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Evelyn Eaton Whitehead

August 22, 1938 ~ November 16, 2020 (age 82)


Evelyn Eaton Whitehead, 82 years old, died on November 16th after a year-long struggle with lung cancer. She is survived by James, her husband and her love of fifty years, and her five siblings Robert Eaton, Joan McSweeney, Evie Dunkelberger, Fernin Eaton and Marie DeVerges. Evelyn was born in New Orleans on August 22, 1938 and began her adult life as a Glenmary Sister serving Appalachian communities in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago. After earning a Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Chicago, she taught with her husband at the University of Notre Dame, then at Loyola University in Chicago for forty-five years. During this time the Whiteheads published twenty-two books on themes of adult growth and Christian spirituality, a number of which were translated into seven foreign languages. During their sixties the Whiteheads taught yearly in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Friends and students cherished Evelyn’s joyous voice, her commitment to creating a hospitable space for others and for their questions, and her delight and faithfulness to one’s intellectual calling. Evelyn’s early life in ministry and vocation as teacher and author were occasions of great grace for all who were given the gift of knowing her.

At the time of her death Evelyn and James were living at Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame.

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