In a Quincy Cemetery, A Civil Rights Heroine Rests

One hundred people gathered at St. Hebron AME Church in Quincy, Fla. to lay Patricia Stephens Due to rest Sunday afternoon.

A small brick church stood in the background as winds blew across the open fields on either side of the church. A small town charm and calm surrounded the funeral party as friends and family embraced, sobbed and laughed while they thought back on memories of Due.

The Gadsden County Sherriff’s Office presented the family of Due with a resolution, which was framed and given to John Due, Patricia’s husband. Rev. Henry M. Steele then read “Crossing the Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson standing over Due’s casket and led the party in the Lord’s Prayer.

“And may there be no sadness or farewell, when I embark,” read Steele. “For tho’ from out our bourne of time and place the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar.”

Friends of Due found the service to be very fitting and touching.

“I thought it was awesome. I thought it was a really good service,” said Irene Nelson Holden, a friend of Due’s who she met at Florida A&M. “We marched at the same time. I was one of those arrested but I didn’t stay. My brother bailed me out that evening. I used to sing. I was that person singing at Bethel Baptist AME.”

Along with family members and friends from college, childhood friends showed up to pay their final respects to Due. Ethelyn Cunningham grew up with Due and her siblings.

“Priscilla and Trish were older. Walter and I were around the same age,” said Cunningham. “They used to come up from Belle Glade over the summer and stay during the summer. They called me ‘Jay.'”

Cunningham also remembered the times they would spend on Due’s uncle’s farm.

Following the service, guests were invited to a Repast at the National Guard Armory in Quincy, Fla.