The Valley, May 2014
May Your Memory Be Eternal
Near the end of April, a few days after the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, Jeptha I. Yoder departed this life for the next. He will be missed One of the first writers to join The Valley, Jeptha was a member of the Old Order Amish community. His daily activities were a living example of the paper’s mission statement – dedicated to agriculture, self-reliance, and frugal living. An avid gardener, seed saver, and a student of all that Nature teaches, Jeptha shared all he had learned, and anything that
he had grown, with everyone who wanted to add to their own knowledge and skills. Always with open hands and a ready smile. He will be missed. I met Jeptha only once. No matter; we recognized one another as fellow workers of the earth, we spoke the same language. Actually, he spoke far better than most of us the language of the earth, of the seasons, of the cycle of life and death and life. For Jeptha was a poet, in the true sense of the word. In his writing for yet another publication, “Wholesome Garden-
ing”, his words painted in brilliant strokes Nature’s delicate beauty, her rough truths and even her humorous moments. His articles pulled you into his world - where the rewards of hard work are a larder bursting with good things to feed and heal both body and soul, and the time to see the miracles that surround us everywhere. Even more, he was able to remind us of the joy – the pure joy – that comes with simplicity, quiet and a willingness to embrace our place in the universe. What a marvelous gift to give to his readers. He will be missed. This spring, as we begin the season’s work, turning the rich earth and planting with sure hope of the harvest to come, we will miss Jeptha. But even more, and more so as the years go by for us, we will remember, with joy and gratitude, a gentle man who knew the true richness of life and who walked humbly with his God. “To the soul of your servant, departed this life, do You, O Lord, give rest in a place of light, in a place of green pasture, in a place of refreshing, where pain and sorrow and mourning are fled away. May your memory be eternal.” Amen. a
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Published on May 9, 2014