Livia Nye Simpson Poffenbarger

Point Pleasant Register
November 3, 1937

Poffenbarger Tribute Paid

My pen falters, and my heart bows down with unspeakable sadness as I attempt to pay this tribute of respect to the memory of my friend, Mrs. George Poffenbarger.

What words could portray the beauty and symmetry of a life like hers, that was, ever, attuned to high and noble aims?

A devoted wife, an adoring mother, a sincere friend, and a consistent Christian, her loss is irreparable. Her superior mentality was most versatile and outstanding in all her many and varied achievements for she had the courage of her convictions, and being a tireless worker, she, usually, accomplished whatever she would undertake. Her many virtues of mind and heart shone resplendently in all her attainments, reflecting the beautiful soul from which they emanated. She was never too busy to be mindful of those less fortunate than herself.

Her big, noble heart was always responsive to the needy and distressed - her kind, helping hands ever extended to the poor and downtrodden. She never boasted of her generosity for "hearts that are great, never beat loud," but in a quiet, unobtrusive way, she carried sunshine into many a desolate home and relieved the wants of many an humble sufferer. Few, ever, of her best friends had any conception of the amount of good she accomplished.


She was the truest, the most sincere of friends.

Were all the kind deeds she ever did, all the kind words she ever said, all the generous thoughts she ever cherished, gathered together and woven into a garland, what a beautiful wreath they would make. Yes, more beautiful than the laurel wreaths of old with which the Greeks and Romans were wont to decorate the brows of their heroes and warriors!

Though Heaven alone records these deeds, and Fame may never know the story, she will live in our hearts with a "radiance that perishes never," and her memory will linger with us like the beauty of an autumn evening that has the faded sadness of dead hopes, and the tempest clouds of past storms, on its pale, sunless skies, and on the dead fire of its fallen leaves.

Though most capable of aligning herself with the tasks she wished to accomplish, and enjoying the success of her efforts, yet when illness and suffering entered her own life, she manifested a spirit of patience and resignation, born only of Christian hope and experience, and when the shadows were closing around her and she was nearing the threshold of immortal life, she was still possessed with the calm assurance of unswerving faith, and approached the change like one who "wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

Her family, and we, her sorrowing friends, though crushed with unutterable grief, do not repine, for we know that she, who we so dearly loved and admired, is at rest in that beautiful land "just over the river," safely sheltered from all cares and burdens of this material life.

"In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led -
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,
She lives, whom we call dead."

By Elizabeth Crowell Carnes, of Charleston.


West Virginia Archives and History