By Rex Hall, Jr. From Originally posted: December 19, 2014. Original Article.


A 10-year-old boy who died from injuries he suffered Wednesday in an ATV accident in St. Joseph County is being remembered by family and friends as a youngster who loved the outdoors and helping out on his family’s farm.

Dakota Jay Yoder, of Centreville, died Thursday at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Dakota was a fifth grader at Nottawa Christian Schools and attended Pilgrim Fellowship Church in Nottawa “where he enjoyed going to Sunday School,” according to an obituary provided to the Kalamazoo Gazette Friday by Schipper Funeral Home in Colon.

“He enjoyed helping on the family farm and loved being outdoors hunting and trapping,” the obituary said of Dakota.

A Facebook page, “In Loving Memory of Dakota Jay Yoder,” was created following Dakota’s passing. As of Friday afternoon, the page had more than 1,000 likes.

St. Joseph County sheriff’s deputies found Dakota after responding at 3:22 p.m. Wednesday to the 26000 block of Marvin Road in Nottawa Township. Deputies said Dakota flipped a 4-wheeler, which landed on top of him in a field.

Investigators said Thursday that they believe speed was a factor and are unsure whether Dakota was wearing a helmet.

Dakota is survived by his parents, Vernon and Naomi Yoder, of Centreville, two brothers, Zachary and Jamison Yoder both at home; grandparents, Raymond and Edith Yoder, of Centreville, and Wilbur A. Yoder, of Mendon, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation for Dakota is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Calvary Chapel in Sturgis. A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the chapel with pastors Norman Yoder, John David Yoder, Paul Yoder, Jon Yoder and Delbert Miller officiating.

Burial will follow at the Pilgrim Fellowship Cemetery in Nottawa.