Esther Eddins Bethea

Published 11:37 am Saturday, March 19, 2011

Esther Eddins Bethea was one of Gods most faithful servants and an ardent supporter of her church the First Assembly of God Church in Atmore of which she was the last living charter member. Esther was born in 1911 as one of eight children to Joseph and Jesse Eddins of Walnut Hill, Fla.. Many of her siblings enjoyed long lives but none as long as Esther’s she would have been 100 on April the 9th of this year. Esther married Clifford H Bethea Sept. 5, 1916 at only 15 years of age and they had two children Clifford A Pee Wee and Louise both of whom predeceased their mother. She had three grandchildren she loved dearly Earl Andrews, Ellen Ovson and Karen Mitchell. She also was blessed with two great grand children, Ellen’s children Justine and Sunny. Earl preceded his Grandmother; she is survived by her great Grandchildren, Ellen, Karen and her daughter in law Levoyce Bethea.

Esther was a home maker waking early to make breakfast for Clifford before he went to tend the farm or the grocery stores he had in Atmore, taking care of the children and then making a big Dinner in the middle of the day. Esther was a wonderful cook whose scalded cornbread no one could match. She devoted herself to her church on Sundays spending most of the day there teaching Sunday school followed by services; many people in Atmore still remember being taught by Miss Thea. Esther also worked as a seamstress making beautiful wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses for lucky girls in Atmore. One such young lady remained in touch with Esther her entire life, never failing to thank her for making her wedding special more than 40 years after the event. As a hobby Esther also sewed and quilted making back to school clothes for her granddaughters, even Barbie dresses to match if requested. She provided everyone in the family with beautiful quilts as she made them faster than she could give them away this tradition in quilt making passed down to her by her mother Jesse.

Esther was widowed in 1969 when Clifford H Nandy Bethea passed away. She never remarried but continued to live an active life in Atmore focusing on her church, friends and family for many years. She loved to fish and often went to the lakes around Atmore fishing for catfish or down to Florida where she would fish in the Indian River with her son. Returning with boat loads of fish she would clean and filet before frying them for a big meal she would always enjoy.

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Late in life Esther moved to Bay Minette to live with her sister Velma until her passing. In 2006, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to be near her Granddaughter Karen where she was living when she passed. Esthers last years were filled with simple pleasures she enjoyed, singing hymns, praying, visiting with family and friends and perhaps most importantly eating. She enjoyed her meals more than any one and loved fired crab claws and ice cream. Well anything sweet. Cakes, cookies, pies all the time saying she didnt eat many sweets. She never failed to eat everything off her plate and all those who helped her late in her life always enjoyed watching her eat and enjoy that part of her day. She was truly loved by the many caretakers who made her life better in both Bay Minette and Atlanta. To this group of women the family is eternally grateful.

Mostly, we will miss Esther’s love of life her big smile which would always light up when you entered the room and those huge hugs she gave everyone. To sum up a life of 99 years in a few words is impossible but Esther would want to be remembered as a woman of God, a woman who enjoyed life and was thankful for each day yet was ready for the lord when he called her. We will miss her but know she is at peace with her savior and all those dear to her who have gone on before.

Services will be held at The First Assembly of God Church at 2:30 p.m. Sunday March 20, 2011.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home Inc. Atmore AL. is in charge of arrangements.