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Esther (Bell) White Riddick, known to many as Esther Bell, was the daughter of the late Clarence and Rosa L. White. She was born on August 4, 1941, in Chowan County by a mid-wife and she entered eternal rest on December 27, 2023.
Esther’s life journey commenced at an early age within the embrace of Greater Welch’s Chapel Baptist Church, guided by the late W. T. Davis, Sr. Subsequently, she devoted 42 years of unwavering service under the leadership of Pastor F. L. Griffin, Jr., until his passing. Following this chapter, she continued to be a devoted member under the guidance of Pastor Carolyn Griffin. Her commitment to serving Pastor Franklin and Pastor Carolyn was characterized by an eagerness to fulfill any needs they had, executed with utmost respect. Actively engaged, she contributed to the Pastor's Aide and Pastor Support Ministry, and also assumed the role of vice president of the Missionary Board for a period. At one point, she lent her voice to the choir. Esther embodied LOVE, CARE, and COMPASSION, finding joy in life and in connecting with others. Serving and living for the Lord brought her immense satisfaction. Esther's benevolence knew no bounds – she was always ready to extend a helping hand to anyone in need, as long as it was right and within her capabilities.
On August 20, 1967, she entered into Holy Matrimony with Thomas R. Riddick, a union that endured until her passing. Through this sacred bond, they were blessed with two children, Kaseen and Violet. Her children and grandchildren held a deep affection for her, cherishing her as a beloved mother and grandmother. Esther's face would illuminate with joy whenever she had the chance to see her grandchildren, especially given that they resided at a distance.
Esther received her education at Hudson Grove School, located right on the church grounds, as well as at White Oak Consolidated School and D. F. Walker School. Her dedication and industrious spirit were evident throughout her career. She served the community within the school system, taking on roles as a bus driver and cafeteria worker. Additionally, she showcased her talents as a seamstress for numerous years. Pursuing her passion for caregiving, she attended nursing school and eventually became a nurse at Ahoskie Hospital. Her professional journey also included a significant tenure at Purdue. In her final professional role with Gates County Inter-Regional Transportation System (GITS), she found great fulfillment in daily interactions with people. Esther was truly a committed servant, exemplifying unwavering dedication to others. Outside of her professional pursuits, she enjoyed creating flower arrangements and jewelry, hobbies she passionately pursued until circumstances limited her involvement.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Rosa L. White, and a granddaughter, Kimberly D. Artis. Esther leaves to cherish her lasting memories, her husband, Thomas R. Riddick; two children, a son, Kaseen (Dorothy) of Gatesville, NC and a daughter, Violet West of Mt. Rainer, Maryland; three grandchildren, Monique of Washington, DC, Kaseen (Sheena) of Elizabeth City, NC, and LaTesha of Washington, DC; six great grandchildren, Jaylan, Malea, Somari, Constance, Kaidan and Kavion; a brother-in-law, Rudolph Riddick (Thelma), along with a host of loving relatives, friends, and church friends.
Esther held a special place in her heart for a select group of cherished friends. Pastor Carolyn Griffin was not just a spiritual leader but also a sisterly figure in her life. Esther Freeman, with whom she shared her upbringing, was more than a dear friend; she was a sister to Esther. Another close sisterly bond existed with Jean Freeman, and Phyllis Griffin was another valued friend whom Esther held dear.
A viewing and visitation will take place on Friday January 5, 2024, from 4pm to 7pm at the funeral home.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday January 6, 2024, 1pm at Greater Welch's Chapel Baptist Church.
Final resting place for our beloved will be in the Greater Welch's Chapel Baptist Church cemetery.
You can send your condolences to the family via the guestbook provided online and it will be shared with the family.