|Sometimes a light burns so brightly in a roam that it illuminates the whole place. Once in a while, a life comes into an area so bright that it illuminates every corner of the community. This was Evelyn. Over thirty years before, the doctors had diagnosed her as having a malignant tumor in the esophagus. No one could survive this condition. No one had ever survived this surgery. But this failed to take into account the indomitable spirit and the enormous will to live which she possessed, and thirty years later she was still living.
Born Evelyn Gustafson, June 14,1921, in Memphis, Tennessee, she attended elementary and high school in that city. She was graduated from Whitehaven High School and the St. Agnes Academy of Music. Her unusual talent in this area was to be a marvelous help to her minister husband and the churches they were to serve.
On September 28, 1946, she married her preacher boy, Rev. Clark Bell, and for the next forty-one years she was the light of his life. Every minister draws enormous support and strength from his wife, but in the case of Evelyn and Clark, it is difficult to conceive of his ministry apart from her. They served churches all across the State of Louisiana with distinction and left a host of friends wherever they went, who remember them as a great team.
The writer of the Book of Proverbs says it beautifully,
“A good wife, who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her
And he has no lack of gain.
She does him good and not harm
All the days of her life.”
On July 25, 1987, after very much struggle, the Heavenly Father said, “it is enough”, and He took her unto Himself. Clark had a Memorial Service for her in the Calvary United Methodist Church in New Albany, Mississippi. She rests in the cemetery of that community where she and Clark enjoyed their retirement years. Perhaps the epitaph which Mark Twain placed on his daughter’s grave would be what Clark would like to say about this place.
“Warm Sumner sun, shine kindly here
Warm Southern wind, blow softly here
Green sod above, lie light, lie light
Good night dear heart, good night.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1988, p.181………..By Jolly B. Harper|