WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey spoke at Maya Angelou’s memorial service Saturday at Wake Forest University.
“Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known,” Winfrey said in front of the crowd. “The loss I feel, I cannot describe. It’s like something I’ve never felt before.”
The service took place at Wait Chapel and had several others speakers including Angelou’s son, grandson and pastor. Angelou’s family arranged the private service.
“She had the voice of God… And he decided he wanted it back for a while,” Clinton said.
Angelou’s family has decided to have a closed service for family and friends only, due to limited seating capacity, according to the school.
The award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist died May 28 in her Winston-Salem home. She was 86.
Angelou had been reportedly battling health problems. She recently canceled a scheduled appearance of a special event to be held in her honor.
“She reminded us that we must each find our own voice and announce it to the world,” Obama said.
Angelou’s family will be planning additional celebrations of her life in other cities across the country, according to Wake Forest.