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Eshter Helen Raish "Big Pocono Pete" Motts

December 24, 1919 November 23, 2018
Eshter Helen Raish "Big Pocono Pete" Motts
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Obituary for Eshter Helen Raish "Big Pocono Pete" Motts

Mrs. Esther Helen Raish Motts,  also known as “Big Pocono Pete”, 98 years young entered into rest on Friday November 23, 2018 at the Gluco Lodge, Personal Care Community, Stroudsburg.  She was the wife of the late Forrest Motts, who died in 1960.
She was preceded in death by her brothers Harry Raish, Bill Raish, and Carl Raish, her sisters, Leta Bonser, and Gladys Smiley.
Born December 24, 1919 in Stroudsburg, the daughter of the late George W. and Hattie (Smith) Raish.

Cherishing the memories of her life is her daughter Mrs. Emma Jean (Jeanne) Stewart; husband Ed and their son John.  Her nephews/nieces; Bud Bonser (Rhonda); (who have looked after her for years), George Bonser and family, Barbara Geyer and family, the family of John Smiley,  Connie Valle (Val), and Jim Smiley (Marilyn), and many friends.

Pete retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Forest and Waters after 35 years of dedicated service.  She served as a Fire Tower-man and Foreman of the Big Pocono State Park. She was presented with the Pennsylvania Conservation Award from the Pocono Forestry Association, as well as many other awards from the Bureau of Pennsylvania State Parks.   She was a member of the Tannersville Methodist Church and in later years was an active member of Grace United Church of Christ in Tannersville.

She was given the gift of many talents. She loved and played music on almost any instrument.  Enjoyed artwork and loved making crafts, crocheting, and decorating. She created many outstanding oil paintings  and took a course in Taxidermy to enable her to complete many attractive animal projects for the Big Pocono State Park Office.  Some are still on display at Kettle Creek Wild Life Sanctuary near Bartonsville. She wrote and published two poem books. The “Vista of the Poconos, and with the help of her nephew, published “The Poetry of Pocono Pete, The Wit and Wisdom of a Lifelong Caretaker of the Pocono Mountains.”    

She loved animals and cared for and loved many in her life time.  Her most precious was her beloved pet dog and friend, Sharpie.   

Her life was a gift to all of those who were privileged enough to know and love her.  She is already missed and the world is a better place for her presence. The family would like to extend a special appreciation to the many caregivers who helped take care of Pete, especially the wonderful staff of the Gluco Lodge in Stroudsburg,  who made the rest of her life worth living.

Her family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life service at Bensing-Thomas Funeral Home 401 N. 5th Street in Stroudsburg, PA 18360 (570-421-2999).  at 1:30pm on 30 November 2018 with Reverend William Ford Hayes officiating.   There will also be a viewing at 12:30pm same date. Pallbearers will be Bud Bonser, Doug Smith, and Gary Meckes.  Interment will be in the Tannersville Methodist Church Cemetery on Learn Road. Memorials maybe made to the Grace United Church of Christ, PO Box 133, Camelback Road, Tannersville, PA 18372.   Please sign the register book and send condolences at

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