27 November 2010

Obituary--George Wheeler Packard

Oops, I almost posted a repeat obit.  
So after scrambling around I found this one of an "aged pioneer" that hadn't yet been posted.

From the 23 January 1913 Fremont TimesIndicator

George W. Packard Died at the Age of 82 Years--Had Been a Resident of Newaygo COunty Since 1866

George Wheeler Packard, an old resident of this community, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E. E. Vannoy, in the northwest part of this city, Jan. 16 at the advanced age of 82 years.
Mr Packard was born in New York state, October 15, 1831.  When ten years old he moved with his parents to Ohio, then the far distance west, much of the way through virgin forests and thence to Wayne county in this state.  When 21 years of age he migrated to Hillsdale county, making the journey from Wayne county on foot.
In 1866 he came with his young wife to Newaygo county, having been advised to do so by physicians, by home he was thought to have contracted consumption.  He her purchased 160 acres of uncleared land, which he proceeded at once to turn into fields of growing grain, on which he built himself a home.
He was married in Litchfield, Hillsdale county to Mary Waldo, who died in the faith of the Christian 26 years ago, since which time Mr. Packard has found his richest companionships with his children, who loved him tenderly to the end, even more than men and women with families of their own are want to do with a parent, four of whom were present to minister to his comfort during his last illness, and three of whom were at his bedside when the end came.  Never being of robust health, he was the constant object of solicitude to his family, and they never wavered in their devotion to him.  He is survived by six daughters and one son: Carrie E. Woirrol, Ravenna; Dora A. Hardy, Holland; Lilie A. DeBow, Washington; Mertie E. Parker, Dayton;Anna A. Vannoy, Fremont; and Hubert E. pastor of the Free Methodist church at Woodville.  As also by two brothers, Otis, Toledo, Ohio; and Stary, Baldwin, Mich.
Mr Packard was converted when 18 years of age, and upon moving to Fremont, united with the Methodist church at this place, being at the time of his death the oldest member of the church.  A memorial window in the church bearing his name and that of his wife testifies the interest he maintained in the church of his choice.  He was a faithful and constant christian, loved by all who knew him, for he, like his Master, was "harmless and undefiled."  He early cultivated an even and loving temperment, which did not forsake him, when "feebleness extreme" incident to old age advanced.
In the enjoyment of consciousness to the last, supported by promises of the Scripture, which he quoted, and exhorting others to seek and find the same footsteps he had found, he closed his eyes to the world scenes to open them in glory.
The funeral took place from the Methodist church at 2 p.m., Saturday, Rev. W. J. Cross officiating.  The body was interred in Maple Grove cemetery.

As so typical of the time, much is made of his faith and church life.  One thing I find rather interesting is that his physicians would send him to what was then a forested, and rather swampy land of virgin timber and cold damp winters, to help cure his consumption.  But then, he did manage to survive 47 years after coming to this part of the state, so maybe hard work helped him.

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