Oprah in Winston-Salem to help plan Maya Angelou’s memorial service at WFU

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Oprah was in Winston-Salem on Monday to help Maya Angelou’s family plan her memorial service.

Credit: WGHP / Joe McCloskey

Credit: WGHP / Joe McCloskey

Oprah was inside Wait Chapel at Wake Forest until 1 p.m. Monday with a group helping to plan the memorial service.

The family has arranged a private memorial service in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel at 10 a.m. Saturday. Angelou’s family decided to have a closed service for family and friends only, due to limited seating capacity.

“We are limiting access to the campus, to those who are invited and to those who need to be here,” said University Spokesman Kevin Cox.

Oprah and a handful of others were in Wait Chapel for at least a half hour. They discussed seating arrangements, where the family will watch from and how the chapel will be decorated. For the university, it’s an honor to host the services for a woman they say gave them so much.

“We expect that her impact on us will go on for years and years,” said Cox.

It is unclear as to who will be in attendance, but university officials say they’re confident they can keep them and the campus safe.

“We’ve hosted every kind of possible event on this campus that have had extremely high levels of security, and lower levels, and we’re prepared to meet whatever the need is,” said Cox.

University officials say even though they have a traffic management plan, people living in the Wake Forest area should anticipate heavy traffic on Saturday morning.

Angelou died Wednesday in her Winston-Salem home. She was 86. She had been reportedly battling health problems.

Angelou’s family will be planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country, according to Wake Forest.

Oprah tweeted on Sunday night she was at Angelou’s home “sitting at her kitchen table.”