Rev. Dr. Harold Monroe Yoder of Columbia, SC, died November 24, 2016, the day after his 94th birthday.
His was a lifetime of service as an ordained (1950) clergyman of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He spent his career as a hospital and institutional chaplain for the Washington, DC, Council of Churches, Lutheran Hospital of Baltimore, MD, and Richland Memorial Hospital of Columbia, SC. He was a pioneer in the Clinical Pastoral Education movement, training many students to minister to the distressed, sick, dying, and bereaved.
Growing up in Hickory, NC, he graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, serving in the Pacific theater during World War II. After discharge, he graduated from Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.
As the young pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Liberty, NC, Harold met the love of his life, Selena Kime, whom he married in October 1951. They raised four children, impressing the values of education and faith while instilling a love of music.
After his retirement in 1989, Harold and Selena traveled through Europe and the Holy Lands and spent time trout fishing and square dancing. Indulging his lifelong love of learning, he received his doctorate of ministry at age 61 from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and studied Greek into his 80s. He achieved a second degree black belt in karate, was an avid runner, grew grapes and made wine. He was open-minded and openhearted, encouraging others to “take people as you find them.”
Harold was predeceased by his son, William Craig Yoder, and beloved wife. He is survived by his son, Eric Monroe Yoder, daughter-in-law, Claire C. Yoder of Virginia Beach, daughter, Frances Kathryn Yoder, daughter, Mary Ann Watson, son-in-law, Jeff Watson of Columbia, grandchildren, Emily Yoder Wilcox, Maggie Stewart, and Glenn Yoder; Joshua Yoder, Jessica Yoder, and their mother, Barbara Yoder, and grandson Jeffrey Watson.
Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family. A visitation will be held on December 16th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 6904 Satchelford Rd., Columbia. A memorial service will follow on December 17th at 2 p.m. at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary Chapel, 4201 North Main St., Columbia.