The Near Death Experience of Hester Allison Fudge
Hester Allison was born in 1852. Her father served in the Civil War, as did her future husband William Henry Fudge. From The Sound of His Voice by Edward Fudge:
When the Civil War erupted, William Henry (Fudge) enlisted in the 35th Alabama Infantry, Confederate Company “G”. He was captured by General Sherman, held as a prisoner of war, and released on Independence Day of 1861. Still passionate for the Confederate cause, he soon re-enlisted and fought at the Battle of Shiloh.
By 1922, Hettie had been a widow for 13 years. The Spanish Influenza epidemic had hit Athens hard in 1918, and now four years later the 70 year-old Hester Fudge had fallen victim to another strain of the disease.
Hettie's physician had told her family that the situation was bleak. Her vital signs were growing weaker. The family prepared for the expected end.
It wasn't until 1975, that Dr. Raymond Moody shook the world of science with his stories of near death experiences, but in 1952, Hester Allison Fudge related hers to the Athens, Alabama, newspaper.
The centenarian told of traveling through a valley, of walking toward a light that proved to be a man holding a lantern. The man, whom Hettie said she didn't recognize, stood on the far side of a river that she presumed to be Jordan. He told Hettie that her time had not come, that she had to return.
Return Hettie did, living over 30 more years. She passed away just short of her 102nd birthday and is buried in the Athens, Alabama, city cemetery.