Joseph E. Lowery and his wife, Evelyn Lowery. (Photo courtesy of NBC Atlanta)

ATLANTA — Evelyn Lowery, wife of civil rights leader Dr. Joseph Lowery, died Thursday morning. Mrs. Lowery suffered a massive stroke last weekend. She was 88.

The Lowery family said Wednesday doctors told them damage from the stroke was “irreversible” and had brought her home from the hospital.

The Lowery family released a statement Thursday morning:

In the early hours of the morning, surrounded by her family and husband of close to 70 years, Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery made her transition in the comforts of her home. Having suffered irreversible damages after experiencing a severe stroke on last Wednesday evening, Mrs. Lowery returned home on last evening, having been under the constant care of medical experts at a local Atlanta hospital. After having received guidance from the medical experts that there was nothing more medically that they could do, the Lowery family returned their beloved Evelyn home to peacefully rest around those she loved.

“My beloved Evelyn was a special woman, whose life was committed to service, especially around the issues of empowering women. 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,” stated Rev. Lowery. “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.”

Mrs. Lowery was the founder of S.C.L.C. Women, Inc. the sister organization to the historic civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the creator of the annual Drum Major of Justice Awards that is held annually in April in Atlanta, GA. Funeral announcements are yet to be announced.

Evelyn Gibson Lowery was born February 16, 1925 in Memphis to the Rev. and Mrs. Harry Gibson. Her father was a major presence as president of the local chapter of the NAACP. Before the age of 18, young Evelyn committed herself toward a future of working for the future of those around her.

On May 5, 1946, she joined her life with that of Rev. Joseph Lowery as the two of them began their long and loving marriage.

In 1979, seeing a special need for women and families, Mrs. Lowery formed SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now as an offshoot of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

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