Tyler Gabriel Yoder
January 10, 1985 - August 16, 2003
His Life . . . the elements. So mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man!” -William Shakespeare
Kara Yoder wrote the following eulogy about Tyler Gabriel Yoder, the youngest of her three sons, shortly after Tyler’s death.
On January 10, 1985, at 11:29 AM our beautiful strawberry blonde little boy was born. Because I considered him my gift from God, we named him Tyler Gabriel. I knew he would be my last child.
As he grew, he fought hard to keep up with his older brothers -- one five years and the other seven years older than he. He was “tormented and tortured” in the way older brothers have of treating the youngest. He knew he had to be “tough” to play with the big boys.
He was gifted academically and equally talented on the athletic field. This was due, again, to the influence of his older siblings. He was fun-loving and mischievous, always smiling and laughing. One day my mother, Tyler, and I were sitting at our kitchen table and in the conversation mom used a swear word. Tyler didn’t say a word, but got up and calmly walked to a calendar hanging on the wall and wrote: “Grandma said a swear word today.” Tyler was meticulous about his clothes and how he looked. He was like his grandpa in that respect.
He loved to tease me. He would tell me a preposterous story with such a “deadpan” look I would believe him. Then, minutes later, he would break into a slowly emerging smile and I knew I had been had. He was also compassionate and kind with a soft spot for people who were “picked on” in life. A fellow teacher told me he always protected her special education students from others who were bullying them. His flame, like Joshua’s, will never go out and he will remain in our hearts forever.