August 11, 1938 - February 15, 2021
Esther A. (Carter) Yoder, D.HumL. was born on August 11,1938 and went home to be with the Savior she loved, on February 15, 2021 after a short stay at Haven Hospice. Esther was pre-deceased by her parents F. Elston and Ruth (Jones) Carter of West Auburn, PA, daughter Dawn C. (Hall) Brehm of Gainesville, FL, her husband, Herbert A. Yoder of Endicott NY, brothers Lester “Butchie” Carter of West Auburn, PA and Eugene “Dale” Carter of Lakeland FL, several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Esther is survived by her brother Harold (Charlotte) Carter, Leraysville, PA; sister Sharon (Pete Brusamonti) Carter of Fort Mead, FL; brother Lewis (Sandy) Carter, Sebring, FL; nephew Elston (Linda) Carter, Pelham , NH; niece Jana Lyn (Lou) Verry, Meshoppen, PA; nephew Matthew (Kim) Carter, Lakeland, FL, niece Kolleen (Ron) Carroll, Laceyville, PA; nephew Frank (Kim) McIntyre, Meshoppen, PA; niece Carmen (Eric) Eberlin, Laceyville, PA; nephew Robert Leonardo, Sebring, FL; nephew Michael (Leigh Ann) Leonardo, Sebring, FL; beloved God-son Scott (Apryl) Laraway, Gainesville, FL; step-son George (Patricia B.) Yoder, Landrum, SC; step-daughter Sharon (Ronald) Shirley, Poplar Ridge, NY; step-daughter Patricia A. Yoder, Newark Valley, NY; step-daughter Kathleen (Ginger) Yoder, Kings Mtn, NC; special cousins Marlene Kelley and Annita Breitweiser, long-time Caregiver and friend Jackie Miles, Gainesville, FL; many dearly loved grand nieces and nephews; 13 step-grandchildren and 16 step-great grandchildren; and "adopted" grandchildren who called her GG. Esther was born and raised on a small dairy farm in West Auburn, PA, starting out school in a one-room schoolhouse. As a teenager she worked collecting milk samples for testing. She was active in high school basketball, and played the alto saxophone being seated first chair at state competitions. She graduated from Meshoppen High School in 1956. Her only desire was to attend college and she had an aunt who helped make this dream happen. She enrolled in Keuka College, Keuka, NY, then an all-girl’s school, majoring in Christian Education. She played basketball and joined the swim team. Esther graduated from Keuka in 1960. Esther began her career using her college degree working for United Methodist churches in Rushville, PA, Montrose, PA, and High Street, Binghamton, NY, from 1960 to 1969. In 1969 she became a Fashion Wagon Distributor, a clothing company out of Minnesota, working until the company closed. Like everything Esther did, she excelled and won many trips, and awards. From 1969 to 1973 Esther also worked in her husband’s service station and snow plowing businesses. From 1974 to 1977 they owned and operated a Chem-Clean furniture stripping and refinishing business. When her husband was diagnosed with ALS in 1977, she began looking for work outside the businesses they ran together. This is when she began her career at Subway Corporation from 1977 until she retired in 2015. She started as a Subway General Manager of 3 stores in Endicott, NY. 1979 to 1985 she was a Subway Field Representative, meeting with franchisees and scouting for potential locations for new stores in the north and southeast. In 1985 she moved from Endicott NY to Gainesville FL. From 1985 to 2000 Esther was a Southeast Development Agent opening over 170 Stores for Subway Corporate. From 1985 until 2015 she was the owner of several Subway Franchises in Gainesville FL and Co-owner with her brother in Central FL. Between 1987 to 2000, Esther opened the first international Subway locations in Toronto Canada, Perth Australia, and London England. Over the years Esther helped Subway grow from 50 stores to over 30,000. Esther’s life included her devotion to Trinity UMC in Gainesville FL, supporting her Alma Mater Keuka College, spending summers at Dimock PA Camp Meeting, supporting sports of which she thoroughly enjoyed, traveling, and living the principles she lived by and held dear by helping others reach their own life goals. Gathering and celebrating with family was always a priority for her. Esther’s years at Trinity UMC started when she came to Gainesville in 1985 and her love for it has not stopped until she took her last breath. Esther was Co-Chair of Fund-Raising Committee for the purchase of the 67 acres on 53rd Avenue where the church now stands. She called this project "The Miracle on 53rd Avenue." She served as Co-Chair of the Building Committee for construction on the 53rd Avenue site and was instrumental in the relocation of the sanctuary cross from the 8th Avenue location to the new building because it was something she loved and could not see worshipping in the new sanctuary without that cross before her. She donated a stained-glass window of Jesus with a Lamb, at the new building. She served on the Building Committee for 20 years once the building was complete. Esther loved the outdoor coffee station called “the Hub” when on 8th Avenue and in 2017 helped facilitate the construction of the “Welcome Center” at the new location, as she missed the gathering place between and after services that “The Hub” once provided. "Gathering" was one of her passions. She was also on the Trinity Foundation Board, which has a mission of "Looking always to the future." Esther had a desire to create a good future for everyone in all she did. She participated in 7 capital improvement campaigns, including one that paid off the church mortgage. She was a bell ringer because she loved music so very much, but by her own confession, could not carry a tune saying, "You do NOT want to hear me sing!" There were many treasured events in which she participated; the Subway Saints women’s group, the book club, The Bread Bowl dinners to raise money for the hungry, supporting missionary projects. With the Trinity church, Esther took missionary trips to Israel, a land she loved so much she went there 3 times. Her time spent serving at Keuka College was a blessing to her. She served on the Executive Committee, as Vice Chair and later Chair of the Board of Trustees. She achieved Emeritus Trustee in 2013, an honor bestowed on few. She was Co-Chair of the “Save Ball Hall Campaign.” Ball Hall was the original building on the campus and was over 100 years old. Esther was chair of “Sharing the Future One Student at a Time Campaign” and facilitated the largest amount brought into Keuka at that time. She chaired the Development Committee during this time. Esther was an ardent supporter for the building and maintenance of the college chapel. Esther was the recipient of the Kathryn Blyley Award, the highest recognition awarded by Keuka College. She gave the Keuka commencement speech when she was Chair of the Board. Esther received her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (D.HumL.) in 2013, giving an inspiring response speech to the graduating class and receiving a standing ovation for her inspiring words, "Every day is 24 hours of opportunity to become…" Esther loved Dimock Camp Meeting, a United Methodist Camp Meeting in Dimock, PA. How long did she go there? She has a picture of herself as a one-year-old in her father’s arms at a camp meeting. Many years of Esther’s devotion and volunteering came to an end only when she could no longer safely traverse the site’s terrain. Esther was crucial to the saving of the original chapel on the grounds. Her goal was to make sure generations to come could worship on the same holy ground she loved. No one was a greater sports fan than Esther Carter Yoder. Once in Gainesville, she supported Florida Gator football and basketball, both with her contributions and presence in the stands. When she could not attend games, she was in front of the TV wherever she was, watching sports and yelling as if she were in the stands. She hosted many tailgate parties at the games and at her home. Esther was a member of the Gator Football Booster Club, the Gator Basketball Tip-Off Club, and a Scholarship and Bull Gator Contributor. Esther was a generous and supportive Christian, devoted to God’s work. She led her life with God first, family second, church third and work last. But make no mistake, she was as hard a worker as she was a devoted Christian and sports fan. She was known to many as "The Subway Lady," after a newspaper article reported on her opening international stores. But mostly people did not ever know what she did for others. Her joy was to give and help others giving them a hand up and remain silent about it. If someone had a need, you never knew when she would quietly, often anonymously, step in to meet that need as an expression of all she believed and lived. A celebration of Esther’s remarkable life will be held Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 11 a.m. in the Worship Center at Trinity United Methodist Church, 4000 NW 53rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32653. Interment of ashes will immediately follow in the Memory Garden at Trinity. A box lunch will be served under the tent outdoors. Please register to attend the service and share in the box lunch meal, using the following link: trinitygnv.org/esther-yoder If you are unable to attend the service in person, please plan to join the live stream of the service through the link to the Trinity YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/trinitygnv at 11:00 a.m. EST. This recording will be available at the same link, to watch later at your convenience. In lieu of flowers please consider contributing to the renovation of the Hospitality / Bride’s Room in the Worship Center at Trinity UMC. You may make checks payable to Trinity and note “Esther Yoder Memorial” on the check, mailing it to the address above. If you prefer to make an on-line donation, go to the Trinity website, trinitygnv.org and click on “gifts.” If you have a story you want to share of how Esther touched or changed your life, please share your memories with Esther's family by emailing them to [email protected] The family will treasure the gift of the memory of your time touched by Esther. Our deepest gratitude goes to the staff at Trinity UMC and Williams-Thomas Funeral Homes for serving our family at this time, as we continue to walk our dear Esther “home,” with these celebrations of her life.
Esther A. (Carter) Yoder, D.HumL. was born on August 11,1938 and went home to be with the Savior she loved, on February 15, 2021 after a short stay at Haven Hospice. Esther was pre-deceased by her parents F. Elston and Ruth (Jones) Carter of... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Esther A. (Carter) Yoder, D.HumL. was born on August 11,1938...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Yoder, D.HumL. family.Send Flowers