Sycamore Reserve profile: Helen Yoder


By Mike Beas

A business owner most of her life, Helen Yoder has long appreciated the importance of a positive first impression.

Her residence, Sycamore Reserve Senior Living in Indianapolis, continues to impress Yoder, 89, who moved there in June 2020 with her husband, Lyle.

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The late Lyle Yoder and Helen Yoder founded Yoder Kitchen Corp. (Photo courtesy of Helen Yoder)

Sadly, Lyle passed away in March at 91 – a little more than three months of what would have been the couple’s 72nd wedding anniversary.

“When we visited, it’s a beautiful place, for one thing. And the staff was the absolute best,” Yoder said. “Friendly. Helpful. They just look after their residents. It was so inviting to come here. We didn’t have to think about it long.

“And the food is very good, which is important.”

Lyle and Helen were married on June 24, 1950, at Mount Tabor Church in Nappanee.

It wasn’t long after that the couple founded Yoder Kitchen Corp. out of their garage.

The business, a Nappanee-based provider of exceptional cabinetry with generations of clientele throughout the United States, is nearing its 70th year.

The youngest of Lyle and Helen’s three children, their son, Shawn, 63, is now the CEO of Yoder Kitchen Corp.

Helen Yoder neither sounds nor looks like a person on the outskirts of 90. Thus, she makes it a point to enjoy as much of what Sycamore Reserve offers as possible.

“They have bingo here, there’s a beautiful fitness gym and we have entertainment that comes here at least once a week,” Yoder said. “I also like to play bridge, and there are fireside chats every night at 6 p.m.”

Sycamore Reserve sets out to create an environment that enables residents to live their lives to the fullest.

“The one thing is we could stay together. It gave us time together,” said Yoder, referring to Lyle’s final years. “The friendliness of the people living here, and, also, our chef and servers are very friendly and very helpful. It’s always nice to meet a smiling face.

“We have a lot of family, but a lot of people don’t, so that’s important. It’s just a good place to be.”