Early in 2016, a check for nearly $800,000 arrived at Asbury Methodist Village in support of the Benevolent Care Program. It took some investigation to discover that this generous bequest was a final act of caring from a couple who may have never stepped foot onto the campus.
For more than 40 years, Joe and Eva Eberts had mailed an annual check to Asbury Methodist Village from their home in Kensington, Maryland. As active members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, they must have become connected to the benevolent care mission.
“They were good Methodists,” their niece, Shirley Tinsley said. “I think Joe had some friends who needed the care Asbury could provide.”
From an early age, Joe had experienced the importance of caring for those who are down on their luck. He and his three siblings were adopted by their grandparents after his mother and father both passed from disease.
Joe served in the Army during World War II, and in 1950 he was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse when a friend bet him he couldn’t get a date with a girl who had caught his eye. He and Eva were married soon after, purchasing a home on Landy Court in Kensington, where they would spend the next 60 years together.
Joe went on to become an elementary school principal; Eva worked for the State Department. They never had children of their own, and their life of frugality – packed lunches and bus rides to work – allowed them to focus on traveling the world and helping to make it a better place.
Eva was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her 50s, with Joe assuming the role of caregiver.
“Joe felt strongly about taking care of people properly as they age,” Shirley said. “He felt very fortunate to be able to care for Eva in the way that she needed from his home.”
Eva passed away in 2010, and Joe was reunited with her in 2014. “He soldiered on without his bride,” the Rev. Adam Snell of St. Paul’s UMC said. “But he was never quite the same without his sweet girl to love and care for.”
Joe and Eva Eberts’ loving legacy is now providing care for people they will never meet – a beautiful testament to their love.