MEET MEMBER, DEE YOCUM
Posted on September 15, 2020 | Posted by Mary Stoneback
For many of you at Ascension Lutheran Church Dee Yocum doesn’t need an introduction; she and her family have been members since the mid fifties. When I asked her what it was about Ascension that’s made it so meaningful for her she said “our family practically lived there.“ She also remembers that the then pastor and his family were neighbors. “The pastor’s wife welcomed us to the neighborhood with a plate of home baked cookies.They had 2 children and we had 4 so our kids had neighborhood and church kids to play with.“
Dee’s great grand child was recently born in the house where she and her husband Bill (John William) lived and raised their children. That house has been, and still is in the family, owned now by Dee. Dee said when she was growing up in Nebraska she really thought everyone was Lutheran. Everyone in her world, church, neighbors, her own family were Lutheran.
One of the turning points in her life was when she was diagnosed with cancer. She says her church has been like a blanket or background of faith that was always there, reassuring her that God was always with her, guiding and comforting her. She says that as she went through chemotherapy she thought often of the hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus”. She has had many losses and painful events through the years, and that line became her mantra, helping her through many difficult times.
Dee has faced many losses throughout her 92 years. Her first husband , Duane, was killed in a plane crash shortly before their first anniversary. She had several years getting to know Bill, who was a good friend of Duane‘s, before marriage became the path forward for the couple. Her recent losses have been especially hard. Bill had a fall that broke his back and caused him nearly 5 years of suffering. He died in July of 2019. Her younger sister died in October of 2019. Dee has had a long and interesting life that included several years as a flight attendant, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Through it all, God has been her guide, and Jesus her friend and comforter. Her faith has seen her through.
~By ALC Online Contributor, Jan McMillan
TOP LEFT: THE LATE JERRY SMITH AND DEE YOCUM, TOP RIGHT: DEE LEADING A WORKSHOP ON IKEBANA, BOTTOM LEFT/MIDDLE: DEE AT ALC’S WOMEN’S RETREAT (EARLY 2000’S) BOTTOM RIGHT: DEE WITH FORMER SUNDAY SCHOOL YOUTH, BRIAN ECKRICH.
About Online Contributor, Jan McMillan: My interests include music (classical, especially Bach and baroque, blues, and jazz), Reading, writing (mostly poetry and journaling), enjoying activities with my friends in my assisted living home. My family includes four children and three step children. Together Annie and I have 15 grandchildren children and 13 great grand children. We have been together 38 years (39 in February 2002). We were married in 2013 after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and marriage became legal for us in all 50 states. Annie had a stroke in August of 2019 and now lives in a long term care facility. When we were both still mobile we traveled to Mexico, China, Greece and the Greek Islands, France, and Italy. We also did a Windjammer sail in Maine and an Alaska wildlife trip. I am grateful for my health, that gives me the energy to keep pushing forward; for my family for their graciously given love and support; for my Buddhist practice that keeps me grounded in the present moment and to God. “All I have needed Thy hand has provided”.