[The following obituary appeared in the South Western Christian Advocate on 10 May 1844, p. 101, written by Catharine’s Methodist circuit-riding son, Rev. George Whitfield Dye. Spelling and punctuation are as the Advocate printed.]
Bro. McFerrin, -- It becomes my painful duty to communicate to you, the death of my aged and much beloved mother, Catharine Green. Were I to be governed alone by my feelings, I could write enough to fill your very valuable paper; but as you have so many long obituaries, I shall, in as few words as possible, inform her old friends and the Church of Christ how she lived and died; omitting many things, that to my mind and heart are deeply interesting.
She was the daughter of Abraham Mayfield, and was born in Virginia, A.D. 1760. While yet young, she was awakened and soundly converted under the ministry of Methodist preachers. Her mother was a member of the Old Baptist Church, but, being unable to subscribe to the doctrines of that denomination, my mother joined the Methodist E. Church, and continued a member until death. Although she experienced many trials, and witnessed various changes, yet nothing could destroy or weaken her faith in the doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Church. My father was a regular built Old Side Presbyterian, but becoming better acquainted with Methodism and Methodist preachers, and having a wife well instructed in this school, he also became a member of the Methodist Church. My father removed to Georgia in 1798, where he died in 1807. Shortly afterwards my mother concluded to return to North Carolina, and spend at least a few days with her father, who was then more than 90 years old, but before she got there, he had gone to his long home. In 1809 she was married to Mr. Joseph Green of Warren, N.C., with whom she lived until 1823, when he left the walks of men. From this time until she died my house was her home. Last summer she was visited by her only daughter, who lives in Stewart county, and although old and feeble, she concluded to go over and spend a few weeks with her; I felt assured that she was too feeble to travel so far, but could not find it in my heart to oppose her. While there, her health became more feeble, but no danger was apprehended until a few days before her death, when symptoms became alarming. Expressing an ardent desire to see me, a messenger was sent to my circuit to apprize me of her situation; -- I rode through the snow and in the dark – but did not arrive in time to enjoy the melancholy satisfaction of being present at her death. She died at half past 3 o’clock, Thursday, 11th of January last, in the 84th year of her age. I need not tell you that I was deeply afflicted, but thanks be to God! her earthly career wound up just as might be expected of one, who almost from the days of her childhood had been a member of the Methodist Church.
She read the Bible so constantly and attentively that her mind was a tolerably good concordance: although in her old age she could not always remember the chapter and verse, yet give her the book and she would soon put her finger on the text. She was greatly attached to Mr. Wesley’s writings, -- especially his Sermons; and she hailed with great delight the weekly visits of your paper. She not only read, but understood what she read, and would often, when more than 83 years old, converse with the children particularly upon what she had read in your paper. She was a woman of remarkably industrious habits; I have never known her foolishly to waste an hour; but not withstanding her great industry, she would read the Bible, Wesley’s Sermons, and the S. W. C. Advocate, and generally kept them in reach of her chair.
She was warmly attached to Methodist preachers – and had enjoyed the privilege of hearing such men as Asbury, Freeborn Garrittson, and others of their day. Even in her old age, when the children would inform her that the preacher was coming, a spiritual illumination, like the brightness of youth, would beam from her countenance. I have never known her too busy to gladly stop all and prepare a dinner or a supper for a Methodist preacher. A few years ago I requested her to lay aside all work, and spend her time in reading and prayer, that she might at all times be ready for her change; but I soon ascertained that her knitting was her amusement and reading the Bible her daily work. Her education was limited, but she possessed great strength of mind, and was blessed with the exercise of her reasoning faculties to the very last hour – and also with the sense of sight and hearing; when nearly 84 years of age, she could read common print without the aid of glasses.
During her last illness she seemed impressed with the belief that she would not recover, and that her days were well nigh numbered, and although her daughter would frequently say, you have been as low before and recovered, yet the conviction seemed to be firmly fixed that she was going to her great reward. She talked of death and eternity with the calmness and composure of one in perfect health, and would frequently repeat the hymn commencing “My Savior my almighty friend.”
Thus lived and died my aged and long afflicted mother. She has left behind five children, a number of grand children and great grand children, and a long list of relations and friends to mourn her absence and to prepare to meet her in heaven; -- When I stood at her grave I felt as I had never felt before, the importance of this Scripture injunction – “Children obey your parents!” and a train of reflections come up which I trust will be profitable to me.
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
G. W. Dye
Feb. 14th, 1844.
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