Bearing the Pall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A pallbearer is a person who helps carry the casket of a deceased person from a religious service or viewing to their final resting place, or to and from the hearse which does so.

A pall is the heavy cloth that is draped over a coffin; by metonymy the term pallbearer is used to signify someone who bears the coffin which the pall covers.

Some traditions distinguish between these two roles, with pallbearer being an honorary position, while casketbearers do the actual heavy lifting and carrying.

Pallbearers were usually associated in an intimate manner (such as brother, uncle, father, or husband – pallbearers are not always male, but male pallbearers are the most common) with the deceased before their death, though this is not always the case.

On Friday, I served as a pallbearer for Anna Beatrice Pitman, the wife of Chester Pitman.

She was the mother of Kimmy Pitman, Brenda Mink, Beverly Sandlin, and Dottie Whitaker; the grandmother of Betsy Sandlin, Troy Sandlin Jr., Kimberly Canada, Judy Mink, Kenny Whitaker, and Adam, Alex, and Nicholas Hawk. She had seven great-grandchildren at the time of her death.

Her death was a shock, and the aftermath will be felt for some time.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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