Earl Amyotte passed away peacefully Feb. 2 at the age of 74 with family by his side at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor.
Affectionately known as “Earl the Pearl” to his pro-life colleagues, he frequently described himself as one who was meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. For nearly three decades, he was a leading Canadian pro-life activist in the Windsor and Detroit areas. He was a founding member of Campaign Life Coalition and the first leader of the Pro-Life Party of Canada. In recent years, he particularly enjoyed participating in Show the Truth, which uses graphic images to make the reality of abortion inescapable.
Amyotte was a regular hospital picketer with his “friends across the river” and would travel 15 hours by bus to attend the annual March for Life every January in Washington D.C.
In his role as Windsor area president of CLC, he was the newsman’s best friend, always available with a quotable quote.
A staunch Catholic, Amyotte usually reserved his most biting criticism for bishops and those in charge of Catholic institutions who were slow to respond to crucial moral problems. “The bishops are lost,” he would often say. Amyotte had little time for those who gave “lip service” to an issue. The “meet, eat and retreat” crowd was anathema to his instincts and desire to do good. The wealthier do-nothing pewsitters he dubbed “the wine, dine and recline” crowd.
Amyotte was incensed was when it was announced Assumption College would present the Christian Culture Award to Jean Chretien, the pro-abortion Catholic politician who would later become prime minister. He also picketed former PM John Turner’s visit to St. Mary’s Cathedral in London, Ont. Turner, another pro-abortion “Catholic,” was the minister of justice in the Trudeau government that rammed through the Omnibus Bill in 1969. Amyotte just couldn’t understand how Catholic institutions could honour pro-abortion politicians.
Amyotte loved people and especially, young people. At any pro-life conference or gathering, he could be seen with a child in his arms. Any child.
He was a tireless defender of the rights of children in the womb, their moms, the handicapped and elderly-at-risk, as well as everyone who was disadvantaged. The late, great Mother Teresa referred to those in the pro-life movement as ordinary people doing extraordinary work for God. In Amyotte’s case, he was an extraordinary character doing extraordinary work for his Lord and Saviour.
I was honoured to be asked to eulogize the man and be a pallbearer at his funeral.
He is survived by his loving companion, Anne Marie Stephens, and his sons, Tom and David, as well as two grandchildren and three siblings.
A tree will be planted in memory of Amyotte in the Marcotte Heritage Forest and a dedication service will be held Sept. 30, 2007.
All are welcome.