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The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1928

IN MEMORY.

Mary Ester CRITCHFIELD, daughter of Nelson C. and Nancy (CASSIL) CRITCHFIELD, was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox county, Ohio, June 17, 1855, and departed this life Wednesday morning, October 31st, 1928, at the home of her son, Roy MILLER, of Mount Ayr, Iowa. This death marks the complete passing of her immediate family. As the youngest member of the household her early life was most delightful, the happy, wholesome home influences providing a most fitting foundation for the worthy life that followed. In addition to the education obtained in the public schools, she was priveleged (sic) to attend a girls' boarding school at Gambier, Ohio. Her christion (sic) enlistment with the Gilloway Church of Christ was made at a very early age. This church afflilation marked the beginning of what proved to be a most beautiful christian life.

In the spring of 1874 the family moved to Ringgold county, Iowa, and settled on a farm in Union township. The next few years of this young lady's life were spent as a teacher in Ringgold county's rural schools. On September 27, 1877, she was united in marriage to John W. Miller, a member of one of Ringgold county's pioneer families, and they started their married life on a farm four miles northwest of Mount Ayr. This marriage proved to be one of the ideal happiness, consequently this home lent cheer to all who entered, hospitality radiating from every nook and corner.

To this union were born five children. Burr, the eldest son, died af the age of five years. On March 16, 1892, a runaway team caused the instant death of the father and husband, leaving the brave mother and the four children, Nelle Jane, Nina Belle, James Leroy and John Wilson. In the face of this tragic blow Mrs. MILLER assumed the added responsibility as only a mother can, meeting the struggles and trying situations in a heroic manner, relying always on her Heavenly Father for help.

With the exception of ten years residence in Des Moines the later years of the deceased were spent in Mount Ayr and vicinity. Since 1918 this dear mother has lived in the homes of the children, each home esteeming it a blessed privilege to welcome the prsence of this splendid character and the influence of this good life will ever reamin as a living monument in the hearts of her loved ones. Possibly her happiest moments were those spent with the grandchildren. They are John Andrew, Margaret Esther and Nancy Jane McKAY, Mary Esther, George Sidney and Robert Miller ALLYN, Dan CASSIL, Josephine Ann and Helen Jeanette MILLER, James Henry, Katherine Louise and Jay MILLER.

The place she occupied in the life of the church was another evidence of her consecration and love. her devotion and willingness to serve in any sphere of opportunity were the fruitage of a life deep in its spiritual reaches and broad in its sympathies. The faith that comforted her through the trying hours of her young widowhood was continually radiated through her personality and sustained her to the end.

It was ever a delight to be a fellow worker withher in the task of the Kingdom and the place she occupied in the life of the visible church will be difficult to fill. As she goes on to the church triumph we pray for the like strength and faith to accept the further responsibilities that come to use with the succeeding years. The memory of her life and work in the church is a challenge for, whether in prayer life, in church activities, in Bible school class or in the more tender ministrations in hours of sorrow, her poise and faithwere continual source of strength to her friends.

"Whose love can equal the love of a Mother
Whose the devotion so loyal and true!
Who suffers so much with such joy for another
Who works with such pleasure as Mother for you!
You hail with delight the friendship of others
You revel in love of the sweetheart you've won
Yet where do you find a friendship like Mother's
Unbroken till death calls and life's work is done."

NOTE: Mary Ester (CRITCHFIELD) MILLER was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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