OBITUARY FOR ESTHER FUNKHOUSER PITMAN
Esther Pitman, late widow of Emanuel Pitman, died on the 12th of November 1853 of dropsy of the chest, in the 78th year of her age, at her residence, Shenandoah County, Virginia.
Mother Pitman was awakened and led to seek God in the blessing of experimental religion by the preaching of William Otterbein, about the time that that man of God began his regular summer tours through the Valley of Virginia and elsewhere.
In relating the circumstance of her conversion she has been heard to that on a certain occasion when in the very act of receiving the emblems of the body and blood of Christ from the hand of Otterbein, she experienced the rich out pouring of God's forgiving and sanctifying grace in her heart, and was made unspeakably happy in Jesus' "dying love." She then connected herself nominally with Otterbein's people-- the United Brethren in Christ--God continuing to her conscience his approbation, and she continuing to walk in "newness of life."
This good old lady, it is true, was not sectarian or prejudiced in nominal churchism; nevertheless, she was always most dearly attached to, and interested in, the church of her choice; being very liberal in the support of the ministers, and unceasingly tendering to them the hospitalities of her table and house.
She bore her last affliction with great patience and cheefulness, never complaining. I visited her frequently a short time before her death, and found her, at each visit, to be the happiest and most cheeful sick person I ever saw, smiling and rejoicing and talking most richly and sweetly about her certain expectations of soon being with her sweet and blessed Jesus. A fortnight before this precious mother left for the upper church, Br. Coursey and I administered to her the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and O, how happy and calm she seemed to be.
The funeral occasion was improved in the presence of a large collection of relatives and acquaintances in the use of Job 14:14.
The deceased's children and children's children number one hundred and ten.
She now rests in the grave beside the dusty bed of the dear partner of her bosom, whom she followed to the tomb on the 15th of April 1850.
Oh, may the pious life of Esther Pitman long remain in the remembrance of her many surviving relatives, neighbors and acquaintances, as a "living epistle" to be remembered and read; and while we mourn the loss of one so dear and so good out of the church on earth, may we seek to join her blest in the church in Heaven.
Luray, Page Co. Va.
Dec. 1, 1853