Elizabeth “Liz” G. Stout was born June 8, 1940, and passed away peacefully on Aug. 2 at Symphony of Evanston. She was the daughter of Mary Drake Stout and Arthur G. Stout, the step-daughter of Betty Stout, half-sister of Mary Stout Czarnecki and step-sister of Joe Stout.
Liz earned a B.A. in Art in 1962 and a M.A. in Comparative Religions in 1974 from Northwestern University. She received a M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1982 and a MPS from Loyola University in 1994. She was ordained an Interfaith Minister in 2003 by The New Seminary of New York City. She has been a resident of Evanston for 60 years, from arriving as a student to her passing. As she said, “It was home” and where most of her friendships and her ministries began.
She was a retired textbook writer, editor, curriculum planner and a certified Spiritual Director who saw directees up to her last few months. A skilled and humorous writer, she sent holiday messages to 160 addresses – a witty review of the past year that included her latest list of 100 books she had read and rated. She frequently wrote essays and participated in a writers group at the Skokie Public Library. During her two years of illness, she wrote regularly and usually with humor about the grueling ordeal of being a cancer patient.
She was a committed volunteer at St. Mark’s shelter and at Ten Thousand Villages. She wrote letters of encouragement and support for many years for Amnesty International. She loved to participate in the Evanston 4th of July parade, supporting Amnesty or Interfaith Action of Evanston or drumming with her Samba group.
Liz was a religious pioneer, interested and respectful of different faiths with which she forged links. She was active in Evanston Interfaith Council, convened the Interfaith Clergy meetings, participated regularly in Buddhist services and retreats and established a knitting group at the Unitarian Church.
She was an avid knitter, producing prayer shawls for friends and victims of violence, scarves, mittens and hats for the homeless and afghans for refugees.
Liz was basically an artist who brought an eye for organization, color and technical skill to everything she did from designing book covers to vestments, formatting text for books and documents, to the design and production of 10 liturgical banners in 1971 for the Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University.
Liz was a resource to the community. She divided her time among Lake Street Church, Unitarian Church of Evanston and Evanston Quaker Meeting and served as a visiting minister elsewhere. A life-long scholar, writer, teacher and student, she will be missed by her hundreds of friends and family.
Being the organized spiritual lady she was, she left directions for her farewell. There will be a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University, 1870 Sheridan Rd., with a reception following.