Classmates, teammates hold memorial for 13-year-old

Published 10:55 pm Thursday, April 22, 2010

Young Payton Yoders death Tuesday morning has touched the community far and wide this week.
Yoder, a sixth grade student at Polk County Middle School, was found dead Tuesday morning in his home after being ill with strep throat, according to the Polk County Sheriffs Office.
The middle school was scheduled to tell students yesterday morning during homeroom and counseling for students was available. A memorial may also be done for Yoder at the school, according to principal Hank Utz. Utz said Monday the news was hard on the staff.
Yoder was also mentioned during a Tryon Town Council meeting Tuesday night by Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples. A moment of silence was held for Yoder and his family by council and local residents. Peoples said it was difficult for him to fathom, considering he coached Yoders older brother several years ago in track. Peoples said Yoders father checked on him around 5 a.m. and he was fine and then his mother checked on him at 8 a.m. and he was dead.
Yoder was a baseball player with the Polk County Little League. He was number 9 on the Watsons Flooring team. Little League officials say he just practiced with the team last Saturday and received his uniform.
His teammates are planning a memorial in honor of Payton during a game scheduled for today at 6:30 p.m. at the Polk County Recreation ballfields in Mill Spring. The Little League is also sponsoring a banner in honor of Yoder that will hang at the Mill Spring ballfields.
A memorial has been set up in honor of Yoder. Donations can be sent to the Payton Yoder Memorial Fund at Mountain First Bank and Trust, P.O. Box 445, Columbus, NC 28722.
Yoder was the son of Kenny and Jennifer Yoder of Green Creek.
The sheriffs office has requested an autopsy of Yoder for the exact cause of death. Investigators say they suspect complications with medicine because Yoder was otherwise healthy.

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