Nolan Ryan Yoder
Born September 11, 1911 - Died May 22, 1996
Nolan was born on September 11, 1911 at home in Yoder, Oregon, to Aaron Livingston Yoder and Edna Conrad Yoder. He was their second child, the first baby having died at birth. Emerson, born on September 26, 1914, and Russell, born on May 26, 1921, completed the family. Aaron owned and operated the Yoder Mill which sawed lumber most days, but ground grain on Fridays. Nolan enjoyed working with machinery and didn't take well to most farm chores. He especially disliked milking the family cow.
Nolan attended Evergreen School for grades 1-8 where he and Lorin Wrolstad became friends. One of their many projects included trying to install the motor from the family's well pump onto a small wagon, and get it back on the pump before Aaron returned home to discover their activities. When it was time for high school, Nolan was lucky to attend Benson Tech in Portland. On his first day going up the steps of the school, he met his life-long friend, Walter Noack. After graduating from Benson, Nolan completed a fifth year learning to be a tool and dye maker.
Nolan went to work in Portland as a machinist for Wentworth and Irwin and Paul Brong. On May 20, 1934, he married Helen Wilson, the primary teacher at Yoder Grade School. The following November the Yoder Mill burned and Nolan went into partnership with his father to rebuild the mill. Nolan and Helen had four daughters: Marcia Jane born August 24, 1937; joAnn Kay born February 28, 1940; Kathleen Rose born January 28, 1942; and Susan May born May 23, 1948.
Nolan enjoyed trout fishing, flying and visiting. He took numerous fishing trips to Canada by car and flying his private plane with family and friends. When Nolan was a small boy he saw his first airplane at a fair. This began his long fascination with flying and someday being able to fly over, "looking down at the gawking fools below." September 12, 1961, Nolan soloed. He went on to earn his private pilot license and in August 1967 he was certified single-engine land and sea.
Nolan was a proud and generous grandfather. He provided his grand children with playhouses, lumber, nails, tools, airplane swings, forts, chicken houses, flying lessons, and access to drive before the legal age. His grandchildren are: John Jay Beck, Lynda Kay Beck-Gardner, Kathleen Marie Stotts, Michael Aaron Frome, Aaron Jacob Oswalt, Britton Anne Frome, T. J. Beck, Eric Nolan Oswalt, Kristine Brooke Corey (deceased), Stephanie Kathleen Corey and Jeffrey Todd Corey. Nolan also has three great-granddaughters: Andrea, Samantha and Chantel Beck-Gardner.
Nolan believed in hard work, getting an early start, good food and family. He was always interested in planning for improvements and could be counted on as a supporter in community and family projects.