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SWCD plants memorial trees


The LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) added to its memorial garden Friday as it marked Arbor Day with the planting of two memorial trees.

The first tree, a Flowering Crabapple, was planted in memory of Michael Holcomb Jr., who died in an accident in 2012.

Holcomb, a LaGrange County native, loved nature and being outdoors. His father, Michael Holcomb Sr., was a SWCD Supervisor for nine years and continues to work with the organization.

Attending were Holcomb Jr.’s widow, Jenny Holcomb, his twin brother Travis Holcomb, and Michael Holcomb Sr.

The second tree, an Alleghany serviceberry, was planted to remember Sam Yoder and his grandsons, Ross and LaVern, who were killed in 2005 in an accident in Noble County.

Yoder was a well-known excavator in LaGrange County and had a concern for conservation and stewardship of natural resources and utilized conservation practices in his work. He served as a SWCD supervisor from 1984-1992.

Attending were his widow Patsy Yoder, Tobias Yoder, Karen Yoder, Rachel Yoder, Darin Yoder, and Laura Yoder.

In dedicating the tree, Patsy Yoder noted, “Sam was concerned that conservation concepts be conveyed to future generations. Our daughter, Rachel, loved the SWCD-sponsored field trips and other educational events. Sam was enthused when she did two award-winning science fair projects about conservation. He would have been pleased to know that his grandson Darin got an award for a similar project at school several years ago. As an excavator, Sam enjoyed working with projects involving soil, water and nature. He often worked closely with the SWCD even when he was no longer a supervisor. He considered the LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District as the best.”

As the SWCD marked Arbor Day, they also thanked long-time supervisor Richard Yoder with a special presentation. Yoder served on the board for 11 years before stepping down to serve on the LaGrange County Council. Yoder continues to work with the SWCD, serving as a liaison for the council to the board.