NOTES OF THE DEATHS OF EMANUEL AND ESTHER PITMAN
Esther Funkhouser Pitman's son Levi (brother of Susan B. Pitman) kept a diary or journal for many years and the following excerpts are taken from his diary at the time of the death of his mother.
His mother had been described as very ill for some time and various sisters would come to the home to be with her and share in the care-taking tasks. Then--
12 November 1853--My dear Mother departed this life this evening about half past four o'clock in prsence of myself and family and sister Elizabeth Heller and C. Longs family and Miss M. Eberly. She died in peace, entirely resigned to God and in the triumph of Faith. The same evening proper arrangements were made for her funeral. Young folks came in to wake for the night.
13 November 1853--Heavy rains this morning. Some of the relations came home. In the evening it cleared off again. Mother's grave was dug by Henry Peer, Henry Snarr and others, coffin made by John Feller, brought down in the evening. Young men and women came in to wake, stay to wake for the night.
14 November 1853--Brother in law Heller took the money into his care that was laid away by Mother. It was found in gold and silver and notes, the amount $158.68. This amount I piad to her in cash at different times and besides I paid in cash about $75 for her buggy and about $45 more for an old horse and large amounts I paid in cash not added to the above. $10.00 was found that belongs to Wm. Miller, which he loaned to Br. Heller, he gave his note for it. The funeral of Mother took place in the forenoon. Present a large and respectable audience. A very large number of relatives are here. The funeral sermon was preached in the Freidens Church to a full house by Rev. L. Keller, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, til my change comes." After a fervent prayer by the Rev. Bowers. Mother was born in the year 1776, May the 16th, age 77 years, 5 months, and 27 days. A large dinner was prepared and the relatives partook of the same and when evening drew near they went home. Brother in law John Maphis and wife stayed for the night. Very fine day, moderate for the season.
The following entries are taken from the diary of Levi Pitman (brother to Susan B. Pitman) concerning the death of his father. At the present time we (Martha Baker Jones and others) have not been able to find an obit that was published.
13 April 1850--Father is very low. H. Peer and J. Snarr stayed till after breakfast. Two others came in. In the afternoon Wm. Bly came up to visit Father. Father ate a little dinner while setting up about 12 o'clock but towards evening he became very sick, his breath very laborious growing weaker and shorter till about 10 past 6 in the evening when he calmly expired in the advanced age of 78 years 2 months and 8 days. His posterity 99. W. Sibert, H. Peer, Mrs. Keller, Brother in law Jacob Hockman and wife and Mary Eberly together with our own family were present to witness Father's death. Truly a solemn scene to see a fellow creature pass away from among men. Wm. Sibert and H. Peer dressed him and laid him out. Chris Baker and Chris Sibert stayed for the night to wake.
14 April 1850--Mrs. Ponzer, Mrs. Keller, Baker's girl, Miss Sibert and L. Stump were here to bake and prepare for the funeral which will take place tomorrow. Relations and children are coming home. Very rough cold day with high wind and snow. Young folks are coming in to set up at the wake, large number of both men and women. H. Peer, H. Snarr, Jacob Keller and Wm. Borden are digging the grave. Keller was sent down to Uncle A. Pitman and J. Fisher to Middletown for a minister but got none, then we sent for Rev. Keller to Strasburg.
15 April 1850--This day Father was buried in Keller's graveyard. An unusually large funeral in attendance, sermon preached by Rev. Keller at Freidens Church his text 7 chapter 2 verse of Ecclesiastes. Afterwards relations and friends were invited to come to the house to take refreshment with others that felt disposed to do so. A very large number partook of dinner, perhaps upward of 100. A very fine day. In the evening people all left except brother in law J. Maphis and wife and Catherine Bauserman.
16 April 1850--I rode up to Woodstock. Had a short obiturary notice prepared of Father's death to have it published in the Tenth Legion.
Both Emanuel and Esther Pitman were buried in the Keller Cemetery which is located off the "Back Road" or route 626, near Mt. Olive in Shenandoah County, Virginia. At that time their home church, Mt. Hebron had no cemetery.
Martha Baker Jones
October 18, 1993