Cover photo for Sandy Joe Yoder's Obituary
Sandy Joe Yoder Profile Photo
1941 Sandy 2024

Sandy Joe Yoder

July 22, 1941 — April 25, 2024

Woodland

Sandy J. Yoder, 82, of Woodland, Washington passed away suddenly on April 25th, 2024. While his loss was unexpected and his family is profoundly saddened, he was called home doing what he loved: foraging for some of his favorite flowers in one of his favorite locations along the Lewis River. 

Sandy was born on July 22nd, 1941 to Edward and Hattie Yoder in Salem, Oregon. He was the eldest of four children and was followed by his three sisters: Judy, Pat, and Joan. They called Albany, Oregon home prior to moving to Canby, Oregon where they lived on a farm. Sandy picked and sold berries, worked at the dahlia bulb farm, and at a boat factory making P-14 boats. It was during this time that his incredible work ethic was born. This trait was passed down from generation to generation and made him eternally proud. 

Sandy graduated from Candy High School where he played football as a Junior and Senior. He was an exceptional athlete, scoring seven touchdowns in just one game. He was always dressed to the nines in crisp Levi's and with well-manicured hair. It was this sharp dressed man that caught the attention of Carolyn Scott during their Senior year. They began going steady - she wore his letterman jacket and he, her class ring - and that was the beginning of their beautiful love story. 

Sandy married Carolyn Scott on June 15th, 1962. They decided to accompany Sandy's parents in Woodland, Washington and quickly found a modest house in town to temporality call home. Sandy knew he wanted to find a place outside of the city limits to raise a family and it wasn't long before he came from work one day and proclaimed, "I've found us a home!" The property has one spindly little tree that served as a great please for picnics and a smidge of shade. In 1964, Sandy and Carolyn welcomed their first daughter, Jody Lynne Yoder. In 1967, they welcomed their second daughter, Paula Jean Yoder, and in 1969, they completed their family with a son, Edward Joe Yoder. Over the course of 61 years, 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and countless trees later, the house was made a home. 

Sandy's athleticism, grit, and selflessness was passed to his children who were also exceptional athletes and even better people. This made him more than proud; he was elated by their success personally and professionally. He loved to attend their various sporting events, so much that he never missed one no matter how tired, sick, or rundown he was that day. This love of sports and supportive nature continued with his grandchildren. He helped coach them in softball, basketball, and football over the years and garnered many pseudo-grandchildren along the way. As a spectator, it wasn't uncommon for Grandpa to ruffle some feathers. He stuck it to those referees; no one was going to wrong his grandchildren and they loved him dearly for that. Sandy also enjoyed taking the family camping and the peace he found when fishing. His trips to Diamond Lake over the years were near and dear to him. 

When Sandy and Carolyn were first married, he worked three jobs to ensure Carolyn could stay home to raise their family. He enjoyed the stint in which he worked at Lewis River Golf course where he helped to build the back nine. In 1968, he became a log scaler and dedicated 36 years to the profession. Amidst his day job, Sandy and Carolyn also raised cows. His family has precious memories of bottle-feeding calves, doctoring cows, bailing hay during the summer months, and the occasional late night phone call when the cows would be out traipsing around the yard and gardens that he and Carolyn worked tirelessly to maintain. Those same gardens were filled with pumpkins every fall. The entire family helped welcome thousands of children to the property every year to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve. This was an annual tradition and is how Sandy and Carolyn's grandchildren learned how to work. Their gardens continued to grow year after year and eventually Sandy found his second career and true passion: flower farming. He began by taking flowers, moss, and other decorative branches from florist to florist, but eventually he secured a spot at the Portland Flower Market. He was well known for his unique offerings - those he found in the myriad secret locations he kept around town. His competitive and slightly stubborn streak continued during this time, but that's what ultimately propelled his successful business forward. At 82 years young, he was still gallivanting all over town, working 12+ hour days, and tending to what and who he loved. He was no stranger to a little mischief, but that's what made him Sandy Yoder. 

Sandy's love of Woodland ran deep. When he first moved to Woodland, he joined the Jaycees at which point he founded the Woodland Easter Egg Hunt at Horseshoe Late; this tradition continues to this day. You can see the many rhododendrons he planted years and years ago that still line the park. During his working years, he was often found at the Oak Tree Restaurant sitting at the counter enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll. He also spend time at Rosie's where he would enjoy a delicious pancake, but in later years, he spent most mornings at McDonalds with his gang of friends. They would talk about local Woodland happenings, farming, and precious memories from years prior, of course not without giving one another a hard time here and there as well. 

Sandy was the epitome of selflessness. His heart knew no bounds and that's what made him so dear to all who knew him. He embodied the best of qualities, and he was fearless. Even his sometimes-ornery nature was viewed with admiration. As cliché as it may sound, Sandy would give anyone the shirt off his back. 

Sandy was preceded in death by his father, Edward Yoder, his mother Hattie Yoder and her husband John Bachmeier. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Yoder; his sisters and their spouses: Judy Jantzi, Pat and Jerry Erstgaard, Joan Landis; his children and their spouses: Jody and Monty Feris, Paula and Mike Tuholski, Eddie and Jennifer Yoder; his grandchildren and their spouses: Ashley and James Baker, Garrett Grayson, Mackenzie and Russ Beyersdorf, Kaitlyn and Tate Glasgow, Dalaney Tuholski, Haley Yoder, and Cody Yoder; and their great-grandchildren: Everly Baker, Dallen Barker, Grayson Baker, Finley Baker, Kasen Glasgow, and Baby Miller. 

Services will be held for immediate family on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. A celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2024 at the Yoder home. Should you feel compelled to send flowers or to make a donation, Sandy felt strongly about taking care of thy neighbor. Please consider an act of kindness in his honor. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandy Joe Yoder, please visit our flower store.

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