|Birth: ||Aug. 4, 1914|
De Kalb County
|Death: ||Oct. 18, 1996|
Son of Robert Glenn Vanauken and Grace Merle Hanselman Vanauken.
Frank Sheldon Vanauken was an American author, best known for his best-selling autobiographical book A Severe Mercy (1977), which recounts the friendship he and his wife Jean Palmer Davis ("Davy") developed with writer C.S. Lewis, their conversion to Christianity and eventually dealing with the tragedy of Davy's fatal illness and death.
When "Van" and Davy first fell in love, they made a vow they called the "Shining Barrier". In brief, they promised to share everything in life, including all their interests, friends, and work, in order to tie themselves so closely together that nothing could ever separate them. Their devotion to this idea was so complete that they decided never to have children, as they felt that motherhood would be an experience which could not be shared equally. Davy's conversion challenged the Shining Barrier, and began a process by which Van accepted religion as part of their bond. His faith was put to the test when Davy was diagnosed with terminal liver disease at age 39.
After her death, he never remarried, but continued his life as a professor of history at Lynchburg College and eventually converted to Roman Catholicism. His book became a best-seller, and eventually was followed by a sequel, Under the Mercy. He died of lung cancer in 1996.
Robert Glenn Van Auken (1883 - 1943)
Jean Palmer Davis Vanauken (1914 - 1955)*
Saint Stephens Episcopal Church
Plot: Ashes scattered in cemetery
Created by: HWA
Record added: Jun 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27554661
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