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Evelyn Lowery had to chuckle when she fielded yet another phone call from someone wondering why her 88-year-old husband, who just got out of the hospital two weeks ago for a blood clot, didn’t show up to speak at a GABEO event 78 miles away in Athens.

“He just got out of the hospital,” Evelyn Lowery said about her husband, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery. “We want him to rest.”

The Rev. Lowery was listed as a luncheon speaker at the annual winter conference of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials in Athens.

Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), the head of the organization, said Lowery has spoken at the event for the past 17 years.

Brooks said that Lowery has a standing — but informal — invitation to speak at GABEO anytime he wants to.

“He is certainly not a stranger to us,” Brooks said, adding however that he had not talked to Lowery in more than two months. “He was kidding me about an honorarium for speaking.”

But Evelyn Lowery said her husband never officially confirmed that he was ever going to speak at the convention — and if he had confirmed, he wasn’t going anyway.

“He is missing a lot of things,” she said. “I have canceled all of his events for this month. We are having some private time to recuperate.”

Lowery, a civil rights icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, was admitted into Emory University Hospital Midtown in late January for a blood clot in his lung. He was released from the hospital on Feb. 13.

Mrs. Lowery said her husband is doing well. She said he has been relaxing and walking around the house. Even his sense of humor is intact.

“Well, he is doing the best he can on that one,” Mrs. Lowery said.

So well that Mrs. Lowery is planning her annual SCLC/Women Heritage Tour through Alabama this weekend.

The tours, a mainstay since 1987, carry hundreds of people through the state to visit significant sites from the civil rights era, as well as to see the memorial monuments that SCLC/Women have put up to honor civil rights heroes.

And no, her husband will not be joining her on the trip.

Read the full story here.


UPDATE: Civil Rights Icon Joseph Lowery Released From Hospital

Civil Rights Icon Joseph Lowery Hospitalized