Sixth Generation


640. Barbara Jeane Wilklow was born on 30 October 1914 in Indiana.28 She graduated in 1932 at Mishawaka High School in Mishawaka, St. Joseph Co., IN. In 1936 she was a clerk at Mishawaka R & W Mfg. Co. In 1941 Barbara was a stenographer. From 1945 to 1955 she was a clerk at Weis Mfg.. She lived at 514 W. Franklin in Elkhart, Elkhart Co., IN in 1945. Barbara lived at 300 W. Franklin in Elkhart, Elkhart Co., IN in 1955. She lived at 123 Superior Blvd. in Elkhart, Elkhart Co., IN from 1965 to 1979. In 1965 she was a saleslady at E. H. Wambaugh Realty. In 1975 Barbara was a saleslady at 400 Realty. She died on 7 January 1995 in Fort Meyers, Lee Co., FL.

Barbara Jeane Wilklow and Gerald L. Yoder were married on 1 November 1977 in Elkhart, Elkhart Co., IN. Gerald L. Yoder was born on 25 July 1912. He died on 24 March 2009.

ELKHART -- Founder of Yoder Oil Co. Inc., Gerald L. Yoder, 96, a kind and gracious gentleman, died at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2009, at The Maples in Goshen.

He was born July 25, 1912, on a farm north of Middlebury to Olen and Barbara (Mishler) Yoder. He married Janet Kathleen (Cripe) June 12, 1937. Gerald married Jeane Wilklow of Elkhart, Nov. 1, 1977. She died in Fort Myers, Fla., Jan. 7, 1995.

Surviving are three sons and one daughter, Gary L. Yoder of San Diego, Calif., Thomas (Nancy) A. Yoder of Syracuse, Kent (Linda) J. Yoder of Bristol and Nancy D. McClain of Goshen; 12 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Yoder is also survived by three sisters, Vera Bickel of Elkhart, Mrs. Robert (Doris) Wortinger and Arlene Holdread, both of Goshen; and one brother, Olen (Leona) Yoder Jr. of Middlebury. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Velma Yoder and Verna Weaver, and one brother, Ralph O. Yoder.

Gerry is a 1931 graduate of Middlebury High School. He left his father's farm at the age of 16 to play basketball. While going to school and playing basketball, he worked at the local Sinclair service station for $1.50 per week with board and room. The next two years following, Gerry worked at his uncle's Shell and Firestone station in Middlebury and at a Texaco station in Sturgis, where he met Al Capone.

In 1933 he began employment at Shell Oil Co. bulk plant in Elkhart as assistant clerk for Dallas Kalb, making $70 a month. In 1937 at age 25 Gerry became a partner/owner in Simmons-Yoder Oil Co. in Millersburg. In 1941 Mr. Yoder started G.L. Yoder Oil Co. in Middlebury as a Sinclair agent. Gerry delivered fuels for five years while working out of his home in Middlebury. Some days he hand carried 1,000 gallons in 5-gallon buckets. He was the first in Indiana to install a Maytag washing machine pump on his truck.

In 1947 Mr. Yoder hired his first employee, Hubert Yoder. In 1950 Gerry purchased Mr. Ernest Brinkerhoff's Conoco fuel distributorship in Elkhart. In 1953 he acquired the City Roofing & Coal Co.'s building on North Main Street in Elkhart and opened new head offices as Yoder Oil Co. Inc. Through the next 25 years, Mr. Yoder expanded Yoder Oil to a plant in Mishawaka and to a new plant at 1125 Kent St. in Elkhart. In 1975 Gerry opened one of the first self-serve stations (Blazer Mart) in Elkhart.

Mr. Yoder enjoyed golfing, bowling, Internet checkers, crossword puzzles, e-mails and collecting obituaries to remember all the people who came into his life. He was a member of Elcona Country Club, Elks Lodge 425, Christiana Creek Country Club, Four Lakes Country Club, Cypress Lake Country Club of Fort Myers and St. John's Episcopal Church.

Gerry at age 16 remembers clearly accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior at a revival at The Tabernacle Church on North Second Street in Elkhart.

Romans 10:13

For "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, 403 W. Franklin St., where funeral services will be Saturday at noon. Burial will be in Rice Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to St. John's Episcopal Church or Youth for Christ.