Tributes came from around the world at the news of the passing of ArchBishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Sunday, December 26, 2021.
Long heralded and respected as a hero in the fight against apartheid, the Bishop was 90.
A South African Anglican bishop of Lesotho and the first Black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient was a “bundle of energy and inspiration” according to Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who had come to know him over the years.
“He was very outgoing and not shy of sharing his opinions on justice and fairness,” she told Texas Metro News. “South Africa and the world will miss him.”
In addition to social media postings globally from President Joe and First Lady Jill Biden, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and former President Barack and Michelle Obama as well as many others, locally the impact of his death was expressed also.
“The world has lost a great warrior in the battle for justice and equality for all God’s children,” said former Texas State Representative Helen Giddings, who was the Honorary Consul South Africa and also spent time with the Bishop. “His love for his brothers and sisters knew no borders or race.
Among earthly beings he had few equals. He never hesitated to speak truth to power.”
South African President Nelson Mandela appointed him to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and according to Ms. Giddings, that was a role that “no one else could have successfully chaired,” to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the apartheid era.
A former high school teacher following in his father’s footsteps, the Bishop was born October 7, 1921 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal (South Africa). He received several degrees, earned and honorary.
The Bishop authored or co-authored several publications: The Divine Intention (1982), a collection of lectures; Hope and Suffering (1983), a collection of sermons; No Future Without Forgiveness (1999), a memoir; God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (2004), a collection of personal reflections; and Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference (2010), reflections on his beliefs about human nature.
He is survived by wife Nomalizo Leah Tutu and four children, Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu and Tutu van Furth.