Metro Digest: Civil Rights Activist Evelyn Lowery Dies After Stroke

9/27/2013, 7:04 a.m.
Civil rights activist Evelyn Gibson Lowery, who with her husband the Rev. Joseph Lowery participated in the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march ...
Reverend Joseph Lowery and wife Evelyn Gibson Lowery. Photo by Robert Johnson/CNN.

Civil rights activist Evelyn Gibson Lowery, who with her husband the Rev. Joseph Lowery participated in the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march in Alabama, died Thursday morning, September 26 at her Atlanta home, a family spokeswoman said.

She suffered a stroke last week, and on Wednesday returned home from a hospital after medical personnel decided “there was nothing more medically that they could do,” the Lowery family said in a statement released Thursday.

“My beloved Evelyn was a special woman, whose life was committed to service, especially around the issues of empowering women,” Joseph Lowery said. “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 confidante 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. My entire family has been overwhelmed by the continuous outpourings of love, support and prayers that have come from across the country and we ask for your continued prayers over the next few days.”

Other notable Atlanta residents have offered their condolences as well.

 “On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Rev. Joseph Lowery,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said, in a released statement.

“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 direct [beneficiaries] 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.”

Fulton County Chairman John H. Eaves shared his thoughts, in the following statement:

“Our hearts are heavy upon learning of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery today. When you think of Mrs. Loery, the quote that says behind every successful man, there is a strong, wise and hardworking woman comes to mind. While her husband, Reverend Joseph Lowery is a civil rights icon in his own right, Ms. Lowery was right there by his side in the fight for racial equality as founder of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Lowery and the Lowery family and we express our deepest condolences.”

Ms. Lowery was the founder of SCLC’s sister organization – SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now Inc., in 1979.

In the 1980s, she founded several prominent programs, including the Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner and The Evelyn G. Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour that honors icons of the civil rights movement.

--CNN’s Tenisha Bell and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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