Resthaven Gardens of Memory & Funeral Home
11817 Jefferson Highway
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
(225) 753-1440

Joseph Peter "Pete" Yoder

Obituary Condolences

Joseph Peter "Pete" Yoder Obituary
Joseph Peter Yoder ("Pete"), father, family man, local business man, and friend, died peacefully in his home on Saturday, surrounded by loving family and friends, and the thoughts of many more. Pete had nobly sparred with brain cancer for over a year. He was 54. Pete was known to many for his association with his business, Oilquip, which catered to plants throughout the area. But for those who knew him more personally, he was all family and friends, the warm source of life, light, jokes, and care that enveloped his wife and three daughters. He created a field, a magnetic field, a gravity field, a personality field, that drew in many who allowed themselves to be touched by him. Pete was born in Lake Charles on April 29, 1959, not quite a year after his brother, to a humble Catholic family with six children and a dream. He graduated from St. Louis H.S. there, where he played football. All who met him during those years remember him as a friendly and mischievous young man, traits that Pete would carry with him for the rest of his life. Upon graduation he joined his family's company, but wanted and accepted the challenge to set out into the wilderness of Baton Rouge and our local area, which became his home. With no college education to speak of, Pete moved to Baton Rouge in the late 1970's, with a kitten, an Atari game, and no local family or friends. He soon met his wife of over 30 years, Belinda, and they married to start their family while Pete built his business. While they succeeded in both, moving from a trailer in Port Allen to a comfortable home in Baton Rouge, Pete valued simplicity, with his innate sense of right, and his tender sensitivity spiced by more than a dash of wit. Pete was expansive, inspiring, a warm hug of a man with arms open to all. A self-made and self-educated specialist in industrial machinery, his business here thrived and will be continued by others. This was a rare man. A complex man embracing simplicity, Pete responded to our world's constraints by action, kindness, and indefatigable will. Judgment and adversity touched him deeply, but one would never have known. His daughters' activities and wellbeing were his life's mission, and they will carry him within themselves. (His first grandchild, "RePete", will join us in a week.) Above all, family was the most important thing in Pete's life. He worked callouses into his hands every day to provide a full and happy life for his wife and three daughters, whom he loved beyond words. He made certain that everyone who passed through his house was treated like family, whether it meant sharing a beer, throwing extra meat on the grill, or just listening. He was a devoted husband, a passionate father, a fierce protector, and an immense comfort. There was never a problem he couldn't fix. Pete lived loud and hard, with big words and big actions. He was a bright light, pulling everyone around him into his warmth. He stayed up late reading and woke up early for running and weightlifting, refusing to waste time sleeping. He spent his weekdays working, his weeknights savoring the smell of roux from the stove, and his weekends taking his girls on adventures and cruising down the river in his prized yellow Chaparral. Every day, Pete made every second worthwhile. His life was lived to the very fullest, and everyone in it was wrapped up in his passion and enthusiasm. Some will have followed Pete's battle with cancer through visits, but mainly through his blog. An early riser and an excellent writer with a keen memory, the motivation of cancer and the force of Pete's disposition make a formidable combination. His posts were saturated by personal stories and reflections, immediate yet timeless, detailed yet universal. He used his fight to challenge himself and encourage others, to share his life and experiences without reservations. We were left in awe. Of his love, his desire for life, his stories of family and our unique culture; all of that and more. And perhaps that best captures this wonderful man who showed us how to live and push the plate of life away. He was, and is, all that and more. Visiting at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, on Monday, March 17, 2014 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Visiting on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 from 9 am until service at 11 am. Interment in Resthaven Gardens of Memory. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Bella Bowman Foundation. In addition to the many friends and business associates, Pete is survived by his devoted wife and partner, Belinda, his three daughters, Nikki, Krissi, and Kaci, and two sons-in-law, Blake and Ryan. He also leaves behind a legacy with countless people who will always remember a broad smile, the smell of oil on his clothes and an endlessly powerful spirit. Please visit www.resthavenbatonrouge.com to sign the online guestbook.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Mar. 16 to Mar. 17, 2014
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