An unfathomable shock to the Alum Rock community hit below the belt on Friday, February 4th. An integral voice and formidable force of San Jose’s East side was suddenly silenced when Mary Parker-Eves collapsed and died in the kitchen of her home. The pastor of Alum Rock United Methodist Church, Mary served as an approachable spiritual anchor of the community. She was tireless and all-encompassing as she spread her gift of unquestioning, loving outreach to all.
Mary was “there” for her congregation and for every other soul and good cause which needed her help. But, far from harboring a sense of noblesse oblige, she spent herself willingly and generously putting her innate sense of realism and proportion into play.
She was brave in her efforts to make this world a better place for everyone. She studied, soul-searched and often went out on a limb to shine a light on the inequities, indignities and disenfranchisement our society imposes on those who don’t fit the conventional mold. By her quiet example, she taught others to love their fellow man.
Mary was wholesome without being pious. She was warm and human and natural. She gave everything she touched her “best shot.” And her best shot was awesome. She was a neighborhood hero. Her death leaves an enormous rent in the fabric of our community. It will take a team to fill her shoes.
A memorial service to honor Mary and her contribution to the community will be held on Saturday, February 12th at 3:00 PM in the sanctuary of the church, 30 Kirk Avenue.
Click here for Mary’s thoughtful essay on the sanctioning of same-gender unions.
New Neighborhood Voice
Copyright© 2005 by Judy Thompson. All rights reserved. Updated 2/6/05.