Courageous Love: Bill and Dolores Deitz
Courageous love really is everywhere. My partner, Jonathan, and I spent the holiday with his wonderful family. As a blizzard swirled outside, I heard an inspiring story about Jonathan’s grandparents, Bill and Dolores Deitz. In the 1950s, Bill and Dolores prepared to sell their home in Coxsakie, New York. The buyers were an African American couple with a young daughter, and they would be the first people of color in the neighborhood. Sadly, when word spread about the proposed sale, neighbors became irate. Blocking the sale was a rationalized, highly emotional priority born out of fear. Many neighbors stopped speaking to them. Several refused to allow their children to play with Jonathan’s mother and uncle. Bill and Dolores persevered.
As the sale moved forward, the situation became worse, as Bill and Dolores were repeatedly threatened with harm. Their fears were real, they told me. But they never thought of backing down. Bill moved his wife, son and daughter to safety with out-of-town relatives until the closing happened, weeks later.
Bill and Dolores Deitz have a fundamental belief that everyone is equal. Like so many others, when they believe that something is right, they follow their hearts no matter the consequences. Strong and steadfast in the face of intimidation, they are unsung heroes whose story of courageous love is little known beyond their family.
Thank you, Bill and Dolores.
Lifted up by: Dan Furmansky