ObituaryMemoriesLife History
Submit a MemoryMilitary Service
VideoPicturesService Info

William Esser Yoder


Interview

Born 4/28/1918

Died 1/18/2012

Burial Date 1/23/2012

William Esser Yoder

Map

Compliments of Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, Pa.


William E. Yoder P.E., 93, of Kutztown died Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, of natural causes in Penn Presbyterian Hospital, Philadelphia. He was the husband of the late Jean (Frey) Yoder, who died in 2002. Born in Kutztown, he was the son of the late Harry B. and Florence O. (Esser) Yoder. William was the founder of W.E. Yoder, Inc., Kutztown, and the former Vice President of Yoder Concrete.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown, where he was a former President of Church Council, and was a graduate of Kutztown High School and Penn State University earning a B.S. in Sanitary Engineering. He later earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University. In 1989, William was honored as a Penn State University's Outstanding Engineering Alumnus.

William was past President of the Kutztown Lions Club; served 12 years as Kutztown Borough Council President; and was a member of the Topton Lutheran Home Board of Directors for 25 years. He also served on the Board of Directors for Farmers Bank of Kutztown and Wertz Engineering. William was Past President of the Reading Chapter of Professional Engineers; was a trustee for the Reading YMCA; and was a Member of Huguenot Lodge 377 F&AM, Kutztown, the Reading Consistory, and the Rajah Shrine. Mr. Yoder's hobbies included raising Arabian horses, Bantam chickens, and Shropshire sheep, with which he won many awards. He also enjoyed bass and deep-sea fishing and was an avid gardener.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII and Korea and later served in the Naval Reserves for 27 years, having attained the rank of Captain in the Civil Engineering Corps. He is survived by his children: William W., husband of Joanne Yoder, Kutztown, Thomas H., husband of Linda Yoder, Chevy Chase, MD, Sally J., wife of Charles G. Wilson, Centennial, CO, and Emma J. Yoder, Denver, CO; his siblings, Doris H. Gardner, Massachusetts, Richard E. Yoder, Florida; 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, at 1 p.m. from Trinity Lutheran Church, 357 W. Main St., Kutztown, PA 19530. Burial will follow in Hope Cemetery, Kutztown. Friends may call Monday from 11 a.m. until time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the memorial fund Trinity Lutheran Church at the above address. The Edward J. Hildenbrand Funeral Home, Inc., Kutztown is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit hildenbrandfuneralhome.-com.
Published in Reading Eagle from January 20 to January 21, 2012
Capt. CEC- NAVY WW II & KOREA

To submit a memory, fill out the form below and click Submit

First Name
Last Name
Address
City
State
Zip
Relationship
Email
Phone
Memory
Caption
 

All submissions will be reviewed by management prior to posting
Interview with William Yoder from Along the Saucony
It was 1941, just before the War started. We had to spend a month in training, and that was the time for the Navy to find out if you were the type of man they wanted to train to be an officer. If you passed that first month, then you became a midshipman. We were there when Pearl Harbor broke out, and we graduated on January 16, 1942. I was stationed, along with a lot of men in my company, and sent to Lehigh University to be trained to be diesel engineer experts.
I got married February 14, 1942, to Jean Betty Frey. Her father was Secretary of the Borough. My wife was a graduate nurse from St. Joseph's Hospital, and she was working with Visiting Nurses Association when I married her. We lived in Coopersburg, and I commuted to Lehigh. Many of the men in my company became part of my wedding group.
I got a brand new minesweeper, a wooden minesweeper that was being built in City Island, New York. It was still in dry dock when I got aboard, and that was a great opportunity as an engineering outfit to get acquainted with the ship. There were three officers aboard: the commanding officer, the exec, and I was the engineering officer. We did a lot of training and ended up at Portland, Maine and Newfoundland. The North Atlantic can get pretty rough. It was interesting, but it was very monotonous. We would be at sea, maybe two weeks, and come back and rest for a couple of days. The lobster fishermen would be all around the coast, and they would come along the side and trade what they called chicken lobster, a small lobster, for things that they couldn't get like sugar and butter, and we had, of course, all that. Sometimes we had a pretty good lobster feed.
I had a professor at Penn State that happened to be a captain in the Civil Engineering Corps, and I found out that he was recruiting some young civil engineers for the Seabees. So I wrote him a letter and I said, "John, you have to get me off this ship. It's too monotonous." And he wrote back and said, "I have checked your record. Unfortunately, you've had too much training as a line officer, and I can't transfer you to the Civil Engineering Corps." So that was that. But 10 and behold, in about three months I got a telegram that said, "Now that we're island hopping in the Pacific, you can transfer."

So I transferred to the Seabees, went from the North Atlantic to Camp Peary, Virginia, down near William and Mary College, and trained as a Seabee with the Marines. From there, I was assigned as Executive Officer of a Seabee detachment that was sent to Tulagi [Solomon Islands], which is 30 miles from Guadalcanal. We got to Tulagi, and the Japs were still coming in at night with the nuisance bombing. But we were sent there to experiment with mechanical smokescreen equipment. We were self-maintained, with the exception of food and medical supplies, but we were dependent on the 27th Seabee Battalion, which was building a base hospital at Tulagi. We had all kinds of equipment, all kinds, and trained enlisted men.
We experimented with this equipment. There were the smoke generators, and they took oil and added water and heated it, and it would develop a fog. And we'd go out on the Solomon Islands, which was where Tulagi was located, and experiment and send the report back to Yards and Docks in the Navy Department. They had one of their top men along with us to record what we did, and the Navy approved it. Then we started training. The sailors and the crew of the light cruisers and destroyers would come to Tulagi. We trained these men and put the equipment aboard ship. Then we were assigned to be with the First Marine Brigade and made the landing on Guam.
We were to be at Guam where they were going to put 90 millimeter guns and smokescreen equipment all on the perimeter of this inner bay so that the Fleet could come in there at night and not be disturbed by bombings. We made the landing at Guam with the M
Served in the Navy
During the World War II
Served in the Navy
During the Korean War

Video can be created for this person. Please fill out the form below and click submit to request one

First Name
Last Name
Address
City
State
Zip
Email
Phone
Comments


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge



To add pictures, please contact Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, Pa.

Visitation




Funeral