We have been saddened in recent weeks with the death of three of our beloved brethren: Sis. Esther Southwell and Sis. Maria Korchynsky, both in January and then last week (Mar 2, 2011) Bro. Bruce Gordon. They were all dearly loved by their families and friends. While we will miss them greatly, we take comfort in the promise that they now rest in Christ awaiting the blessed hope of the resurrection. Over the next few issues a eulogy will be dedicated to each one. This issue we remember Sis. Esther Southwell (nee McMahon).
“Esther Myrtle McMahon was born in Sale, Victoria, on 7 January, 1938 to Rob and Doll McMahon. She was the 9th child of 12 children and the 7th girl. At the age of 5 years her parents moved to Orbost. From there the family moved to Lochiel where Esther completed her schooling. Esther found employment at thePambula hospital, where she saved up and bought her first car. On December 4, 1957, she married Merv Southwell, her companion for 53 years. They made their home in Merimbula, NSW.
“Gary, Susan and Paul were all added to the family in time. The children attended the Merimbula Primary School, when Merv found employment at Streaky Bay in South Australia. Esther was involved in a laundry business with her sister, Eunice. During school holidays Esther would drive a Holden ute with the 3 children, a cat and a dog all the way to Streaky Bay, which took her 3 days each way. Never once did she break down and usually it was in the hot summer school holidays.
“Eventually they moved to Streaky Bay and spent many happy years there. All the children completed their High School there. Paul became very sick and Esther spent time treating him with natural treatments. All three children are married and between them they have two healthy grandsons.
"From Streaky Bay, Sr. Esther and Br. Merv went to New Zealand and from there were invited into the Bible work. They remained in the Bible Ministry up till their retirement a few years ago. They worked in the Queensland Field twice, as well as ministering to New Zealand, South Australia and Western Australia where they remained after retirement. They have lived in Bridgetown for 7 years. Sr. Esther loved her garden and grew many delicious vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Sis. Esther celebrated her 73rd birthday with her two nieces on January 7.
“One week later Sis. Esther and Bro. Merv went for a lovely bike ride on Friday morning. Just prior to sunset she went to her garden and brought in a few tomatoes, then suffered a massive stroke. She passed away peacefully Sabbath morning at 6am on 15 January, 2011. Sis. Esther is resting now and awaits her Loving Saviour's return. Wherever Sis. Esther went, she left encouraging words of comfort and hope to all. We remember her as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend.” Reproduced from “Sunshine News” (SDARM QLD Field Youth News Letter).