Remembering Kathryn Yutzy
August 4, 2019 was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and Kathryn wanted to go horseback riding. After choosing a horse, I, Reuben, saddled it for her. I had a hold of the lead rope as Kathryn was getting started. The horse wanted to take off, so we backed him up a few steps. He panicked and backed up rapidly, since he was a trained reining horse. He stumbled and fell backwards. Kathryn fell, hitting the back of her head on stones. As she fell, the reins got tighter and pulled the horse on her. After regaining his footing, the horse ran off. Kathryn wasn’t breathing. I called 911 then did CPR. When paramedics arrived, she was breathing. They contacted Life Flight.
She was admitted to Akron City Summa Trauma Center. The Doctors did a CAT scan. They reported that her brain was seriously injured and She would be fighting for her life the next ten to twelve days. Since her whole brain was injured, options were limited. In the next few days her brain swelled, causing a lot of pressure. The medication still had no effect. Kathryn fought hard and was very strong. The nurses were amazed.
She is now in heaven with no pain or tears. Walking in the light of Jesus, singing and worshiping the King of Kings. While also in some divine way, cheering our children and me on in this life, until we will all be together in our eternal home.
Kathryn’s husband, Reuben Yutzy
What Kathryn Meant to Me
I met Kathryn when we were living in Colorado. Neither of us had a lot of Family out there, and we worked together, so we became close quickly. We spent most days togeth- er and I think of her as a sister, really, more than a friend. Despite difficult situations she walked through, she was always brimming with encouragement or scripture that applied to things I was going through. She had an incredible spirit of joy, hospitality and gener- osity that shone through her. She was a great blessing in my life; someone I loved to be around, and I will miss her tremendously until I see her again!
Mary Sue Troyer
I had the privilege of spending time one on one with Kathryn to share and pray together. She had a hunger to learn all she could about being a true solider—a warrior, standing in the gap for people she loved! She desired to be a godly wife and mother. I was inspired by Kathryn's love. she loved deeply. She loved the Lord, her husband and children, her family, and people in general. She had a pure heart for the Lord. She had a desire to do all, and be all the Lord had for her.
I will always be blessed by her complete trust and surrender to the Lord with her own life and the lives of her husband and children. She believed God would never allow anything in their lives that He would not give them grace to go through. She was convinced if they got hurt throughout life He was also the only one who could truly heal their hurts. I now see a mother who had her family covered in prayers for the years she won't be there with them!
Transcript of family sharing at funeral
Diana Yutzy I'm not really sure how you put someone's life in a paper, but I'll try. For those of you that don't know me, I'm Diana. I married into the Yutzy family about 5 1/2 years ago and my husband and Reuben were best friends, so me and Kathryn had no choice but to be good friends -but it was a privilege.
She had a few years of a head start in the Yutzy family, and so she taught me a few things. One of the first things she ever told me was, "The secret to keeping a Yutzy man happy is a big bowl of popcorn." And boy was she right! She taught me a lot of things. She introduced me to a French Press; She taught me the good way to take care of my kids when they were sick, but more importantly she taught me the core values of life, love and loving others. She lived life serving to know Jesus better and she tried to be more like Him. She always listened and she always gave me her honest opinion, which I appreciated. She was a rock star mom -she was always so organized. I never could figure out -I had 2 and she had 4, and she still had me beat by like 5 miles. I never really knew how she had it together -with all her children but, yesterday when I was thinking about like what I would say, all I could think about was that song where it says, "She's the one that taught them about Jesus, and she's the one that taught them to sing. She deserved an armful of roses, but I know she would've been satisfied with just a handful of weeds."
When I was thinking about what I would say, the word mansions just kept coming to my mind. Anybody that knows me and Kathryn, know we had one thing in common and that was design. We would, every time we got together -it didn't matter if I'd seen her the day before, we would talk about our dream homes, and I think I knew every corner of hers and she knew every corner of mine, but yet we'd talk about it like we'd never heard it before. A couple of weeks before her accident, she was at my house and we spent the day together and we were sitting in the back yard, watching the children play and um, we got into this conversation again like always, and I remember asking her -I said -I'm like "Kathryn, would you ever want to build another home again?" And she sat straight up in her chair, laughed at me and she said, "Diana you know, I would tell you, but I can't, but maybe one day. And now I know today that she has a mansion over the hilltop. And I know it's so beautiful and I know that she's at peace with her Saviour and her little ones. She gave me the best last day and my heart is rejoicing that she is home. I know someday she will welcome us at those gates, with her angel babies all around her saying, "Howdy, howdy, come on in," just like she always did. In moments like this, we learn a beautiful truth. What maybe feels like a mistake to us, is no mistake. We just need to make it our mission one day to be reunited. I know that restoration and healing is around the corner and it will come. Kathryn, you demonstrated the most important level of friendship two moms could ever have. You loved Jesus, you loved me and you loved my family as if it was your own. So today, I promise to do my duties to love yours in return -to remind them over and over about your love and never let your legacy fade. Well done, well done good and faithful one. You've run your race and now you're home. Welcome to the place where you belong. Until next time my friend!
Leroy Yutzy I'm Leroy, Reuben's oldest brother. I got a little story to share -what we've experienced with Kathryn and Reuben over the years. Karen and I, -there's a man sitting back here in the crowd, that's not with the family; he was like a father to Reuben and Kathryn -from Colorado. His name is John. Us three had the privilege to celebrate Reuben and Kathryn's first anniversary. There's a story behind how it all happened. We ended up out in Colorado, and the one morning we decided we're gonna go rafting down the Rio Grande River, so Reuben went out in the shed and got the raft -and we start to inflate this thing, but we noticed there's something missing here. So one of the plugs were missing and we couldn't figure out how to inflate this thing without a plug. and of course Reuben's unique design -he got a stick, shaved it down to the size of the hole -or yeah, size to the plug we need, got a Walmart bag and plugged it -and it worked. We didn't say anything to nobody. So we had this John guy take us down in between Del Norte and West Fork -dropped us off at the river. So we floated down the river about 5 miles and all at once we noticed that this raft is getting a little soft. Still nobody said anything. We had a 7 mile raft -is what we had in mind. But it got softer and softer and all at once we didn't have no choice but explain to the ladies what had happened and then the panic button pushed a little bit. But we made it! Our destination was where Reuben and Kathryn got married the year before.
Kathryn had a unique way of making preparations just in a short way -a very unique way of preparing the food. We built a fire out there at exactly the place where Reuben and Kathryn exchanged their vows. I'll never forget. That was a unique moment. She introduced to us the jalepeno peppers filled with cheese, wrapped in bacon. We never had anything like that before, but yeah, we'll never forget. We're gonna miss Kathryn. In the past three weeks, we went through an emotion -lows and highs like we never expected to go through. Sitting in a waiting room, not knowing what we're gonna be facing next. We wanna thank you for your prayers. We wanna thank you for your support, your visitations, the meals that were brought in to the hospital. Unbelievable! Realizing we were not alone. We want to thank you -the church here -the leadership -the hospitality. The hospitality was amazing. It's unbelievable how the church just pitched in and supported. I wanna bless this leadership what they have built here, as they continue serving the Lord. I want to thank the Grabers, what they've meant to us. Phil, Rose, what a mom and dad to your family. What an example -sitting there -traveled 12 hours to get to the hospital. I can't even imagine what this family went through traveling -what went through their minds during this time. I want to thank you guys for who you are. I wanna bless you. We're all gonna miss Kathryn.
So what's next? Sunday morning as I was sitting and studying, the Lord showed me a scripture and that just gave me peace. In Exodus 14, the Children of Israel had just left Egypt -They were going and all at once they heard all kinds of commotion -seeing all kinds of commotion. Pharaoh coming with his army -with his chariots and all his stuff. And they started complaining to Moses -they blamed Moses for bringing them out here so they could die. They even said, "Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians, for it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, then that we should die in the wilderness." But then Moses said to the people, "Fear ye not. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will show you to you today." You think the people relaxed? They had no other choice but stand still. See the salvation of the Lord. Thank you!
Karen (Graber) Borntrager These past couple days, I've been working on writing this tribute to Kathryn, and I wondered how I could possibly sum up her 26 short years on this earth. It's a little tough with the way she lived life to the fullest. Growing up with Kathryn was a blessed adventure. She was full of life -an adventurous tomgirl is the way I would describe her as a young girl, with a very infectious personality. When you got around her, she was gonna do her best to leave you with a smile or cause you to laugh about something. She loved sunrises and sunsets, going on walks with her sisters, family, a friend. Many memories were made sleeping on the trampoline under the stars. Swimming, camping, horseback riding and pulling pranks on Ervin were just a few of her favorite things. She enjoyed sitting around the campfire with a pot of coffee -cousins, family, friends, or anyone who had the time; swapping stories or singing songs. Throughout her 26 year life span, she wore many hats. Daughter, sister, friend and wife, but her favorites were mother and daughter of the one true King! She loved spending time worshipping and praising in song. On more than one occasion she would advise, "Just start singing and praising. It's going to make things look a lot brighter and better."
Her little family meant the world to her. She worked tirelessly caring for them. The phrase -The greatest thing you do for the Kingdom of God, may not be what you do, but who you raise -truly comes to mind when I think of the way she took care of the kids. Throughout her life, various trials and struggles were endured as anyone on this earth will go through, but she chose to respond like a pearl. She allowed the struggle to varnish away the grime. It strengthened her faith and God truly became the firm foundation she stood on. No matter how rocky life got, she would carry on and fight hard to do what she felt was right in God's eyes, no matter what anyone said. In the midst of her trials, she still found time to reach out and help others. We've had the wonderful privilege of getting to meet a lot of her friends -church family that through the phone we heard names, but we never seen faces -and we have been so blessed. That is something that we've heard over and over, coming from so many of you -how you guys could just be real with her. No matter how busy she was, she still had the time for a cup of coffee. Whether it was a phone call to say hi, a coffee date, a meal delivered, listening ear, or babysitting, she took the time -made the time, no matter how busy she was. She had a ministering spirit and loved to serve others. When asking for her advice, she didn't tickle ears, but she gave sound Biblical wisdom -things she had learned in difficult relationships, truths the Lord had shown her and she was real with you.
She loved to share messages that she heard right here in this sanctuary. Many times I got a call. Hey Karen, are you busy or do you have time for a chat? And we would sit there and talk for an hour or more about those messages. She just loved to share what she was learning. Earlier this year, Kathryn and I were having a conversation and she shared with me how God often takes someone down their own Roman road -to bring them close to Him. She was referring to how Saul, the greatest persecutor of the Christian church in that day, was going down the Roman road and God struck him down, and he now became Apostle Paul. I said, "Yes, and often He uses those closest to us to accomplish that." And she said, "If losing my earthly life would help bring even one soul to salvation in Christ, then it would be so worth it." There is so much more that could be said for her, but I know one thing she would want all of you to know -she would want us to rejoice with her. If it wouldn't be for the sacrifice of Jesus on that cross, this day would be unbearable. But because of His sacrifice, we have hope. And she would want each of you to know that there is hope -just call on Christ.