The funeral service for Mitchell Oliver Pinnock was held that first Sunday at All Saints Anglican Church. All Saints was the only Anglican church in the county, and the sanctuary was packed with mourners.
Mr. Pinnock had a stellar reputation in New Bern. He had made it his practice in the twelve years he had been at First Fidelity to supply the local high school baseball team with their uniforms, with the name of the bank stenciled attractively on the back of the shirts, of course. He did not hesitate to offer the lobby of the bank once a month for the Red Cross’ blood drive, and he was always the first in line to donate. First Fidelity was also the central location for “Toys for Tots,” a Christmas charity for local families living below the poverty line.
As Rector Maurice Wright gave the eulogy, he emphasized Pinnock’s philanthropy and community-mindedness. “Friends,” he said, “we just never know when the Good Lord will close the book on our lives and call us to Himself. Let’s all resolve to live such lives of care and concern for others that our good deeds will go before us, guaranteeing us a place in heaven.”
Most at the service could be heard muttering a quiet “Amen” to Rector’s Wright’s admonition, with the exception of Robert Baker whose quiet tears expressed a concern for Mr. Pinnock that a chorus of even loud amens could not.
After the service, Mrs. Pinnock was comforted by numerous friends and family members. Michael Pinnock, the oldest son, had flown in from California to mourn his father. Many said that he looked just like his dad. Surprisingly he did not shed a tear at the memorial service, nor at the graveside gathering in the afternoon. Some said, “Well, he is like his father; he keeps his emotions in check.”
Michael’s sister Mary wept openly at both services, while simultaneously seeking to console her mother. Mary had been notified of her father’s passing while she was on a short-term missions’ trip to Ecuador, working with a team of professionals who were building a children’s orphanage in Quito.
At the graveside service, Mary had a brief conversation with First Fidelity’s head teller Mr. Baker, and he gave her a consoling embrace as the family gathered to go back to the Pinnock home.
“I am so sorry for your loss,” Rector Wright said to Mrs. Pinnock at the conclusion of the graveside service.
“Thank you, Reverend Wright,” said Mrs. Pinnock. “It is all just so, so sudden!”
“I know. I know, Mrs. Pinnock. But he is in a better place now, as the Bible promises us from cover to cover. May the peace of the Lord comfort your heart.” Rector Wright shook her hand and slowly walked to his car.
“A ‘better place.’ I’m not so sure,” Mrs. Pinnock whispered to herself, as her son and daughter guided her to the family SUV.
“My deepest condolences, Mrs. Pinnock,” Janet Miller said as she reached out her hand.
“Thank you, Janet,” Mrs. Pinnock said. “I know that you and Mitchell were close.”
“Yes, we were. He was such a kind man and helped me get adjusted to my new job.” Oh my goodness, thought Janet to herself. Did she know? (to be continued)