Cover photo for Ezra Audain Naughton's Obituary
Ezra Audain Naughton Profile Photo

Ezra Audain Naughton

Ezra Audain Naughton, PhD. Episcopal Priest and Academic Retired, born in Frederiksted, St. Croix, USVI on November 16, 1926, died peacefully at his “fancy” home on the evening of Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Known for his storytelling, quick wit, good-natured sense of humor and smile, Ezra was the dearly loved husband of LaVerne for 27 years. LaVerne and Ezra met in 1984 at a fund raising event at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Ezra and LaVerne enjoyed multiple visits to cities in the US, the Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Brazil, Venezuela, Paris, London, Cape Town and Haiti They moved to River Park, SW DC, in 2000 from their first home in Fort Lincoln, NE DC, after a devastating home fire. Ezra is also survived by a daughter, a son, three grandchildren, great grand-children, four god-daughters; and many very faithfully devoted friends and relatives of the Continental US, US Virgin Islands and United Kingdom. Special appreciation goes to our nephew Stephen L. Mc Beth, of South Carolina for his steadfast love, support and visits for the past decade.Throughout his entire life, Ezra was a lover of Anglican hymns, classical music and Opera. Ezra was multi talented with an excellent singing voice, spoke Spanish, played the piano and cherished opportunities to decorate and redecorate his homes and flower gardens. An avid gardener who owned a huge collection of gardening books in addition to multiple magazine subscriptions; a reader of biographies, and religious studies, his library over the years included nearly 2000 volumes. A trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show was a must do. Ezra was also an excellent cook. He characteristically prepared elegant five-course meals for religious feast days to share with friends and family. An annual Bastille Day celebration with deliciously prepared Cassoulet as the main entrée was customary. As an added quality, his dinner parties always had a stylishly designed Menu Card.Ezra had opportunities to travel internationally for business and pleasure to multiple European cities, West and East African countries, Central and South American countries, the Caribbean, Haiti, as well as Cape Town, South Africa. A favorite southern city of Ezra’s was Savannah, Georgia. This city reminded him of his native Frederiksted, St. Croix. Travel to multiple historic US cities was always a joy and enriching experience for Ezra. Ezra was also an impressionist and abstract Art lover; he often visited Art Galleries and was member of Art Museums throughout the US. Ezra had the talent and gift to choose and custom frame his wide-ranging art collection. He particularly enjoyed the art of Henry O. Tanner, Camille Pissarro and Floyd Gordon, of South Carolina. Ezra was known for sharing his childhood memories and historic stories about his hometown of Frederiksted and their integrated community of the 1930s and 1940s. His most treasured holiday season was Christmas, which required that every room be decorated and included an elaborate five course meal with friends and family. Our Christmas festivities would last until Epiphany Three Kings Day with a celebratory dinner to end the holy season. Dr. Naughton taught English at Howard University, University of Maryland, College Park and other institutions. The first full-time black professional appointee as an Associate Secretary in the Washington Office Staff of the American Association of University Professors AAUP, Dr. Naughton served the Association’s membership in Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi and Indiana. In 1974, Dr. Naughton resigned the AAUP position to accept the appointment as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Alabama. Dr. Naughton introduced a mechanism for faculty evaluation, and other enhancements of the academic program: including the assuming personally, the regular special counseling of student in academic difficulty. Dr. Naughton had a distinguished career in higher education and had been an educational executive on the national and international scene. He traveled widely in his professional capacities to assist institutions in Haiti, Nigeria and Ghana with curriculum development, faculty governance and evaluation programs, faculty placement and other important aspects of the higher education mission. Returning to Washington in 1977, Dr. Naughton assumed the post of Deputy Director of the Overseas Liaison committee OLC of the American Council on Education ACE, as an Evaluation Consultant for the US Department of State, before named, in 1981, to a Federal Government appointment as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education, US Department of Agriculture USDA, later assuming the position of Director, Minority Research and Teaching Programs. A lifelong Episcopalian, Dr. Naughton began formal study for the priesthood; embarking on a second career that would fulfill his long discerned Call to serve humanity through ministry, graduating in May 1993, with a degree in Master of Arts in Religious Studies MARS through the Washington Theological Consortium, including Virginia Theological Seminary, the Washington Theological Union and Howard Divinity School. His thesis: “Sacramentality in the Art of Henry O. Tanner”As a priest, Father Naughton served at St Luke’s P Street, NW, DC; St. Paul’s K Street, NW, DC, at All Saints Episcopal Church, Chevy Chase, Maryland, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia and as Priest-in Charge at The Church of the Holy Communion, Congress Heights, SE, DC. Father Naughton led several Parish Quiet Days, Meditations and Vestry Retreats to deepen the religious experience and spirituality for others and himself. Elected to the Howard University Faculty Senate 1967, 1968; awarded a Ford Fellowship 1970; named Alumni of the Year, 1972, DC Teachers College; esteemed as one of two finalist for President of the College of the Virgin Islands 1980; Speaker Faculty/Student Seminar, University of Arizona 1984, Symposium, “Hispanics…Agricultural Manpower Needs,” San Antonio, Texas 1983, addressed the Eastern Caribbean Symposium – Caribbean Youth in the Year 2001 and received the Symposium award 1985; granted the Cooperative Development Energy Program Award by Fort Valley State College, Georgia 1988; nominated by Governor of the Virgin Islands to Board of Trustees, University of the Virgin Islands 1991; Presenter, 78th Annual Meeting Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History 1993; awarded Christiansted High School Graduating Class of 1944, 59th anniversary celebration recognition 1994; selected Deacon of Solemn Pontifical Eucharist, Opening the Afro-Anglican Conference – Capetown, South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Celebrant 1995. Dr. Naughton served on the Property and Administration Committee of River Park SW DC; Board Member of the Friends of Southwest, DC; Recipient Distinguished US Virgin Islander Award, Virgin Island Association 2000.Graduate of District of Columbia Teachers College with a BS in 1962, MA from Howard University in 1965, with a Master’s thesis: “Eloquence in the 17th century Anglican sermon” In 1972, he was selected as DC Teachers College Alumnus of the Year. Dr. Naughton began study for the PhD degree at Temple University, 1967, he also studied Academic Administration as Washington University in St. Louis 1974 and at the University of Georgia in Athens 1977. Developing an interest in the emerging discipline of Afro American Studies, Dr. Naughton studied the Literature with concentration on the Harlem Renaissance, at the University of Iowa 1970. He received his PhD in 1973 from The Catholic University of America, Washington DC with dissertation: “The Origin and Development of Higher Education in the Virgin Islands of the United States”Dr. Naughton has published and presented papers on higher education, English language and humanities issues at National conferences at Regents College London and the University of Bahia Brazil, in addition to cities in the USA. Dr. Naughton was a volunteer tutor in the DCPS. Other community related activities include Vestry member at St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, WDC; President of the Fort Lincoln Condominium Association and Board of Directors of the DC Music Center. Dr. Naughton was co-chairman of the Tuskegee Business/Industry Cluster and a member of the State of Alabama Humanities Council. Dr. Naughton was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, the Public Member Association of the Foreign Service, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity of Alpha Omega Chapter Charter member of Omicron Gamma Chapter, DC Teachers College 1961. His most recent presentation was titled “The 1848 Emancipation of a Slave Population: the US Virgin Islands as a Mirror in America” for The Afro-American History Society at the US National Archives June 2014.During the last month of his illness, Ezra and LaVerne had the unconditional love and support of her sister Barbara Mc Beth of South Carolina and care takers who adored him. “I was honored to work for Dr. Naughton. You guys are great and very nice people. I will miss you” Augustin.A Solemn Mass of the Resurrection will be held Sunday, January 8, 2017, 3 PM, at historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Foggy Bottom, 728 23rd Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The Rev’d E. Bernard Anderson, Jr., SCP, Parish Priest. The Rev. Vincent P. Harris Retired, Celebrant. The Rev. Robert B. Hunter Rector, Retired, Homilist. The Rev. Canon John T. W. Harmon Rector, Trinity Church, DC, Deacon. Rev. Naughton will be inurned at historic St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C on Monday, January 9, 2017. Go with God, Ezra, go with God…..

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Friday, December 2, 2016


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