The Rev. Dr. Timothy Yeadon, former president of the LCMS New England District, died on Jan. 16. He was 62.
Yeadon was born on June 27, 1959, in Glen Cove, N.Y., to Margaret and Ray Yeadon. His childhood years were spent in East Northport, Long Island, N.Y. According to his online obituary, he had “many fond memories of Mill Neck Manor Lutheran School for the Deaf [in Mill Neck, N.Y.], where many family members and friends worked, including his aunt, Eunice Weidner.” During his teenage years, Yeadon worked as a member of the grounds crew at Mill Neck.
In college, Yeadon studied classics and history, graduating from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., in 1981. He married Ruth Schumacher in 1982, and the Yeadons moved to St. Louis so that Timothy could attend Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL). In 1985, Yeadon was called to serve as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Hartford, Conn., where he remained until his election as president of the LCMS New England District in 2012. During his time at St. Paul’s, he was a supervising pastor to 15 vicars and led three mission trips to Kenya, Africa.
As district president, Yeadon traveled extensively in New England as well as to Liberia and Germany. He served on the board of Mill Neck Manor Lutheran School for the Deaf. In 2021, he earned a Doctor of Ministry from CSL. In his free time, he enjoyed many outdoor activities as well as painting, woodworking, reading, singing and working crossword puzzles. He loved coaching youth sports and playing the part of the third king in the annual Boar’s Head Festival in Winsted, N.Y.
The Rev. Robert D. Beinke, Yeadon’s successor as district president as well as his friend, said, “President Yeadon was a great blessing to our New England pastors and congregations for years, first as a pastor, then in various positions in the district, and finally as our district president. As president, he led us through some very trying times — above all the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and the bombing of Boston’s Patriot’s Day marathon. His gentle and steady leadership was both shaped by his Savior and modeled his Savior. A friend of all, and my close friend, he will be deeply missed; and yet, we also rejoice that he is in our Savior’s presence. Well done, good and faithful servant!”
The Rev. Dr. David P.E. Maier, chairman of the LCMS Council of Presidents, said, “Tim was a gift from God to everyone who was blessed to know him. He was completely shaped by God’s grace and the love of his wife, Ruth.
“He was further shaped by the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. I believe he internalized much of what took place there. He had a fervent desire to love on and protect God’s people (and those who needed to know Jesus as Savior) and their shepherd there in that horrific tragedy, while at the same time trying to understand, ‘hold the line,’ and even appease those who criticized the ministry of the pastor there. He would quietly reflect on this with many tears.
“Tim was, at heart, a reconciler, and he embodied what the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write: ‘Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation’ (2 Cor. 5: 18–19). He is now with the Great Reconciler in heaven.”
In a letter to Yeadon’s family, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison wrote, “We shared many great times together. He went with me to Kenya about 15 years ago. It was my most memorable trip to Africa. He shared Christ in every conversation. His heart poured out with compassion on those in need. His mind delighted in every blessing of creation. He taught himself more Swahili in a week than most could possibly learn in a lifetime of visits. …
“His presence on the COP was a joy. His support and encouragement and kindness to me personally was a divine gift. …He faced the challenges of Newtown as a consummate pastor, forgave my shortcomings, asked for my forgiveness, and doggedly refused to let anything pull us apart as brothers in Jesus. I was honored beyond measure to serve with him.”
Yeadon is survived by his wife, Ruth; sons, Jonathan (Jennifer) and Daniel (Jen); grandsons, River, Erich and Luke; sister, Cathy; sister-in-law, Laura (Ernesto); father-in-law, Gary Schumacher; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
- St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 39 Prospect St, New Hartford, CT 06057; or
- Mill Neck Manor Lutheran School for the Deaf, 40 Frost Mill Rd, Mill Neck, NY 11765.
Posted Feb. 2, 2022