The Rev. Lucy Brady Talbott, retired rector of the Church of St. Paul's in the Pines of Fayetteville NC, died on Oct. 26 at the Passages Hospice and Sanctuary in New Orleans, LA.
Lucy was born on June 1, 1946, the sixth child of Francis Brady, the assistant headmaster of Portsmouth Priory (now Abbey) School.
She graduated from Northfield School for Girls and Duke University. She attended Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1981 at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
served first as associate rector at the Church of St. Clement in
Alexandria. In October of 1983 she was called to serve as the
rector of St. Paul's in the Pines, making her the first female rector
in the Diocese of East Carolina. In 1989, under her
stewardship, St. Paul's became a full parish. During her many
years at St. Paul's, Lucy was active also in both the Diocesan and
the National Church.
‘Mother Lucy,’ as she was often called, was a fearless advocate for inclusive theology and welcomed all members of the Fayetteville community to worship at St. Paul’s.
She was an early advocate for ministering to those with HIV/AIDS at a time when fear and misinformation dominated public perception about the disease. Having lost a beloved brother to the AIDS epidemic of the early 1980s, she opened the doors for others to see those living with the disease with compassion and acceptance.
Her joyfulness was evident in the services she conducted at St. Paul’s, which often featured performances by artists, musicians, dancers and ecumenical clowns. She especially delighted in teaching young people, and thought nothing of sitting down on the steps of the altar during a children’s service to better engage with her young audience.
In recognition of her role in the community, Lucy was chosen Woman of the Year by the Women's Center of Fayetteville in 1992. She served the church and her congregation with love and faithfulness until her retirement in 2000.
Lucy is survived by her beloved daughter Amanda Talbott Bray of New Orleans and grandchildren Stella Frentress and Conor Bray; her long- time partner Betsy Willis of Boone, NC; two sisters, Sue Wankowivz of Winchester, MA, and Ellen Finn of Franklin, MI; her brother, Jeremiah Brady of Little Falls, NJ; her dear friend and sister-in-law, Sally Brady; and a wonderful and diverse group of family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by brothers Francis Brady and Upton Brady.
A celebration of her life will be held at St. Paul’s in the Pines Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, NC on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Heifer International in Lucy’s memory.