Of all the things Dorothy Yoder loves about Homeland Center, her favorite is the van trips. Excursions take residents to lunch at a favorite restaurant or visit local sites.
“This past Christmas, we went to see a park in Elizabethtown where every single tree was lit up and covered with decorations,” she said. “It was beautiful. It took almost an hour to go through it all. It was gorgeous.”
Dorothy has settled into Homeland since arriving in September 2022. From her bright room in Personal Care, she looks back on life in a family devoted to service and togetherness.
Dorothy grew up in North Philadelphia. Her father, who worked as a janitor at a high school, served in the U.S. Navy Reserves and entered active duty during World War II.
“Sometimes, he couldn’t tell us where he was,” Dorothy remembers. “We always worried about him and prayed that he was safe.”
Attending Olney High School, Dorothy took business classes because she wanted to be a secretary and work in an office.
“I liked typing the best,” she said. “I got good grades.”
Her typing skills came in handy when she sought to follow in her father’s footsteps by joining the Navy.
“When they asked me what I could do, I said, ‘Type,'” she said. “They said, ‘Great. We need someone who can type.’ Some others were writing by hand, and you couldn’t read what they were writing.”
She served in the Navy for two years, performing clerical work at the historic Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Naval Station.
“I was able to wear a Navy uniform,” she said. “It had a skirt. Girls didn’t wear slacks back then.”
At the time, her father was performing Reserve duty on weekends, and she got to know another Reservist in his unit named Edgar Yoder.
Ed and Dorothy enjoyed going out to dance at a dance hall in Philadelphia. Mostly, they danced to records, although an occasional live act would play a gig if they were in town.
After Ed and Dorothy married, they settled in the historic Montgomery County town of Hatboro. They had three children – two daughters and one son. The family enjoyed bowling and roller skating at a nearby rink.
“There was also a pond nearby,” recalls Dorothy. “When it froze, we’d go ice skating, which was free.”
She was also active in her Methodist congregation church, where she taught Sunday school to young children.
“I enjoyed telling them the Bible stories,” she said.
Dorothy makes the most of her life at Homeland.
“It’s great,” she said. “I like it. The people are very friendly.”