Evelyn Owen Stagg

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STAGG, EVELYN OWEN, 96, died peacefully Monday, February 28, 2011 at the Episcopal Church Home in Louisville.

She was born in Ruston, LA in 1914, the daughter of W.T. and Myrtie Matthews Owen. She was preceded in death by her parents; and three brothers, William, Henry and James Owen.

Evelyn graduated from Louisiana College in 1934. The following year she married Frank Stagg and began a 66-year partnership in study, writing, speaking engagements and ministries in various churches, seminaries and colleges throughout the United States, Europe and South America. From 1935-38, while Frank was enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Evelyn took the same classes and sat for all the exams, although the seminary did not grant degrees to women. She performed so well that she was asked to grade the papers of the beginning students in New Testament Greek. Years later, Mercer University awarded her an honorary degree in recognition for that early scholastic achievement and a lifetime of shared ministry.

In 1978, Evelyn coauthored with Frank Stagg Woman in the World of Jesus. She was the first reader and unofficial editor for dozens of journal articles and 10 books by Frank. Evelyn taught in the public schools of New Orleans, LA and served as a reader for the Publishing House for the Blind, Louisville. She was a founding member of Women in Ministry, a group created to help women ordained for the pastorate. She was a member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church.

Evelyn is survived by her three children, Ted Stagg, of Anchorage, AK, Bob Stagg (Stephanie), of Louisville and Ginger Shane (Larry), of Cleveland, OH; six grandchildren, Robert Prescott Stagg (Jane), Thomas Allen Stagg (Christian), Matthew Owen Shane, Lydia Delaney Shane Centofanti (James), Stacie Nielsen and Jamie Patrick (Mark); and three great-grandchildren, Opal Evelyn Stagg, Richard Vincent Patrick and Jake Walter Foster.

Evelyn donated her body to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Hosparus of Louisville or Doctors without Borders.

The family wishes to thank the employees of the Episcopal Church Home and Hosparus for their loving care during the two months of Evelyn's residence there.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Mar. 2, 2011
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