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The world mourns Dr. Maya Angelou

News Desk | 6/6/2014, 9:13 a.m.
Call & Post's Kevin (Chill) Heard with the famous Maya Angelou

Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family on the day of her passing read as follows: “Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.”

Dr. Maya Angelou’s family has arranged a private memorial service in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m.

Due to limited seating capacity, the family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only. Wake Forest University will livestream the service for the public at go.wfu.edu/angeloumemorial.

The family will be planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country. Her son, Guy B. Johnson, will release information about these destinations at a later date.

President Barack Obama

“When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.”

Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman. Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true. A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves. In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.

Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya. With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, ‘flung up to heaven’ – and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.”

President Bill Clinton

“With Maya Angelou's passing, America has lost a national treasure; and Hillary and I, a beloved friend," he said. "The poems and stories she wrote and read to us in her commanding voice were gifts of wisdom and wit, courage and grace.”

Oprah Winfrey

“I've been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my 20s. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her.