Evelyn “Evie” (Cowan) Yorke Manierre, American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS) alumna, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on December 30, 2020 in Plantsville, Connecticut. She was born on July 5, 1923 in Cambridge, Massachusetts the oldest child of M. Julia (Yorke) and James R. Cowan.
Evie’s parents were active church members. She started Sunday school at an early age and was involved in youth groups and choirs as she grew. At the age of 12 she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and was baptized. Evie’s life was centered around the church. After high school she went to work at an insurance company in Boston. In 1943 she volunteered as a Navy WAVE during World War II, stationed in New Orleans, LA. She was able to continue to attend church either on the base or in a town nearby. After the war, she returned to Boston for a short time before attending business school. She worked as a secretary in Boston.
Evie met Lincoln Stanley (Stan) Manierre at her home church, First Baptist Church of Cambridge, MA. Stan was studying at Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Centre. They were married at the First Baptist Church of Cambridge on May 21, 1949. That began a devoted partnership in Christian ministry. Evie and Stan spent the summer of 1949 at the American Baptist Assembly, now known as the Green Lake Conference Center. Evie worked at the Administration Building and wrote this about her time at Green Lake: “This was truly a grand experience to meet with fellow Christians from all over the United States and to meet some of the leaders of our denomination.” Upon returning to Andover Newton Evie went to work for the Congregational Board.
In 1951 Stan was ordained and called to pastor the First Baptist Church of Hanson, MA. In January 1953 Evie and Stan were appointed missionaries by the ABFMS, designated to serve in Japan. They served in Japan from 1954 to 1974 and Evie taught English and cooking while keeping the home going smoothly for a busy family consisting of 4 children. She worked with the women in home visitations as well as teaching church school. Evie wrote in her application for ABFMS: “I believe that we must not only tell the world of Jesus Christ but we must show in our daily living with others how we apply our Christian beliefs.” Evie lived her beliefs for all to see. When the family was preparing to leave Japan their ABFMS colleagues gathered and Glen Gano, for the group said: “You two gave rich gifts of acceptance, friendship and love to man in Christ’s name.”
The Manierre family returned to the U.S. in 1974, settling in Massachusetts, and Evie worked for The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM) in Boston. Stan became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Weston, MA and in 1981 Stan became Area Minister for TABCOM until his retirement in 1989.
In the early 1990s they moved to Briarwood Continuing Care Retirement Community in Worcester, MA. Evie remained active, made many new friends and was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Worcester. Evie’s kindness, generosity and love will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Evie was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Stan; her brother, James Cowan; her sister, Muriel Brown; and grandson, David Manierre.
Evie is survived by her four children: Deborah Geever and husband Dan; Ruth Weis and husband Kent; Paul Manierre and wife Amy; Becky Otterbein and husband Jeff; her sister Jean Grant; nine grandchildren (Raymond, Brian, Matthew, and Colby Geever; Azure Reese and Brooke Weis; Jonathan Manierre; Stacy Firth and Michael Otterbein); and thirteen great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to LiveWell (Plantsville, CT) and Briarwood Retirement Community (Worcester, MA).