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Lester “Butch” Yoder (1941-2020)

Lester “Butch” Yoder, 79, of Swanton passed away unexpectedly in his home Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. He was born Jan. 20, 1941, in Wauseon to the late Loran and Vera (Schelling) Yoder. In 1962, he married Martha J. Meyers, his amazing wife of 58 years, and she survives.

Butch was a 1958 graduate of Wauseon High School. He served in The U.S Navy from 1958-59, and started the family he was so proud of, their “three boys and the brat.” Butch worked in sales for Yoder Machinery in Holland for many years, alongside several family members.

He worked hard to provide for his family, allowing Marti to stay home to raise the children, but he was sure to take a break to attend all the boys’ sporting events. In his younger years, he was a member of The Holland Fire Department.

He was also a member of the Swanton and Maumee Elks, The Sylvania Moose, and the Swanton American Legion. Butch loved a good deal; he would make daily trips to Kroger’s to check out the clearance section and talk to his favorite cashiers.

He would rarely pass by a garage sale or an estate sale without stopping, and was always on the look-out for a hidden treasure someone he knew “just had to have.”

In his spare time, he would buy, fix up, and sell lawn mowers, mostly to spend time talking to different people. He loved spending time at the casino, where he was sure he could get the slot machine to pay out if he knocked on it or called it names.

Often, he would say to whoever was playing with him, “Put another $100 in, it’s gonna hit!” If you were blessed enough that he referred to you by a nickname, you held a very special place in his heart.

Butch had a rare sense of humor; he loved to make people laugh and he loved to be around family. If there was a family function, he would tell you “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” He loved being Papa to all his grandchildren, but even moreso, he loved referring to himself as “Papa Great” to the great-grandkids.


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If asked “Do you need anything?” he would reply “20s for 10s” and he was certain he just delivered the best one-liner ever!

Butch is also survived by his sons Loran Jeffery (Susan) Yoder, Lyle Jacob (Rita) Yoder, and Lonnie Jay (Michelle) Yoder; daughter, Marcy Jo (Todd) Keefer; grandchildren, Mandy (Keith)Konecki, Beth (Scott) May, Stephanie (Wade) Simpson, Monica (Josh) Rhodes, Micaela Yoder, Riley Yoder, Matthew Zahner, Natalie Yoder, Lauren Woodring, and Kendra Keefer; great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Karson, Wyatt, Paesyn, Weston, Brystol, Kylie, Jenson, Jaxon, Kenzy; and Tinley; and siblings, Lowell, Jean, Marel, and twin Lois.

He was also preceded in death by siblings John, Paul, and Sharon.

Respecting his wishes, Butch was cremated and will be buried at Wauseon Union Cemetery. An open house-style celebration of his life, (because he loved a good party) will be held for family and friends 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at the Swanton American Legion, 200 Hallett Ave. We look forward to hearing your stories and memories of this amazing man!


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Please be COVID aware, wear a mask if you are comfortable, and social distance when possible. Arrangements by Weigel Funeral Home in Swanton.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.


Source: The Village Reporter

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