Mary M. Yoder was born on Christmas Day 1942 to Amanda and William Chupp, Sr., in Chouteau, Oklahoma. She died peacefully on September 8, 2022 in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Growing up on a farm in Chouteau, OK, Mary learned to cook and bake for her family and the farm workers from an early age. She started baking cakes for a restaurant at the age of 9 and her cake making has remained one of her outstanding talents throughout her life. She was an incredible cook and loved to entertain, with countless friends and family having served at her table over the years.
When she moved to La Junta in 1976 with her husband Paul and their three children Beth, Mark and Dave, she quickly became an active member of the community at the hospital and at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church. Her nursing career began at Goshen College and spanned decades during which she worked as a nursing instructor, volunteered time in Appalachia, spent time in the Oncology Clinic and Education Division of the AVRMC, and then co-founded Edu Care to provide home nursing care to the Arkansas Valley. As the first board-certified wound and ostomy nurse in Southeast Colorado, she has traveled the world to care for people in their homes. In 2006 she won the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award for Human Caring, a fitting tribute to her career. Mary passed her love of people and her ministry to her children, all of whom have careers in healthcare.
Grandchildren brought joy to Mary, and Victoria, Roman, Carlos and Emilia were a source of great love and happiness in the last years of their lives. Her living sisters, Ruby, Ann and Peggy, and daughters-in-law Tara and Adriana also held a special place in her heart.
The last few years have been increasingly difficult for Mary with her health, but she managed to stay in her beloved home at Casa del Sol until eventually she needed more care and moved to Fort Collins to be close to her daughter Beth and son his -law, Thomas, in March 2022. Her friends in La Junta were her village and she spoke daily about returning to La Junta, her home. Her brother Bill, sister Barbara, her parents, and beloved stepmother Ann all died in Oklahoma, her childhood home, and she has asked to be buried there in Pryor, Oklahoma.
Mary will be remembered for her love of people, generosity, kindness, lifelong dedication to those in need, and kind demeanor in every situation. Her family will be forever grateful for the love and support she has received from so many people along the way.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to Casa del Sol or associated charities at La Junta or Pathways Hospice in Fort Collins on Mary’s behalf