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On the beautiful island of Barbados, Evelyn Margarita Lynch (affectionately called “Madge” by friends and family) was the sixth of seven daughters born to Inez and Delbert Lynch on March 17, 1935 in Belleplaine, St. Andrew. She began her education at the St. Andrew’s Girls School and went on to complete her high school education at the Alleyne School. From an early age, her parents instilled in her the importance of family and that with hard work, she, rather than the circumstances of her birth could determine her future.
Given Evelyn’s caring nature and generosity of spirit, it came as no surprise that she chose to pursue a career in nursing. After completing her training at the Barbados General Hospital in 1957, she became a registered nurse and earned her specialized certification in midwifery in 1962.
Like many Barbadians at that time, she sought to expand her professional prospects by emigrating to the United States or “America” as it was known. Evelyn arrived in New York City in 1962 and continued her nursing career at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Brooklyn. In 1968, she joined the staff of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center as an Administrative Supervisor and continued to ascend the ranks until she was ultimately promoted to Assistant Director of Nursing and Quality Assurance, a position she held until her retirement in 1995. Always valuing education and desiring to advance in her chosen career, she earned a Bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in 1975 followed by a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Long Island University in 1991. As many of her colleagues and friends can attest, nursing was not only her profession but her life’s calling. Throughout her nursing career spanning almost four decades, she was a mentor and example to many. She often encouraged others to pursue nursing careers and seek opportunities for further advancement.
Evelyn was committed to her family. She was a loving and devoted wife for 42 years to the late Hugh Bowen, with whom she was fortunate to share a blessed life and raise their beloved daughter, Félice. Evelyn was a doting mother and although she had the well-earned reputation in her family as a strict disciplinarian, she would just as readily offer her love, guidance, and support. She often delivered life lessons by way of pithy Bajan sayings handed down from her elders.
Evelyn had a variety of interests. Her passion for cooking was an open secret. She looked forward to family and friends enjoying food she had prepared – whether at an elaborate holiday dinner, summer barbecue, or impromptu gathering at home, she would always serve lovingly prepared and tasty culinary creations. One of her favorite pastimes was keeping in touch with her family and friends; she reliably remembered birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions or just would call to say hello. She sharpened her mind daily by doing the crossword and other word puzzles. She followed sports and regularly cheered on her favorite teams, the Mets and the Knicks. She enjoyed listening to classical and religious music - an appreciation she developed from her father who was a self-taught musician. She had a “green thumb” and enjoyed tending to her houseplants and gardening.
Evelyn was a woman of great faith, quiet strength, dignity and integrity. Throughout her life, she was an active churchgoer and during recent decades, was a member of the Episcopal Church of St. Alban the Martyr in Queens, New York. When she attended church, in keeping with her practice of dressing for the occasion, she was the picture of elegance, and no church outfit was complete without “the ubiquitous hat.” When she was no longer physically able to attend church, she would regularly worship by watching services online.
In more recent years, Evelyn experienced health challenges which she faced courageously and with an undiminished and unwavering faith in God and a positive attitude. On March 15th, after “fighting the good fight,” Evelyn “finished her course” and peacefully left this life to start anew.