Dot Yoder recalls fondly, her husband, Ed’s excitement as he helped cut lumber for the new Eaton Area Senior Center (EASC). A man always willing to give back to his community, Ed put years of teaching shop class to good use, being the “hands on the ground” as the facility was being reconstructed in the early 2000s.
There from the beginning, Ed’s contributions to EASC were constant until his passing in 2016. He served on the EASC board of directors for more than 12 years, and was a member of the building and maintenance crew. Through the years, Ed did a little bit of everything to help the Center, according to executive director Cindy Miller.
“He was an awesome supporter of the Center and the girls in the office,” Miller said.
There were very few things Ed wasn’t willing to do for the people in his community. Even in retirement, Ed was often found in his Hummer, trailering a load of donations or remnants from a remodeling project. Serving his fellow community members was just something Ed always did. It was who he was.
“He was always willing to serve,” said Ed’s daughter, Sally Edwards. “It’s the legacy he gave to our family.”
As a way of commemorating a man who meant so much to the community, EASC has partnered with the Yoder family to create the Ed Yoder Pavilion. The Pavilion will reside where a portion of the current Annex building sits on the west side of the EASC property. Ed had a vision for the Annex property becoming another community gathering space.
“We are going to make sure we finish this project for Ed,” Miller said.
Ed had the foresight to help establish a fundraising project to help cover the costs of the Annex project. He purchased the first brick paver EASC is currently selling to help fund the pavilion project — “The first brick and many more to come, join us, Ed and Dorothy Yoder,” the brick reads.
Community members are invited to join the Yoder family in purchasing their own commemorative bricks, which will be placed at the new pavilion.
“This is an opportunity to remind people who he was and what he stood for,” Edwards said. “He always put those around him first. It’s who dad was.”
Dot said Ed wanted to create an open-air space for community members to come together.
“We hope it is something that can be used by a lot of families in the future,” Edwards said. “A comfortable place that has a cool vibe.”
The demolition of a portion of the Annex building will take place soon, which will allow finalized plans for the pavilion to come together.
Three different sizes are available, and donations toward the project are tax deductible. Order forms can be picked up at the Senior Center, located at 804 S. Cochran in Charlotte.