Yeda Iris Ribeiro Harder

Yeda Iris Ribeiro Harder passed away the morning of April 29, 2018 at 80 years old.  A Celebration of Life Service is Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM with visitation one-hour prior at Bethany Church in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Dr. Edward Dudek will preside.  Paul Harder, Robert Harder, Gary Harder, Terry Harder, Caio Ribeiro and David McLeod will act as pallbearers.  Yeda will be laid to rest at St. Michael Cemetery in Prior Lake.

On September 9, 1937, Christavao and Maria (Menezes) Ribeiro celebrated the birth of their beautiful daughter, Yeda.  She was a bright young girl growing up in Brazil with her siblings, Christavao, Fabio, Dalva, Caio and Elaine.  She could read the newspaper at age 5.  She had picked up reading just by listening to her mother teach her older brother.  This passion for learning followed Yeda throughout her life.  She graduated top in her Highschool class then attended the Federal University of Minas Gerais and studied music and piano at the Conservatory in Belo Horizonte.  She excelled at both and graduated #1 in her dental class.

While earning her degree, Yeda and a friend started a Sunday School in a nearby town.  Yeda always had a strong faith and a servant’s heart, as well as a heart for missions.  One day a missionary from Minnesota showed up at her dental office with a broken tooth.  Not only did Yeda get a new patient, but she also found the love of her life.  Clayton and Yeda began dating and were married a year later.   They exchanged wedding vows in Belo Horizonte on June 5, 1965.

As newlyweds, they moved to Altonia to join the work at Betania.  Yeda was the only Brazilian at Betania at the time and was very involved in many aspects of their work.  Her name was used with the Message of the Cross publication and secured the Ham Radio license allowing communication from Bethany in Bloomington with missionaries in Altonia.  During this time, she continued to practice dentistry in the clinic.  Yeda cared for all her patients with kindness and professionalism showing a servant’s heart in all her endeavors.

In 1967, Betania started a seminary, and Yeda took on the role of professor.  Throughout her many years there, she taught Portuguese, Music and Bible Theology.  Yeda, had a passion for learning and education. Yeda cared deeply for her students and taught them many valuable lessons in and out of the classroom.

Yeda and Clayton spent nearly 30 years working as missionaries in Brazil before moving back to Minnesota.  Their marriage was blessed with two wonderful sons, Paul and Robert.  Family and faith were the two most important things in Yeda’s life.  She loved spending time together as a family.  It didn’t matter if she was watching a soccer game, helping with schoolwork or being dragged on one of Clayton’s many crazy adventures… she just liked being together as a family.  This continued as her family grew.  Yeda loved being a grandma.  Her grandkids were the sunshine of her life.  One of Yeda’s most treasured times was when she and Clayton took the entire family on a vacation to the Dominican Republic to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  They enjoyed time at the beach, swimming in the ocean, and most importantly being together as a family.

After moving back to Minnesota, she began working in Playschool at Bethany Fellowship and continued teaching piano lessons. Yeda was a wonderful teacher and friend to her students.  She had a significant impact on many of the lives she touched through her music.  Yeda also enjoyed raising orchids, knitting and being a lifelong learner.

No matter what Yeda did, she put her whole heart into it.  She was a talented musician, compassionate dentist, inspiring teacher, life-long learner, never taking time for herself and a wonderful wife, mother and grandma.  Yeda was a strong and determined woman who will be remembered for her kind and generous heart.

Yeda is survived by her husband, Clayton Harder; sons, Paul (Susan) Harder and Robert (Jeanna) Harder; grandchildren, Ethan, Samuel, Emily, Madelyn and Isabelle; siblings, Dalva, Caio and Elaine; other loving relatives and many dear friends.  Yeda was greeted in Heaven by her parents, Christavao & Maria Ribeiro; brothers, Christavao and Fabio.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Iracema Ferreira dos Santos :

    Um grande mulher , sabia e de grande nobreza. Tive o grande privilégio de tê-la com professora no período do seminário. Deixa saudades e exemplo de vida. Deus abençoe os familiares nesse tempo de luto.

  2. Ana Leite Arantes :

    Uma mulher honrada, amorosa, dedicada e conselheira. Ela demonstrou tudo isso quando foi missionária juntamente com seu esposo aqui no Brasil, Altônia PR. Mulher de fé e compromissada no Reino de Deus. Trabalhei com ela no consultório dentário aqui no Seminário Bíblico Betânia, atendia a população aqui de Altônia com muita dedicação e amor, podendo assim testificar do amor de Deus! Triste com sua partida, mas alegre porque um dia nos encontraremos no céu! Abraços e que Deus conforte todos familiares e amigos.

  3. Ana Leite Arantes :

    Ao Clayton e familiares, meus sentimentos!
    Que o Senhor Jesus conforte vossos corações!
    Yeda foi uma mulher extraordinária, deixou amigos e exemplo a ser seguido aqui no Brasil, Altônia PR.

  4. Mirna de Alcântara Campos :

    Grata a Deus pelo grande legado que a Yeda deixou na vida daqueles por quem passou ou apenas cruzou.

    Privilegiados aqueles com quem dividiu a vida.

    Será sempre para mim uma reverente e saudosa lembrança!

    Meus sentimentos e oração por aqueles que têm pela frente o desafio de aprender a conviver com sua ausência.

  5. Cesar Rocha :

    My condolences to Clayton and entire family.
    I have many memories of Yeda from the time I was 8 years old way back in the ‘60’s growing up in Brazil.

  6. Pr. Helcio Duarte :

    My sincere misgivings !! May God comfort the whole family.

  7. Teresa Benson :

    So sorry for your loss. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know her sooner, she sounds like a really amazing woman.

  8. Arnaldo&Regina :

    Dra. Yeda & Clayton queridos Mestres!
    Deixara saudades!
    Arnaldo &Regina

  9. Don Lovestrand :

    Paul, and Robert, I’m so sorry for the passing of your mom. Big hugs from the Lovestrands.

    Don Lovestrand

  10. Rachel M Sambou (Renich) :

    Dear Clayton, Paul and Robert,
    We are so sad to hear of your loss. Yeda was a wonderful inspiration to me (Rachel) of having the unconditional love for the Lord and all those around her. I enjoyed working with her at the nursery. In taking care of those little ones, we had lively moments to share experiences and laugh , cry and pray together. You then became our prayer and financial supporters which we are more than greatful for. Yeda was devoted, determined, humble, strong, faithful, joyful and my list could continue on…she showed her love for our Lord in wonderful practical ways! We will miss her. May the Lord surround you with His love during this time and in times to come and may her memory and example always be an inspiration to you as it is to us. Thank you for everything.
    Please receive our most sincere condolences and please keep Psalms 121 in mind.
    Love from Roger Rachel (Renich), Eddie, Rosa, Roger and our Church in Senegal

  11. Maria de Belém Garcia Gomes agência :

    Que o bom e maravilhoso Pai console seus familiares!abraço grande no sr. Clayton, Paulinho e Beto. Minha gratidão a Deus por ter me dado o privilégio de tê-la tido como professora e irmã em Cristo

  12. Mary Alice Vatanabe :

    Clayton e filhos Deus lhes abençoe e lhes dê muita força neste momento. Meus sentimentos. Dra Yeda será sempre lembrada e reconhecida pelo povo de Altônia. Carinhosamente vos abraço.

  13. Simone Orcesi :

    Meus sentimentos a familia! D. Yeda foi de suma importancia para a influencia e crescimento espiritual de minha familia. Somos grata por seu tempo de serviço a Deus no Brasil e seu exemplo de amor que tanto nos influenciou e contribuiu com o avanço do Reino de Deus!

    em nome da familia Orcesi

  14. Vic and Ruth Laskowske :

    We have many wonderful remembrances of Yeda, as a Portuguese Teacher, neighbor, co-worker, and friend. Our sincere sympathies go to Clayton, Paul and Roberto.

  15. Vic and Ruth Laskowske :

    We have many wonderful remembrances of Yeda as our Portuguese Teacher, neighbor, co-worker and friend.
    Our sincere condolences to Clayton, Paul and Robert.

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