Plans for the funeral called for some delay, for W. C. White and his wife, Mary, were across the continent, almost a week's travel time away. James's brother John, for many years a presiding elder of the Methodist Conference in Ohio, was close, but might need a little time to arrange to come. Another brother, Samuel, a Baptist minister in Massachusetts, was summoned, but was too feeble to come. A sister, Mary Chase, lived with the Whites in Battle Creek.
The funeral was set for Sabbath afternoon, just a week after James's death. Through the week Ellen White's health and strength dipped to an all-time low.