In Memory: Eva C. Topping

Eva C. Topping

By George Matsoukas

May the MEMORY of our founding board member and longtime supporter, Eva Topping, who departed this life on December 13, be ETERNAL. In July, she moved into an assisted living home in the town of her birth, Fredericksburg, VA. Eva Topping was 91 years old.

She was a devout and devoted Orthodox Christian. She was the author of one of the seven studies in the Project on Orthodox Renewal. Her topic was Orthodox Women and Our Church. She spent many years of her life writing on this topic and produced a number of books on the topic including “Saints and Sisterhood: The Lives of Forty-Eight Holy Women”. The University of Michigan created a special archive of her papers. Two years ago, she contacted me about including documents on OCL. She was married to the late Dr. Peter Topping who was a gentleman and scholar. She leaves a son John, and the pride of her life was her granddaughter.

I talked to Eva a few months ago, and she still had that strong authoritative voice. She wrote a note every year at membership renewal time. Her last note marveled at how OCL has survived these many years. She said OCL has accomplished much with so little funding. She prayed for our continued success.

In 1989, Eva wrote a prayer which has come to be known as the OCL Prayer:

Gracious Creator of Light, We pray for our Holy Orthodox Church. Fill it with Truth and Peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it. Where it is in error, correct it. Where it is right, strength it. And where it is divided, restore its unity.

We pray also for ourselves, daughters and sons of the Orthodox Church. Fill our minds with knowledge. Plant in our hearts faith, hope and love.

We ask for these blessings through the intercessions of all the saints, our holy mothers and fathers. Amen.

Thank You, Eva, for a life well lived and for your love and devotion to the Orthodox Christian Church. Memory Eternal.

George Matsoukas

From The Free Lance-Star

Eva C. Topping, 91, of Fredericksburg, formerly of McLean, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, at her residence.

Mrs. Topping graduated from James Monroe High School and Mary Washington College, and received her master’s degree from Harvard, where she worked on a Ph.D. She received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Europe and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While studying in Greece, she met her husband, professor Peter Topping. Mrs. Topping was a freelance writer and a published author. She taught and was an accomplished musician, playing the violin. She was a member of Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Themistocles Kataphiotis and Catherine Poulizo Catafygiotu; her husband, Peter; and brother John Catafygiotu.

Survivors include her son, John Topping and wife Anastasia and their daughter, Vasiliki; brother Steve Catafygiotu; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg, with a trisagion service at 4 p.m.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 12326 Spotswood Furnace Road, Fredericksburg, Va. 22407.

Online guest book is at covenantfuneralservice.com.

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