Education
9:12 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

Not All Who Gathered For Angelou Were Big Names

Dr. Maya Angelou's memorial service Saturday featured reflections from the likes of Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. 

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority wait to get in line for the memorial service for Dr. Maya Angelou Saturday, May 7, 2014.
Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority wait to get in line for the memorial service for Dr. Maya Angelou Saturday, May 7, 2014.
Credit WFDD Photo by Paul Garber

But some of the most poignant moments came from some of the not quite as famous speakers. They are members of the author's family - son Guy Johnson and grandsons Elliott Jones and Colin Johnson.

Jones opened the service with a reading of Angelou's poem "Still I Rise."

Angelou's son, Guy Johnson, says his mother spent her last 10 years in pain, the effects of a lifetime of dancing on hard floors and also from respiratory failure. Despite the pain, Angelou never lost her sense of joy.

Angelou's service closed with a tribute by grandson Colin Johnson. He says his grandmother wove people together, so that they became part of a larger family.

More than 2,000 people attended te private ceremony, which was held in Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University.