His nieces and nephews will remember him as a goofball who always made them laugh. He was a prankster but was also kind and generous, always willing to help when needed, and loved by everyone.
Friends are invited to a visitation on Saturday, December 28 from 10 am to 2 pm at Quest Community Church in West Liberty, OH.
The arrangements are in the care of the staff of the Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home in West Liberty.