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On Sunday, September 17, 2023, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Ms. Juanita Murray Smith, officiated by U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, and eulogy delivered by Civil Rights leader and former Mayor of Atlanta, Ambassador Andrew Young. Click on the image to view the livestream recording.
On behalf of me and my wife Chaitra, my brother Dave Darnell Harris and my sister Mara Lamont Hoskin Wright, it is with a deep sense of loss to announce that our mother, the indomitable Juanita Smith, was called home on Sunday morning. While this is a time of sadness for us and everyone who knew her, particularly her “surrogate” children from Operation HOPE – Rachael Doff and Sirjames Buchanon – we can take solace in the fact that she has been promoted to a higher place and is now free from the anxieties of this world.
Everything I am today, I owe to my mother. Everyone who knew her, even briefly, can vouch for why. She was a spirited, determined force, whose wisdom was far more impactful than any formal education I ever received. I have had an abundance of blessings in my life, but the greatest one was being born her son. She brought me into this world and I was there, holding her hand, when she walked out. That’s love.
She was an intellectual force of nature, a venture capitalist at heart whose ability to effortlessly lead by example, with an infectious smile yet commanding authority, was matched by no other. This world is a better place having known Ms. Juanita for last 88 years. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
We sincerely thank all those who sent kind messages of condolences and flowers to the funeral home and church. After the memorial, the flowers are being distributed to senior citizen centers throughout the greater Atlanta area.
The Juanita Murray Smith Foundation will be set up in the coming days, should you wish to make a donation in lieu of flowers. As the fiscal sponsor, Operation HOPE is accepting donations in honor of Juanita Smith and on behalf of The Juanita Murray Smith Foundation.
During times of mourning, reflection and celebration, pictures and words can have a profound effect on the healing process of those walking through the loss of a dear loved one.
We would like to give the opportunity to anyone who would like to share some words of condolence, well wishes, or fond memories of Juanita, for the family to enjoy for many days and months to come.
You may add your comments/message to Juanita’s digital memorial message board by clicking the button below.
If you have photos that you would like to share with the family, please upload them HERE.