Cover photo for Elmer L. Yoder's Obituary
Elmer L. Yoder Profile Photo
1941 Elmer 2022

Elmer L. Yoder

July 13, 1941 — April 14, 2022

A celebration of life for Elmer L. Yoder, 80, of Kalona will be held Saturday, April 16, 2022, at 10:00 AM at Kalona Mennonite Church with Pastor Josh Lundberg officiating. The service will be available via Livestream on the Kalona Mennonite Church Facebook page. He has donated his body to the Anatomical Gift Program at the University of Iowa. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for the Kalona Volunteer Fire Department and Crooked Creek Christian Camp. Elmer Yoder died Thursday, April 14, 2022, at the Birdhouse Hospice Home in Johnson County.

Elmer L. Yoder was born July 13, 1941, in Kokomo, IN, the son of Leo and Fannie (Herschberger) Yoder. He attended Snake Hollow rural school. On August 1, 1961, he was united in marriage to Marlene Swartzendruber at Sunnyside Church in Kalona. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last summer in Estes Park, Colorado with their family.  Elmer and his brother, Fred, owned and operated Kalona Oil Company from 1976 until 2007. After retirement, he was a driver for Carousel Motors and Toyota of Iowa City and worked for Black Hawk Soil.  Elmer was a member of the Kalona Mennonite Church, where he served as a trustee, helping with maintenance and upkeep on the grounds.  He also taught Sunday school when his kids were younger. Elmer was a member of the Kalona Volunteer Fire Department from 1977 until 2005, serving as Lieutenant from 2001 until 2005. He enjoyed spending time with his family, grandkids, and great-grandkids.  Elmer loved to travel, going to see his kids, spending winters in South Padre Island, going to the truck show in Louisville and, going to the races in Newton with his friends. Elmer was a humble, quiet man, never liking to be the center of attention. His easy-going personality, radiant smile and, contagious laugh will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

Survivors include his wife Marlene of Kalona; five children: Brenda (Lance) Brenneman of Wellman, Deb (Steve) Murray of Boise, ID, Krista (Todd) Kiefer of Kalona, Doug (Laila) Yoder of Knoxville, TN, Darin (Katie) Yoder of Grimes, IA; nine grandchildren: Mitch (fiance’ Laura Alderson) Brenneman, Colin (Emma) Brenneman, Kate Murray, Dana Murray, Mackenzie (Joey) Shumake, Elle (Jacob) Hillyer, Gabby Yoder, Neko Yoder, Jack Yoder; six great-grandchildren: Walker and Maisie Brenneman, Ezra and Zion Hillyer, Samuel and Sawyer Shumake, three sisters: Miriam (Sheldon) Nisly of Kalona, Lovina (Roland) King of Wauseon, OH, Lora (Del) Reigsecker of Archbold, OH; and sister-in-law Judy Yoder of Kalona.


Preceding Elmer in death were his parents and two brothers: Floyd and Fred Yoder.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elmer L. Yoder, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Kalona Mennonite Church

902 6th St, Kalona, IA 52247

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