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Donald YoderApril 30, 1933 ~ July 2, 2017 (age 84)
Don Yoder, 84, Menahga, MN died on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at his home.
Donald Allan Yoder was born April 30, 1933, in Fargo, ND, to James and Eleanor Yoder. He met Dorothy Ackerson at Oak Grove High School.
In June 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. The day after he started boot camp, the Korean War began. An electrician’s mate, he served most of his time on the USS Vulcan. On February 26, 1954, he left the Navy and returned to Fargo in the middle of a snowstorm. Dressed in his summer uniform, he always said he half froze walking from the airplane to the terminal.
In August 1954, he and Dorothy married, and they raised three daughters. Don worked for electricians in Fargo before joining the Great Northern Railway Company. He always loved trains and enjoyed riding them to assignments too far to drive.
In 1965, he tired of life away from home and joined the Public Service Department of the City of Moorhead, where he worked until retirement. Dorothy died in 1988.
In 1990, he married Elaine Krabbenhoft. They purchased a slice of heaven on earth on the Shell River just outside Menahga, Minnesota, where they moved when Don retired. Their home was only a few miles from Shell City, a once thriving town with hotels, button factory and sawmill that had been founded by Don’s great-grandfather in conjunction with a couple of other men. The Yoder Hotel was eventually dismantled, and the lumber brought to Fargo. The house where Don grew up was built with lumber from that hotel. Don did not know about Shell City until he and Elaine moved to Menahga and visited the local history museum.
Elaine died in 2001. He married Dolores Durham and they later divorced.
Don was a master woodworker who could turn a scrap into a gorgeous piece of furniture or turn it into a beautiful candle sconce. He loved trains, peace and quiet, history and especially his grandchildren.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, wives Dorothy and Elaine, son James and grandson Eric Spurgeon.
He is survived by daughters Patricia Cheney, Tampa, FL; Nancy (James) Yoder-Bidwell, Brooklyn Center, MN; and Lori (James) Cookman, Tower City, ND. He has three grandchildren: Michelle (Mitchell) Vander Ark, Caledonia, MI; James Dunn, Hoyt Lakes, MN; and Tyler Spurgeon, Valley City, ND; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his beloved dog, Rosie, and cat, KC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the North Dakota Patriot Guard.
Memorial Service: Friday, July 7, 2017 at 2 PM at West Funeral Home Chapel, West Fargo, ND with visitation one hour prior and reception to follow.
Interment: Riverside Cemetery, Fargo.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center