In Loving Memory
Khris and his brother, AJ, participated in our program for many, many years. Every month, Khris visited his mom, Cathy, from the time he was 5 or 6 until 18. They were very close. In an interview once, Khris described his mom as his best friend.
At 17, Khris shared his artistic talent with us and created a logo in celebration of Foreverfamily’s 25th Anniversary. He attended the event with his father and at the event, signed a full size poster of the image, which currently hangs proudly on the front wall of the Doyle Room at Foreverfamily Atlanta. At the event, we honored Khristopher—to thank him for his design, but more so to commend him for who he was and how he lived his life—kind, thoughtful, caring, generous, humble, loving, smart, creative, inclusive, polite, positive, and incredibly helpful. He was friends with all the other kids and looked out for everybody else.
In a letter Khris’ mom wrote to honor Khris at the 25th Anniversary, she described Khris exactly as we have always known him.
“Khristopher is very gifted artistically. It shows not only in the images he creates and transfers to paper, but it also shows in the image he portrays with his life. Khristopher is not only talented, he is generous, kind and compassionate. He is always quick to help someone in a time of need, even at the expense of his own needs. He displays all the strength and greatness of a king, but with the heart of a servant. Khristopher is a young man of valor, integrity and humility. His many selfless acts make him a person I strive to imitate each and every day.”
Today is a sad day for our Foreverfamily family—and we are trying to redirect our pain and confusion and transform them into prayers of love and comfort for Khris’ family. We are in communication with his family and in the morning, Sandra will speak with his mom to find out how Foreverfamily can best surround them with love during this difficult time. We will keep you posted about how you can help and funeral information.
In the meantime, I’m sharing this post Khris made on his Facebook page this September, because I believe he would want you to be uplifted tonight:
“Much love to my brothers from other mothers, if it weren’t for y’all I’d still be in the gutter, tryna figure if I should blossom or stutter. #CameFromNothing #DestinToBeEverything. Let me walk you through the bumps in the road.”
If you were close to Khris, I hope you’ll be with his family during this difficult time, and if not, in his honor, please do what you can this week to spread love with someone who might be facing a bumpy road.
Commissioner Joan Garner
Commissioner Joan P. Garner was born in Washington D.C. where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of the District of Columbia and her Master’s Degree from in Organizational Communication from Howard University. In 1978, Garner made Atlanta her new home and up until her passing, she resided in the Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood with her partner, Judge Jane Morrison.
Commissioner Garner has served on several boards during her years of service. Some of the Boards Garner sat on included: The Atlanta Beltline Affordable Housing, Metropolitan Community Development Corporation, Council of Foundations, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southerners on New Ground, Georgia Share Funding Exchange, Southern Reinvestment Ventures and Fourth Tuesday Incorporated, just to name a few.
Commissioner Garner had many accomplishments over the years. They include being appointed to the Transition Team of Mayor Elect Maynard Jackson and the Atlanta Olympic Citizen’s Advisory Commission. Under Mayor Jackson, she also served as Senior Advisor on Gay and Lesbian Issues. Under Mayor Kasim Reed, she served as a member of the Public Works Commissioner Search Committee.
Commissioner Garner was also known for her entrepreneurship accomplishments. She founded Garner Results, Inc. which is a consultancy that develops giving strategies and provides management support to nonprofit and philanthropic communities. She also held the title of President and CEO of the Historic District Development Corporation, a community-based, nonprofit organization that facilitates the preservation and revitalization of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District and other historic/preservation communities.
Commissioner Garner also served as Executive Director of the Southern Partners Fund, held the position of Co-Director of the National Network of Grantmakers, Executive Director of the Fund for Southern Communities, and served as Chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit-M. For six years, Garner held the title of Fulton County Commission and was Vice Chairman for District 4 at the time of her passing. At the age of 65, Commissioner Garner lost her battle with breast cancer on April 18, 2017, but the memory of her passion and commitment to her community will live on.
In 2005, when former board member, Posey Miller, was tasked with the job of developing an annual fundraising event, he turned to a high school classmate, Maetea Stone. Due to Ms. Stone’s professional expertise in event planning and food preparation, she was the ideal candidate to assist with such a grand task. Once she became acquainted with Foreverfamily and its mission, she gladly committed herself to helping with this endeavor, despite the fact that she worked away from the city. In meeting with the board, Ms. Stone recommended the Mardi Gras Fundraiser Ball.
The first ball, held in February 2006 at the Atlanta History Center with the help of Maetea Stone, provided Foreverfamily with the template for future Mardi Gras Ball events. Ms. Stone’s business savvy brought the affair in at a cost that was affordable, resulting in a sizable profit. It was her contacts that lead Foreverfamily to the Atlanta History Center, and the Center’s management has been very supportive of the Mardi Gras Ball and Foreverfamily, ever since.
Maetea Stone was not only an excellent fundraiser, but she was a philanthropist, donating financial gifts to cover the cost of theme props and the caterer for the first ball. Additionally, Ms. Stone was able to get her employer, ABL Management, to become a Bronze Level Sponsor and enlisted the help of her friends in creating the Mardi Gras logo, theme setting, and props. Foreverfamily owes a debt of gratitude to Maetea Stone for her significant contributions to the success of the annual Mardi Gras Ball!
The late Royal Marshall was a member of Foreverfamily’s National Board of Directors. As part of his board role, he served as the Chair of the National Advisory Board and worked tirelessly to enhance the programming the agency offered to childen with an incarcerated parent. Foreverfamily would like to thank to following individuals and organizations for their contribution to Foreverfamily in memory of Royal Marshall:
- Sandra Barnhill
- Wendy Breinig
- Mrs. Geoey Cook
- Lucretia Doyle
- Cindy Goldberg
- Laura Heller
- Nancy Hurd
- Christie Love
- Diana McDonald
- Carlton Mackey
- Jennifer Major
- Robin Martinelli
- Mr. John Piefer & Dr. Deborah Lee
- Mr. Patrick Miller
- The Dave Ramsey Show
- Radio Cox
- Rev. Linda Whitmire
- Midquel McClendon
- Annette Marshall
- Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes
Below are excerpts from some of the emails Foreverfamily received after Royal’s passing from people who loved and respected him:
A legacy of faith, of laughter, of caring…a legacy of understanding that family is larger than that of our immediate one, a legacy that humbles and inspires those who knew him personally and those who knew him through his radio role. I am grateful to be one touched by his life and inspired by his legacy.
~ Reverend Linda S. Whitmire
We remember him to be gregarious, passionate and wise.
~ Heseung Ann Song, Ed.D. President/CEO, Osiris Group, Inc.
I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board of ForeverFamily (formerly Aid to children of Imprisoned Mothers) with Royal for the last few years. He was always a joy to work with, good humored,patient, and sensitive. Royal worked hard to make our last fundraiser a success and had emceed our annual Mardis Gras Ball fundraiser, as he was expected to do this year. He was a fine man who cared very deeply about making a difference in the lives of children whose lives have been disrupted by the incarceration of one or both parents.
~ Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes
We are honored to have served with him in the radio industry.
~ The Dave Ramsey Show
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I wanted to express my condolences to your organization for the loss of Royal Marshall. I truly enjoyed working with him for the last fundraising event and I know he will be sorely missed at Forever Family.
~ Angela Tassie, Sales & Marketing Manager, Bahama Breeze Island Grille – Atlanta Region