Edna Mary Yocom, wife of the late Taylor B. Yocom of Roseburg, Oregon, passed away in the early hours of Monday, September 30th at Thanksgiving House Residential Care Facility in St Helens, Oregon surrounded by family. Edna was born July 7, 1923, in Wausau, Wisconsin to Jake and Minnie Naef. She joined the Naef family as number 9 of the eventual 12 children. She spent her childhood growing, playing, and learning about life on the farm, with her immediate family and 10 cousins on the adjoining 80 acre farm. She often joked that each family could field their own baseball team (a favorite pastime for all after the chores were done), and they spent many happy hours working the farm together.
After her childhood and school years she moved to Neenah, Wisconsin, and spent her young adult life working for Kimberly Clark Corporation. A while later, she and her sister Aideline made the decision to move across the country to join their siblings Ida Warnkee, Ethel Hoover, and Viola Naef in Oregon. Edna left Wisconsin carrying a single small suitcase that encased her entire worldly belongings. Upon arrival in Portland, she went to work in manufacturing for Jantzen Woolen Mills. After some time in Portland, she met her future husband Taylor Yocom. They were later married at her sister Ida’s home.
Edna spent her married life as an excellent homemaker. She loved to cook for family and friends, and was always worried that her guests didn’t get enough to eat. She always served meals on china plates decorated with flowers and berries, which reflected her other passion – gardening. Edna was a talented gardener, and every summer had a garden bursting with ripe vegetables and flowers. The front yard boasted perfectly manicured flowerbeds filled with primroses, and a lawn that perpetually looked as though a landscaping team had just left. It was all the result of her and Taylor’s hard work and attention – even into her late eighties, she mowed the lawn herself. Later in life she started taking painting lessons and became a privately accomplished oil painter. Although she never believed she had any talent, her family’s homes are filled with her artwork, which ranged from oceanscapes to woodland critters.
Although Edna was an avid gardener and talented cook, her deepest love was her faith. Edna’s lifelong faith started when she was 14, when she committed her life to following the teachings of Jesus Christ. She had the privilege of growing up in a godly home after her parents, Jake and Minnie, found the teachings of Jesus and decided to follow the Gospel. Through lifelong trials and hardship, Edna’s faith never wavered. She prayed for friends and family daily, quietly, at her bedside, never complaining of her own hardships. Edna’s first marital home was a wall tent in the mountains of Oregon. In 1964 she endured the tragic loss of her two young sons, and was later preceded in death by many of her siblings. However, even in hardship, Taylor and Edna served as faithful, loving members of their community, filling a great need in their hometown. She also knew a few great joys in life. Her smile when she recently heard of her next great grandchild to be, said it all.
Edna was preceded in death by her husband Taylor (2009), two sons; Richard and Robert (1964), and 10 siblings: Ida Warnkee, Gertrude Hopland-Wiskow, Ethel Hoover, Adolf Naef, Lillian Kersten, George Naef, Viola Naef, Reuben Naef, Aideline Criswell, and Conrad Naef.
Edna is survived by her two daughters; Beverly and her husband Mel Holcomb and Barbara and her husband Bob Williams, fiv granddaughters; Debra and her husband Lee Buchanan, Stacy and her husband David Wood, Michel and her husband Daniel Thornsteinson, Jessica and her husband Drew Crosby and Kylie and her husband Jordan Coker; and five great-grandchildren; Paige Buchanan, Meghan Buchanan, Taylor Wood, Amanda Wood, Connor Wood, and one brother; Norman Naef and his wife Audrey.
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