Yoder's legacy lives on
By By MaryClaire Foster
In life, Dawn Yoder was known as a humble woman passionate about her faith in God, and in death, too, it is those things that family and friends speak about.
In fact, the unusual circumstances of her death, a lightning strike outside of her home, and the attention it has brought has been said by those close to Yoder as opposite of the humble life she lived.
Yoder was struck by lightning on the morning of July 6 while taking out garbage before going to pick blueberries.
She was found unconscious by her son and taken by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital then later to Springhill Medical Center in Mobile.
Neighbors of Yoder reported seeing no lighting in the sky that morning. Jack Cullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile, said Yoder’s death was “fairly rare,” but the lightning strike, despite the lack of obvious storm activity, was not.
Yoder is the 23rd lightning strike fatality in the continental U.S. this year.
In a public statement the family said, “our amazing, mother, wife, daughter has been declared brain dead by two doctors, with her EEG showing no activity.” Yoder passed away Wednesday morning at Springhill Medical Center.
The family went on to explain their decision to donate Yoder’s body for organ donations.
Carl Martin, pastor of Mennonite Christian Fellowship where Dawn attended church, said the donation of her organs is true to her character.
Martin also spoke of Yoder’s strong commitment to her faith.
Faith Gehman attended church with Yoder and said Yoder was an encourager to those she came in contact with.
Gehman said besides Yoder’s passion for her faith, she also loved flowers, herbs and being outside. Gehman also said while Yoder was a quiet person she also knew how to have fun.
In closing their statement, the family wrote, “We will miss her, but we know she is in God’s protective care, and we want to praise Him for his faithfulness. I (say) this with tears in my eyes, but with joy in my heart as Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints. And she definitely received ‘Well done, thou faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord. She is free at last!’”
Yoder is survived by her husband, Dr. Jon E. Yoder; sons, Robert and Stephen; daughters, Kristin and Amber; parents Ethan J. and Shirley B. Good of Macon, Miss. and four sisters along with numerous other friends and family members.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today from the First Assembly of God Church in Atmore with Pastor Carl Martin officiating. Interment will follow in Freemanville Community Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dawn Yoder Memorial Fund c/o Atmore Christian School or Christian Aid Ministries c/o Mennonite Christian Fellowship Church 245 Tennant Drive Atmore Alabama 36502.