I was born in San Francisco, California in 1931. It was during the Depressions and my father was out of work. A former stock- broker, he still managed to play the violin, read out loud to me and do magic tricks every day. The whole scene was enchanting. Then the Second World War broke out and he took us all back to the mid-west to continue to grow up. I was nine years old. My father went to work in a defense plant using his degree in mechanical engineering to provide a living for us. Our suburb of Cleveland Heights was about 75 percent Jewish. It was a city where all during the Second World War, Jewish people came to live as they escaped the Nazis overseas. Their world became my world as I heard stories of persecution and sometimes escape. I was forever changed to think that German gentiles were trying to destroy such a gifted people as the Jews. I vowed to adopt “hard to adopt” children later in life as a result of this horrific realization.
After graduation from high school, I attended Northwestern University for two years and then I married James Hemphill in 1951. We had four children and then we were privileged to adopt two bi-racial children. Throughout the years I continued to write poetry and paint several paintings. I also completed my college degree and then went to Seabury Theological Seminary, graduating as an Episcopal Priest in 1986. My first husband died and then a year later I married John Lannan. I am a very serious oil painter, having had seven one woman shows throughout the years. I still enter art shows where I have won some prizes for my paintings. I am very content preaching sermons, painting pictures and writing poetry.