TRAVERSE CITY — On June 21, 2013, Michigan lost a very special man. C. Troy Yoder, recently of Traverse City, and longtime resident of Roscommon, passed away at his home.
Troy was born on Dec. 12, 1919, to Dennis and Frances Yoder of Elkhart, Ind., the oldest of three children. Troy and his family moved to Michigan when he was a child, and he remained there for the rest of his life.
An avid outdoorsman, Troy started with the Michigan Department of Conservation in 1941 doing creel census and later research on whitefish in southern Michigan.
In 1944 Troy joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a stateside pilot until the end of World War II.
After his service he attended and graduated from Michigan State University in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and wildlife biology.
Troy rejoined the Department of Conservation in 1947 and worked for the Fisheries Division Institute of Fisheries Research, becoming the District Supervisor of Fisheries in Plainwell in 1949.
In 1951 Troy was promoted to Regional Supervisor of Fisheries in Roscommon, where he remained until 1959. He was the State Hatchery Superintendent in Lansing from 1959 until 1963 when he became the Regional Director for Region 2 of the reorganized Department of Natural Resources of Michigan, based in Roscommon.
As Regional Director Troy managed the DNR activities for the northern half of the Lower Peninsula from 1963 until his retirement in 1981. During that time Troy played a central management role in the Michigan salmon restocking program and was an important part of the successful planting of Coho salmon in 1966 and Chinook salmon in 1967, and the success of the program when the Coho returned in 1967 and the Chinook in 1968 and began to reproduce in Michigan waters.
Troy was also heavily involved in the management of the aftermath of ecological disasters in Michigan, including the oil well blowout that contaminated groundwater in northern Michigan, in the safe disposal of the PBB-contaminated cattle in 1977 and in the containment of the Fletcher file in 1968.
Troy truly loved Michigan and the outdoors. He hunted and fished throughout his life, and he was happiest in the woods or on a lake. Michigan is a little better place because of his lifelong contributions to its natural environment.
Troy had three children, Cornelia, Eric and Dawn Yoder. He is survived by Cornelia; by his granddaughter, Karilynn Yoder; and his great-granddaughter, Gabriella Sanford, all of Traverse City. He is also survived by a granddaughter, Tracy; and by Mary VanValin and Carole Chirgwin, of Traverse City, daughters of his longtime partner, Juanita VanValin, who passed away in May, 2012.
At Troy’s request, his body has been donated to medical research. There will be a memorial service on Friday, July 12, 2013, at 2 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 6726 Center Road, Traverse City, MI. All of Troy’s friends and associates are invited to attend and share their memories of him.
No memorial contributions are expected.