Leyden practiced a life of service to others
Anne Brewer Leyden, a lifelong Episcopalian, lived a life of devoted service to others.
In April 1967, Leyden; her husband, the Rev. Edward Bush Jr.; their five children; and a small contingent of volunteers from several denominations opened an experimental Episcopalian mission in San Antonio called the Gate House, originally located at 207 4th St.
On Sundays, the two-story building was a church. But on Thursday through Saturday, it functioned as a coffee house in the evenings, serving espresso, coffee, tea and pastries. Leyden served as the director.
In addition to being a coffee house, it served as a place of fellowship, where on Thursday patrons could listen to special speakers discussing hot topics such as “Sex and the New Morality” or on Saturday sip espresso while folk singers performed in the background.
“Our purpose is to be a place where people can come and go,” Leyden said in a San Antonio Express-News interview a month after the Gate House opened. “We want to offer discussions on vital topics of the day.”
Leyden died Jan. 25. She was 94.
Growing up in Danville, Virginia, Leyden was quite young when she met her future husband — they attended the same church and high school. In 1943, the two got married and he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, serving during World War II.
After the war, the two moved to Arlington, Virginia, where Bush attended the Episcopal Theological Seminary.
In 1954, the family moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where her husband was appointed rector for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He served in that role until 1960.
During that time, Leyden devoted herself to lay ministries. “She was in plays and musicals to raise money and led a prayer group with my father,” daughter Betty Boyd said about those times.
The family moved to San Antonio in 1960 when the Rev. Bush was appointed to lead a house of worship, the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and School.
After the couple divorced, Leyden went on to become a member of the Episcopal Church of Reconciliation and continued serving the community.
She taught preschool at St. David’s Episcopal School in the late 1960s, went to work for Matthews Nolan Law Firm in the 1969 and worked as a receptionist for the Episcopal Diocese in West Texas from 1983 through 1989, her daughter said.
“She was a warrior. She had great strength,” Boyd said.