Yvonne McBean dies at 66

December 4, 2006

Yvonne McBean, a longtime employee of the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, died on December 2, aged 66.

McBean, who retired in 2005 after 43 years of service, started her career with a letter of recommendation from then-Bishop Reginald Heber Gooden of the Missionary District of the Panama Canal Zone. She joined the Church Center when it was located at 281 Park Avenue South and was known as the National Council of the Episcopal Church.

During her tenure, she worked in the Home Department, General Convention Special Program, National Mission in Church Society Office, General Convention Office, Administration, and briefly in Episcopal Migration Ministries.

She attended six General Conventions, visited Guatemala and Honduras, traveled to 45 states in the continental U.S., and returned to her birth place of Panama.

"What can one say to do justice to Yvonne who contributed to the life of the Church Center for more than 40 years?" said Patricia Mordecai, chief operating officer of the Church Center. "The word that comes to mind is indomitable spirit. She threw her heart and soul into whatever assignment she had in this organization, and you always knew where she stood, even though sometimes you wouldn't like it! What a great spirit who will be missed by many, many people."

McBean was one of only two people at the Church Center who held the distinction of having worked for five Presiding Bishops: Arthur Lichtenberger, John E. Hines, John M. Allin, Edmond L. Browning and Frank T. Griswold. Most recently, McBean rode on the Church Center employee bus to Washington, D.C. to attend the investiture of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on November 4.

A cradle Episcopalian, McBean was active in her parish, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, in the Diocese of Long Island.

Former Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning described her as having a sense of "honesty about how she saw things" and was "never afraid to tell the truth."

McBean is survived by Lorenzo, her husband of nearly 42 years, three sons, Larry, Greg, and Sean, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.

The funeral is set for Friday, December 8, at

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn.

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