Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home

56 Northwest Blvd., Newton, NC


Willie "Bill" Alfred Yoder

September 8, 1944October 3, 2019

Willie “Bill” Alfred Yoder, age 75, of Hickory, NC, passed away on October 3, 2019 at his residence after a period of declining health. Born September 8, 1944 in Catawba County, NC, he was the second son of the late Harry Lee Yoder and Edna Aldaree Hoover Yoder.

Bill was a veteran of the Viet Nam era serving in the US Air Force as a Fire Protection Specialist and Technical Instructor in Aircraft Crash and Rescue. He began his fire service career as a volunteer fireman with the City of Newton in 1962. Bill enlisted in the Air Force during the Viet Nam era and served 4 years as a Fire Protection Specialist and Technical Instructor to other military personnel as well as firefighters from a number of foreign countries. He returned to the Newton Fire Department in 1969. Bill was selected and served from 1974 until 1979 as the first full time Fire Chief for the Village of Pinehurst. He returned to Catawba County and served as the Training Officer and then Fire Marshal for the City of Hickory Fire Department under Chief Larson Moore and Chief Tom Hardin. Bill was President of the Catawba County Firemen’s Association and Fire Chief’s Association in 1974. He was also a member of the Board of Directors, Secretary-Treasurer and then President of the NC Fire Marshals Association. Bill was then made an Honorary Life Member of the NC Fire Marshals Association. He was a member of the NC Firemen’s Association for more than 50 years until his death.

Bill was a volunteer with the Red Cross in the blood services area. He left the fire service in 1989 and worked for Getrag Corporation in Maiden, NC, for 19 years in a number of positions before retiring in September of 2009. Bill was involved in the NC Yoder Family Association and served as their President in the early 2000’s. For a number of years he maintained the family cemetery dating back to the 1700’s. Bill was instrumental in the republication and updates of THE HISTORY OF THE YODER FAMILY IN NORTH CAROLINA, authored by former historian Dr. Fred Roy Yoder.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by an older brother, Frank Lee Yoder, Sr.

Survivors include his loving wife of 26 years, Marilyn Wilfong Yoder of the home; his first wife Donna Hillestad Yoder of Newton, NC, and their sons Kevin Lee Yoder and wife Amy of Newton, NC, and William “Erick” Yoder and wife Jodie of Maiden, NC; his grandchildren whom he loved spending time with, Will, Alex, Cole, Kelsey and Abbey Yoder; younger brother, Reid Nelson Yoder and wife Bonnie of Newton, NC; sister, Vivian Yoder Cline of Claremont, NC; and stepson Dustin Wilfong Doster of Rockwell, NC.

A private service for family and friends will be held at a later date in the Chapel of Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home with Rev. Nathan Yoder officiating. Burial with military honors will be held in Southside Cemetery in Newton, NC. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Newton Fire Department and Pinehurst Fire Department.


  • Private Memorial Service Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Willie "Bill" Alfred Yoder

have a memory or condolence to add?

Erick Yoder

October 15, 2019

Thank you for your kinds words. Dad was proud of his Fire career & proud of our last name & heritage. He spoke often of both of you ladies. He loved keeping up with classmates, distant relatives, & former coworkers. We appreciate all of your prayers & also for being great friends of our father’s.

Becky McRee

October 10, 2019

I was so very sorry to hear of "Billy" Yoder's passing. I think I have always known him. We went to church together as we grew up and I thought he was always such a nice person. In school he was one year behind me at Newton-Conover HS.
Billy was a very good person and will be missed by many.
God bless all his family. Wish I could have been at the service but we were out of town.
Becky Ikerd Alghrary-McRee

Phyllis Brown

October 7, 2019

Bill and I literally grew up together. We wend to the same schools, attended the same church, and we lived in the same neighborhood in Newton, NC. He was quiet and observing, but he was "taking it all in". We have remained friends all our lives, and I know I will see him again. I will continue to pray for his loving family. A few members of our Newton-Conover Class of 1962 got together recently. Bill had dialysis that day and was weak, but he made the effort to stop by our meeting place to greet us even though he could not stay for the meal. He was never one to complain or give up, and I will always remember his strength and support and his wonderful friendship. Until we meet again, dear friend....you will never be forgotten!

Terri Byers

October 7, 2019

Bill was a wonderful person and I will always appreciated the fact that he hired me as a fire educator. It was my first full time job and of course, I wanted to do great. So to make me less nervous, he said "You don't have to know how to walk on water. You just need to know where the rocks are so it looks like you can." I will never forget that comment and it still makes me smile even now. Thanks for giving me a opportunity and for your friendship and guidance. He will be missed.

Terri Byers