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Richard Yoder

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Richard Yoder Obituary
Richard Dick Yoderdied, at age 78 on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013. Born in West Lawn, PA, in 1935, he was the only child of Russell and Evelyn Yoder. He dedicated his life to teaching, writing, and music, and was vigorous voice for justice, fairness, and peace. Dick received a BA in History, Art, and Letters from Yale (1952), graduating magna cum laude and receiving the Ehrmann Studentship in Cambridge Award. That led him to King's College in Cambridge where he completed a Masters of English. Returning to the U.S., he accomplished a Ph.D. in English and American Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn he met Isabel Saldaa; they were married in 1964. Dick and Isabel moved to Brookline, where they raised their three boys: Chris, Lu, and Nick. Dick taught writing and literature at several schools, including Northeastern and Tufts. In 1978 he published a book on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson and the Orphic Poet in America. He also published more than a dozen literary essays and reviews. Between 1979 and 1985 Dick served two terms on the Brookline School Committee, supporting the interests of teachers and students. He also served as Selectman at Brookline Town Meeting for many years. As he grew older, Dick devoted more time to another lifelong passion, music. He played and taught recorder, french horn, and he sang. He played French horn in the New England Philharmonic Orchestra and the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, and was an active participant in the Wellesley Composer's Conference. He sang in the New England Conservatory Chorus. He helped found the Aspinwall Players Quintet, that, among other performances, worked to interest elementary school students in classical music. Typical of all his endeavors, Dick lent his writing and analytical talents to the music groups by writing grants and organizing events. In 2000 Dick was diagnosed with Alzheimers, and although his ability to write and teach declined, he was able to spend the greater part of seven years at home enjoying music, playing his recorder, an taking long bicycle rides. His love of poetry, and s tories endures in his wife, sons, and grandchildren, Max, Lucia, and Kai.

Published in The Brookline Tab from Nov. 6 to Nov. 13, 2013
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