Nelson E. Yoder

Died June 10, 2018


Nelson Edward Yoder, 77, died June 10, 2018, at his home in Comins.

He was born Dec. 7, 1940, in Comins, to the late John K. Yoder and Dorothy (Layman) Yoder. He grew up in the Comins and Fairview area, attending schools in both communities. As a youngster it was soon apparent he had a gift for music and art and a love of nature. In 1959, he enrolled at Bob Jones University, Greenville, S.C., to study the arts. Upon earning his master’s degree he was invited to teach there and later taught at Greenville College in Greenville, Ill. In 1972 he returned to Comins, purchased the old Carrie James Hotel and opened Craft Fair, a venue for authentic, local arts and crafts. He was one of the founders of the AuSable Academy for the Arts, worked as a reporter for the Oscoda County News and created his own magazine, The Wilderness Chronicle. In 1977, he was active in the protest of the burial of PBB-tainted cattle on Mount Tom. He also worked at the Oscoda County Council on Aging and was curator for the Michigan Magazine Museum.

He belonged to the Mio Irisarians and the Kirtland's Warbler Audubon Society. He was an artist, musician, teacher, collector, writer and poet. His cookbook, “Simply Good Cooking,” preserved recipes from the past for future generation to appreciate. He was a horticulturist and an enthusiastic promoter of the Mio Irisarians. He observed and learned from nature, installing an amazing bird sanctuary outside his window for his enjoyment and was delighted to share it with any visitors. He wintered in Premont, Texas, for many years where he enjoyed another community of family and friends. He was pianist for the church during those months and often took a trip into Mexico. He loved to watch spring unfold along the highway on his way home to Michigan with gifts and souvenirs to share. A detailed storyteller with many interests and many friends, he will be missed.

His family wishes to thank the Compassus team led by Dee Clover, Ted and Mary Handrich, Jim and Dawn Larrison, Norma Gusler and Stuart Emig for their care and for their compassion so Nelson could live at home.

Nelson is survived by his brother, Roger (Myra) Yoder of Fairview; and sisters, Ramona (Mike) Blouin of Clare and Deborah (Skeet) Dew of Fairview; nephews and nieces, Derek (Alice) Yoder of North Collins, N.Y., Andrea (Jon) Lee of Petoskey, Paige Chaney of Vanderbilt, Lee (Colin) Olsen of Ann Arbor, Louis (Nichole Becker) Blouin of Detroit, Claire (Andrew Crowe) of Clare, Chelsea (Chris Alderink) Evans of Grand Rapids and Ashton (Jen) Evans of Fairview; and great-nieces and -nephews, Katherine Yoder, Rebekah Yoder, Joel Yoder, Owen Yoder, Olivia (Erik) Graef, Chloe Lee, Silas Lee, Cecilia Olsen, Gundhart Olsen, Audrey Crowe and Gryffin Evans.

Nelson was predeceased by his parents; his brother, James K. Yoder; and nephews, Casey and Corey Yoder and Thad Yoder.

His memorial service was at the Lashley Funeral Home in Mio on June 14, 2018, with Harry Gerber and Roger Yoder officiating. Interment will be at the Fairview Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Kirtland's Warbler Audubon Society, Comins Chapter of the Michigan Audubon Society or Compassus Hospice of Atlanta.


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