Booth’s great-granddaughter calls on ARC

PICTURED AT the Anaheim ARC are (l-r) Captain Mandy Perez, Major Mary Doss, Vince Carter, Phyllis LeFeuvre, (William Booth’s great-grandaughter), and Captain Beau Perez.


It started out as a routine call to donate a car. At the donor’s home the Salvation Army memorabilia hanging on the walls impressed the tow truck driver. When the donor, Mrs. Phyllis Booth-Clibborn LeFeuvre, asked, “Do you know who William Booth is?” the driver, Mike Parker, replied, “No Ma’am, who was he?”

Phyllis then shared her family memories, explaining to Mike the Blood and Fire passion of the General and of her family. Her grandmother, Katie Booth-Clibborn (La Marechal) the oldest daughter of William and Catherine, founded the Army in France.

Katie’s sons Eric and Theodore, the traveling evangelists dubbed “The Booth Brothers,” both wooed her mother Lucille. Phyllis spoke with animation, and Mike seemed spellbound.

At home, Mike told his wife, who called Major Glen Doss, the administrator of the Anaheim Adult Rehabilitation Center. Doss then invited Mrs. LeFeuvre to lunch and a tour of the ARC.

At lunch with Major Mary Doss, the director of the Anaheim Women’s Program, Phyllis related how the older Booth brother, Eric, won her mother’s hand in marriage. Initially pastoring a Russian congregation in Colorado, Eric and Lucille Booth-Clibborn set out as missionaries to Africa. Their mission was cut short when Eric died of dysentery within three weeks.

Alone with Phyllis and pregnant with her brother Stanley, Lucille had to find a way home. Etched in Phyllis’ memory is the sight of her mother’s arms covered with tsetse flies as she canoed down the Niger River. Eventually returning penniless to England, Lucille and Phyllis took up residence with Phyllis’ grandmother, “La Marechal.”

After his older brother’s death, Theodore Booth-Clibborn renewed his suit of Lucille and they soon wed. Phyllis recalled a wonderful childhood with special memories of sitting in her grandfather’s lap as he played the autoharp and sang Salvationist songs to her.

Phyllis herself lived through the bombing of London during the Battle of Britain. After World War II she came to America and settled with her husband in California. She now lives in the city of La Habra, and has two sons, Theodore and Phillip.

After lunch Ray Olvera and Vince Carter, the intake and residence managers, showed Phyllis through the warehouse and men’s residence. Faces lit up as Vince introduced the great-granddaughter of William and Catherine Booth.

Phyllis took all the “ooohs” and “aahs” in stride. She shared encouraging words: “You on the front lines have the inheritance. You are saving souls and changing lives.” Touring the six-week old Women’s Rehabilitation Program, Phyllis remarked, “Oh, if only my grandmother could see this!”

Before she left, Phyllis gave the center some early Army publications. Best of all, though, was the precious gift of her presence, a glimpse of the Blood and Fire spirit of the Founder’s family.

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