Dorothy Yoder

Obituary of Dorothy C. Yoder

Dorothy Caroline Diefenbach was born on June 24, 1918 to George and Henrietta (Frankhauser)
in Getzville, NY. She was the 3 rd of four children – Edna, Edgar and Florence. Her father was a farmer in
Amherst, NY and the homestead is now the current location of the State University of New York at
At the age of 21, she married Oral David (Dick) Yoder, whom she was married to for 43 years
until his death on February 14, 1981. They started their family with 3 beautiful daughters, pre-deceased
by Bonnie (Tim Kraft), Myrna and Marjorie (Harry Knowle). During the early years, they lived on a farm
‘living the dream’. Soon after the family built a home on Millersport Highway with several other family
members living in houses side by side. After ten years, Dorothy and Dick expanded their family with
two more girls, Betty (Ross Payne) and Susan (Tom Mumma). The five girls rounded out the family.
While raising the girls, Dorothy enjoyed being a homemaker known for canning peaches,
Saturdays homemade kuchen, and countless batches of strawberry jam that her family enjoyed
throughout the year. She prided herself that a hot meal was on the table every evening. The family
attended church services and arrived home to a roast beef and mashed potato Sunday dinner.
Dorothy’s daughters were active in 4-H involving countless trips for cooking and sewing
meetings, extra guidance to support their learning and trekking oodles of muffins, cookies, and sewing
projects to the Erie Country Fair. Even with the daily responsibilities, she often took on additional jobs
including hand-painting numbers on golf balls and helping Dick with the family business of raising
The heart and soul of Dorothy was being extremely committed to her family. Whenever
someone needed a hand, Dorothy was there to help out. She often watched one of her 9 grandchildren
being ‘grandma-care’ before infant day care was the norm. It was always with a deep sense of caring
and love mixed in with humor. The little ones always were the ‘winners’ in puzzle races, she made
games of everyday tasks like setting the table and spoiled them with special attention like cutting
sandwiches exactly just so.
Once her daughters were more self-sufficient, she took up cake decorating. She enjoyed baking
the cakes and experimenting with various decorating techniques. She became such an expert she baked
and decorated the family’s birthday cakes and even made wedding cakes for several of her daughters.
She kept her mind sharp with avid reading, sewing, and knitting. Mostly every new shirt needed a tweak
here or there, just a small adjustment to make it just perfect in keeping with her high standards.
Dorothy was a fun-loving person. She loved playing Bingo, going to the casino, and playing
cards. It was tough to beat her in Chinese Checkers even in her last years. Just because she was a bit
older, that didn’t stop her from going places. If tired, she would say ‘I can sleep tomorrow. I’m not
ready to go.’ Even her last Thanksgiving, at 101, she stayed with her family to the end of the day,
enjoying a few games of cards and Turkey races. She loved to laugh and often made a quick, little
humorous remark when you least expected it. Drummer boy quarters, state specific quarters and other
specialty coins gave her a kick to collect. Her daughters and grandchildren would save them for Gram
with each one putting a smile on her face. Of course, you couldn’t leave without her ‘paying you back’
for that quarter or two she received.

Dorothy was an extremely strong and tenacious person. It was difficult for her to ask for
assistance and she always came up with a way to accomplish a task that had become hard for her to do.
She raised her children to be self-reliant and hardworking while also being kind and caring. Simple
gestures of kindness were often sprinkled in her daily activities.
It is the end of an era for her family with Mom / Grandma / Great-Grandma / GiGi’s leaving this
world on June 24, 2020 on her 102 birthday. During her time with us she survived the Great Depression,
two (2) World Wars and two (2) pandemics. She was the last of her siblings and their spouses to enter
heaven. She is survived by 4 daughters, 9 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 2 great, great
grandchildren. She will be missed by her family, but remembered for all of our lives for the things she
taught us and how well she loved us.
A private ceremony is scheduled for Friday, July 3 rd for immediate family members only. Flowers
are gratefully declined. Anyone wishing to do so can donate in her honor to her favorite charity, St.
Jude’s Childrens Hospital.