Mary Alyce Merkel Eshelman

- February 4, 2024

Mary Alyce Eshelman, 76, of Roanokepassed away on Sunday, February 4, 2024. She succumbed to a short battle with cancer. Her passing will leave a hole in this world that will never be filled.

Mary was precededin death by her father and mother,Paul and Margaret Merkel and her sisters, Connie Barnard and Judy Boor.

She is survived by her husband, Don;son, David; and daughter Bethanna Rakes, (Sam);and two grandchildren Leah Eshelman and Jeremiah Thompson.

Marywas so many things to so many people. As a pastor’s wife she was a shining example of how to walk the path of a Godly woman. She gave selflessly to charity of her time and energy. She was a source of comfort to friends and parishioners. She sent sincere prayer up to the Lord for happy events as well as sad. She played the piano in church for over 40 years. She grounded her soul in her faith and she centered her faith on the Lord. As a friend, she was tireless in her support. Always providing a word, a meal or a small gift, just when it was needed. She always seemed to know just what you needed to hear. She would listen to a person without judgement and after speaking to her the individualalways went away feeling better. Somehow she said just what you needed to hear, just when you needed to hear it. As a wife and homemaker, she was amazing. Her cookies remain the unquestioned standard by which all pretenders will be measured.

For all birthdays and Christmases she would make you feel so special. From the special birthday cakes, to the hand knitting of dolls for the Shoebox ministry, to the little items she picked up all year long for children she would never meet, her child‑like glee always reminded us it is more blessed to give than to receive. She was her family's heart , soul, and spirit.

Mary gave her never failing support to her husband, Don in their 45 years in ministry. There was no question about her devoted life to Christ, she truly gave her all to King Jesus. She raised her children David and Bethanna full heartedly,with love and spirituality. She was an example of theGodly wife and mother Bethanna strives to be, and the kind of woman David hopes to have some day. Mary was a woman that they just don’t make any longer.

In lieu of flowers the famly requests that memorials be made to Hope Bible Church 5512 Hollins Road Roanoke, VA 24019 or to the Samaritan's Purse for Operation Shoe Box P O Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607.

Funeral services will be conducted 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Simpson Funeral Home 5160 Peters Creek Road by Pastor Ben Miller. Interment will follow in Cedar Lawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 9, 2024 at Simpson Funeral Home. 540-366-0707