Dr. Evelyn Lowery was always a soldier, even up until her last days on this earth. Born in 1925, the wife of the great Joseph Lowery fought hard for her people and mentored women everywhere. She was always by her husband’s side as he rose to become one of the great leaders of the civil rights movement.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution tells a story about how Mrs. Lowery only had one incident where she didn’t march beside her husband. In 1979, they were in Decatur, Alabama, protesting the conviction of Tommy Lee Hines, a disabled man who’d been accused of rαping a white woman. Her husband felt that there would be danger, so he had his wife ride in a Buick behind the marchers.
The group was confronted by the KKK and shots were fired. The car was hit by two bullets and she barely got away.
“I could hear them yelling ‘Kill ‘em all!’ ” she said. “It lasted probably about 10 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.”
The couple still keeps the Buick in their driveway as a reminder of the struggle that they fought in order to help secure the rights that black people have to this day.
Mrs. Lowery died from a stroke this week at the age of 88.
“My beloved Evelyn was a special woman, whose life was committed to service, especially around the issues of empowering women,” Joseph Lowery said in a statement. “She was a wonderful mother and wife, and I thank God that she didn’t suffer any pain and that I was blessed having her as my partner, my confidant and my best friend for close to 70 years. I will miss her each and every day, but as a man of faith, I know that she is with her God.”
Evelyn and her husband were married on April 5, 1948. So, that’s 65-years of marriage which will soon transform into an eternity.
“Today we remember Mrs. Evelyn Lowery, a remarkable woman in her own right, who dedicated her life to promoting equality, liberty and justice for all people. We are all a direct beneficiary of her sacrifice, service and work as a champion for human rights. Her legacy will continue to encourage many individuals, like me, to live with integrity, pride, courage and faith.”
— Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta
“Our hearts are heavy in learning of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery. Mrs. Lowery was a visionary founder and leader of the SCLC W.O.M.E.N., devoted wife and partner of Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, mother and a mentor to countless women and girls across the country. We send our deepest condolences to the Lowery family during this time of bereavement.
- Melanie L. Campbell, Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable and President & CEO, NCBCP.
She will be missed by everyone. Thank you Dr. Lowery for your sacrifice.