Macduff Everton’s article about his father is so inspiring and well written. And what a way to end the article. Inquiring minds want to know what became of his father and his social justice work after he was fired.
Macduff Everton replied: After Bishop Pike died, the new bishop wasn’t as supportive. He didn’t appoint my father to another church. It was a real loss. Many of his supporters, angry at the vestry at Trinity, quit in protest to join All Saints-by-the-Sea. My father found work as a paralegal, approaching everything with equanimity and intelligence. He filled in for other priests when they needed help or vacations and was invited to give sermons on issues of the day. He never stopped fighting the good fight. My parents moved first to San Jose, then Bend, Oregon and Boise, Idaho, where my father died in 2007, succumbing to melanoma, which the doctors attributed to his wartime service in naval intelligence while working in the South Pacific without sunscreen.
My sister wrote me after reading the article. She says better than I can what sort of people my parents were.
Abeba Abraha (Everton) wrote: What a heart-warming article about my American parents. The day I met them I knew they stood for racial justice. They opened their home to a stranger they met working at an assisted living facility, a refugee from the civil war in Ethiopia. They welcomed me and my daughter with open arms, open heart, and taught me, too, so many times how to become a strong, financially stable American citizen, and learn how to succeed as an immigrant. They not only became my parents but became grandparents to my daughter, too. They did more than me, taking her to the library, picking up the best books to read, helping her with her homework and piano playing, and on weekends not only were they my child care, but they took her hiking and to farms and children’s museums.
I proudly say I spent more time learning both the language, culture, and overcoming the challenges of being new to a country I proudly call my home now. I am an American, I pay taxes, I am a law abiding citizen. I have worked 47 years as a nurse. I face challenges daily in both work and outside, but I am able to speak up, stand for what I believe and I owe it to my American parents, Clyde and Frances Everton forever.
Every time when things get out of control especially nowadays, I go back to what I have learned and gained from them. If it wasn’t for their mature advice, I am not sure I could have survived. These past two years have been so painful when people judge you because of the color of your skin rather than your humanity. I was very fortunate to meet a family that stood for equality of both social and racial justice. I miss them dearly. I am forever grateful to the Evertons, may they rest in peace