An Atheist’s Obituary

Just days after learning about the death of atheist benefactor Richard Leroy Walters, I came across the obituary of Gerald Gardner, who died last week at the age of 83.

He is noted for “[providing] the statistical underpinnings for the landmark Supreme Court case that resulted in the prohibition of sex discrimination in newspaper want ads.”

That’s awesome, but I had to smile again when I read the last paragraph:

Ms. [Jo Ann] Evansgardner, his wife, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology created her name as a hyphenless hybrid of her husband’s and her own. They married in 1950; she is his only immediate survivor.

Ms. Evansgardner said her husband, most of all, was fired up by principle.

“He was an activist atheist,” she said. “A proselytizing atheist. I hope you can print that because it was important to him. He thought that not saying you were an atheist hurt the cause of reality.”

I love that: Not saying you’re an atheist hurts the cause of reality. So say it loudly and proudly and be remembered for being (as the saying goes) a voice of reason in a sea of irrationality.

(via @CFIOnCampus)

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    I’d buy that on a t-shirt.

  • http://www.camelswithhammers.com Daniel Fincke

    That’s great! And I love his wife’s hyphenless merged name. I have often mused that a new hybrid name (but taken by both partners) would be a great alternative to what we have now.

    Although in my case, names that are compounds of fincke with anything else are some of the most laughable and/or hideous in the language.

  • Matto the Hun

    Ms. [Jo Ann] Evansgardner, his wife, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology created her name as a hyphenless hybrid of her husband’s and her own.

    Hey! That was my wife’s and my idea, who are these people to steal it from us before we had it. Although, I do notice that he had not changed his name… at least according to that quote.

  • Luther

    He thought that not saying you were an atheist hurt the cause of reality.”

    He may have been a proselytizing atheist, yet there is no evidence in the snippet. Just saying you are an atheist is not proselytizing in my book – although many who are superstitious may think so.


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