Marrowbone Pastors Speaks About Loss of Esh Family, Pictures of Family Released

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

A Mennonite community in Cumberland County is mourning the loss of ten of their own .

The Esh family was killed in a tragic wreck on I-65 Friday morning when a tractor-trailer slammed into their van.

Daniel Kemp went to Marrowbone, where the family was from, and spoke with their pastor.

"The more I talk, the more I think about how much we're going to miss them," said Leroy Kauffman, pastor of the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood Church. "It's going to be difficult."

Leroy Kauffman is remembering the lives of a family devoted to God.

"We're resting in the fact that all as far as we know, those who were in that van that were killed were saved and ready to meet their maker," Kauffman said.

Kauffman pastors the church where the Esh family attended.

He knew John Esh and his wife, Sadie, well.

John was Kauffman's wife's uncle.

"Knowing the Esh's as I have known them, their desire would have been to glorify God in their life and I know it was in their heart to glorify God in their death as well," the pastor said.

Of the ten who died were sisters Rose, Rachel and Anna Esh.

"She (Anna) was a godly young girl, just a real blessing," Kauffman said.

The family was traveling to a wedding, but Rachel and her boyfriend, Joel Gingrich, were planning one of their own.

"She wanted July, but her parents thought she should wait until September," Kauffman said. "Obviously, they didn't need to worry about that."

The only two survivors from the crash are little Johnny and Josiah Esh, adopted by Leroy Esh and his wife, Naomi, who both also died.

Their adopted two-month-old son, Jalen, did too.

Kauffman says a piece of his church body is now gone but the memories of the Esh family will always be remembered.

"Death is as sure as life," Kauffman said. "We might as well accept it. It's going to happen. We're not afraid of death."

Family friend Ashley Kramer was also killed in the crash.

Funeral services are expected to be held next week.

Leroy Kauffman says more than one-thousand Mennonites are expected to attend.

Members of the church will make the caskets and perform the funerals.

The truck driver involved in the crash was also killed.

His name still has not been released.


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