On This Day in UB History: April 19

Throughout 2017, as we celebrate the United Brethren denomination’s 250th anniversary, we are looking at events from our history. You can see all posts here.

Judith Eby, the oldest daughter of Bishop Lloyd and Eula Eby, died on April 19, 1952. She was just 26 years old.

On April 9, 1944, two months before the D-Day landing, Lloyd and Eula Eby departed for Sierra Leone as missionaries. They had served one term in Sierra Leone in the early 1920s after graduating from Huntington College. Next came 18 years in the Detroit area, during which they started six churches. Now, they were again needed in Africa.

This time, they had two teenage daughters–Judith, 18, and Shirley, 15. Though the girls were still in high school, Huntington College allowed them to move into the girls’ dormitory, which would have been Livingston Hall. Livingston, which started out as a house, was enlarged that year to the size most people remember, with more rooms and a prayer chapel on the lower level.

This being war-time, the trip to Africa was dangerous and nobody knew how long the war would last. But Huntington College was able to assure the Ebys, “Don’t worry about your girls. We’ll take care of them.”

The Eby family was reunited in 1947. Lloyd served as bishop 1949-1957. In 1950, Shirley graduated from HC and Lloyd was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Judith attended HC 1945-1946, but never graduated. She struggled for many years with a brain tumor, to which she finally succumbed on April 19, 1952.

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