Memories of Mrs. Arthuretta "Mama Retta" Leona Holmes-Martin | Ever Loved

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In memory of Mrs. Arthuretta "Mama Retta" Leona Holmes-Martin

Memories & condolences

Arthuretta is coming to lunch!
Katherine White2021, Friday Power Lunch Arthuretta is coming to lunch!
Katherine White I'm so sorry for the loss of Arthuretta. I first met her when she performed as Nannie Helen Burroughs to enlighten the audience about the black suffragists and their leading role in the fight for the vote. Then later, we had the pleassure of working with her in her leadership role in Resolutions Addressing Systemic Racism (RASR) and the African American Redress Network (AARN). She was to perform on our show the Friday Power Lunch - and fell ill. We prayed for her recovery. God bless her and keep her. 
Arthuretta Chairs the Nationa…
Jeri Mae Rowley2018 Arthuretta Chairs the National Speakers Association: DC Chapter's first-ever online auction.
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Jeri Mae Rowley
John Saunders - CIMPAD Dear Makeda and the Martin Family,

This contribution represents donations made by individual CIMPAD board members and an amount authorized by the board totaling $1,125.00 in honor of our dear friend and colleague Arthuretta. She contributed much to the establishment and growth of CIMPAD and she will be long remembered. You have our deepest condolences and our continuing prayers for comfort and blessing.
Bill Grimmette My condolences to Arthuretta's family. I first met Arthuretta when we were creating the storytelling group NCABSA [National Capital Area Black Storyteller's Association] together in 2016. We were trying to get it operational for the Grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture [NMAAHC] and we did. It is with great sadness that I learned of this passing so late. My deep condolences to the family and may the blessings of eternity console you at this moment.
Makeda Martin Please see my mother's memorial service link!
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Jeri Mae Rowley
Theresa Watson Sending my Condolences to the family! Mrs. Arthuretta was amazing singer! I truly enjoyed our time in Chapel Choir! I will definitely miss seeing her smile!
Makeda Martin This is the video tribute for my mom that was shown at her celebration of life memorial.
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Aliyah Khan
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JO ANNE CLARK-BOOKER
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Jeri Mae Rowley
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Makeda Martin
Kim Washington I knew this sweet soul for a short time and in that short time I know she was ready & willing to help those who were wronged. She has a beautiful smile . Rest in peace with the Lord.
Lecia Waller We are so sorry about the passing of our beloved Arthuretta. She was the reason my husband and I met and married. We enjoyed many great times and are the proud godparents to Makeda. We love this family and will keep you all in our prayers. Henry and Lecia Waller
Raymond Henderson On June 22 morning I sent Arthuretta a good morning message like I have done many mornings in the past and she returned the message saying Good morning Raymond. Thank you for the morning greeting. And that night she sent a good night message. Little did I know that would be the last time I would hear from my friend Arthuretta Holmes Martin. Safe journey my friend.
Black storyteller event
Raymond Henderson2013, Raleigh, NC, USA Black storyteller event
Black storyteller event
Raymond Henderson2013, Raleigh, NC, USA Black storyteller event
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Raymond Henderson
Raymond Henderson2019, Crystal City, Arlington, VA, USA
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Raymond Henderson
Northern Virginia Black Chamb…
Raymond Henderson2011, Arlington, VA, USA Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
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Raymond Henderson
Album Photoshoot
Raymond Henderson2007, Burke, VA, USA Album Photoshoot
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Raymond Henderson
Kirk Johnson ….. My last time spent with Arthuretta was at a Woodbridge Toastmasters Club meeting where she served as Vice-President (PR)…
….. When I was chairing an Area Speech Contest in Vienna, VA, Arthuretta mesmerized the audience with a phenomenal vocal rendition of the National Anthem to open that event…
….. Our first meeting was at her first exposure to Toastmasters Int’l in the G.U.T.S. (Get Up To Speak) Club where she expressed her dream to become a Professional StoryTeller…
….. That dream became a reality…
….. Rest-In-Peace, Arthuretta!
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Maurice Threatt
Asenath Pitner It hurts my heart that my little sister is dead. Even though we did not grow up together, we still stayed connected all those years. I still remember the first I saw her when she was just a baby. She was so cute! I loved her from that moment on. I was her big sister. I wanted to help and protect her.

Over the years she would ask my advice when making a major decision. Usually, she would ignore my advice and do what her wanted to do. Years later she told me that she wished that she had followed my advice in each situation. That meant a lot to me. It told me that she knew that I would never do anything to harm her. I only wanted to help and protect her. I now have a new angel watching over me. I miss and love her dearly.
Dinah Britt
Shared a heart Red heart
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Dinah Britt
Jubilee Voices will miss Arth…
Andrea Blackford Jubilee Voices will miss Arthuretta's bold, warrior spirit. May she rest in power and sing with the angels.
Arthuretta was a member of th…
Andrea Blackford2017 Arthuretta was a member of the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices. Her powerful storytelling and melodious voice made her a valued and loved member of the group; her humor, laughter and love was felt by her fellow vocalists and friends, and her memory is a precious gift to us all.
Claire Cashwell My condolences to Arthuretta's family. I first met Arthuretta when while serving as a Regional Representative for the Regional Council of Region XI, Blacks In Government. It was refreshing to see Arthuretta work very hard, as many others to protect the human rights of African Americans everywhere. Our common activities especially focused on fair treatment of our people who provided services for the protection and welfare of Federal, State, and Local Government employees. Like all other companies and Government, we also must fight discrimination. Arthuretta’s Family should feel very proud to have had a Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, and Aunt as her to cherish forever. Claire Cashwell, President, Region XI Retired Members Chapter, Blacks In Government, Fort Washington, Maryland.
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Maurice Threatt
Tanya Ward Jordan My heart is heavy. I woke up in the early morning hours to learn of the passing of my dear friend and fellow civil rights activist Arthuretta Holmes Martin. She was a brilliant, insightful, drum major for justice. Arthuretta, since retired from federal service, was a dedicated civil servant who sought equality for all. We go back years. We first met in the early '90s serving in Blacks In Government and the NAACP Federal Sector Taskforce. In more recent years, Arthuretta served as the Health and Wellness Chair for The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). My dear friend inspired me to form the organization for she knew that federal workers, victimized by discrimination, needed a safe place to network and fellowship. Whenever I called upon her for insight, she gave wise counsel. Representing C4C, she accompanied me to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and to the late Rep. Elijah Cummings office. She presented on the Whistleblower Summit panel in Washington, DC. She purposefully lifted her eloquent voice and provided insight to address federal workplace inequity. Her support for our shared cause, over the years, aided in the passing of the No FEAR Act of 2002 and the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act. She was a brave whistleblower with a caring, frank and vivacious spirit. May her light continue to shine. Prayers of comfort I extend to the family.
Sharon Holley I will miss this songbird that I first met at the Black Storyteller Retreat at the Bricks in North Carolina. We were roommates and connected with story, song and family stories.
Diane Jackson Sincere Condolences and Positve Prayers to the Family and Friends.
Such a shocker. Ms. Arthuretta was such an accomplished person with so many gifts. She gave back to the Community with her activism and knowledge. I was so looking forward to hearing her and meeting her. .. even if virtually.

Ms. Arthurertta was to speak, share stories and experiences for Women's Equality Day next month for the Bright Knights Chapter of the Federally Employed Women (FEW).
Dr. Zena Crenshaw-Logal I so regret not having more time with you on earth, but rest in power my dear, dear sister. I’ll see you on the other side. No doubt you’ll be a great source of magic and light there as you were here ❤️🙏🏽❤️🙏🏽❤️
Arthuretta with the Washingto…
Christina BussieJosiah Henson Museum & Park, Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, MD, USA Arthuretta with the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices
Dr. Matthew Fogg I know that earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal but this news is really tough. Retta was great friend and colleague in the trenches of social and economic justice. We were in Blacks In Government (www.BIGNET.org) for many years and worked on the passage of the fammed 21st Century Civil Rights Act legislation known as the; NoFEAR Act signed into law by President George Bush.
Our Advocacy for justice was relentless and we all paid a price for the freedoms of those coming after us. There are no words to describe her departure but only to say for Autheretta to be absent from this body is to be present with our Mighty GOD.
Aliyah Khan My deepest condolences to all in the family and friends circles of Retta. She was a passionate and active advocate for justice and equity and inspired everyone. Retta will be dearly missed by all her Sanders Siblings but always remain in our hearts 💐💚
Freedom
Roy Jones2005, Gorée, Dakar, Senegal Freedom
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Makeda Martin
Standing in front of Nelson M…
Roy Jones2013, Robben Island, South Africa Standing in front of Nelson Mandela's Cell
On the boat to Goree Island c…
Roy Jones2005, Dakar Senegal On the boat to Goree Island connecting with strangers
CIMPAD Conference US Ambassad…
John Saunders2007, Kampala, Uganda CIMPAD Conference US Ambassador's Reception
Arthuretta wrote a book with …
Gwendolyn Lewis2018, Lake Ridge, VA, USA Arthuretta wrote a book with other arthurs
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Gwendolyn Lewis
Special Guest Superintendent …
Gwendolyn Lewis2019, CCNA 10 Year Anniversary Special Guest Superintendent Hutchings
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Gwendolyn Lewis
Katherine White We got to know Arthuretta this past year. She was a talented amazing woman who shared her beauty and insight to make the world better and smarter. She will be missed. God bless this woman. Peace be upon her soul.
Yolanda Bell My Heart is so heavy. Arthuretta was a beacon of light and tireless warrior for civil rights, especially in the federal sector. She always had a smile and instinctively knew when to text me, like we were spiritually connected. I will miss her dearly. When my sister had been taken and being kept from her family, Arthuretta took it upon herself to go visit her. She would read to her in that amazing voice. My sister was less frightened when Arthuretta wa around. I will always love Arthuretta and cherish that memory, for her giving my sister a sense of safety, comfort, and peace in a terrifying situation. Arthuretta was able to bring light into the last days of my sisters life. Her children and family are in my prayers.
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Will Spencer
Busy Graham Arthuretta will be sorely missed in so many ways and by so many people for her extraordinary voice---as a storyteller, singer and seeker of social justice.

She was a beloved and longtime member of the Revels' Jubilee Voices, frequently featured on the Carpe Diem-Revels Daily Antidote of Song. Arthuretta was also a memorable part of our Carpe Diem Arts-Washington Revels Community Family Sing this past January 21, 2021.

I especially appreciated Arthuretta's championing the voices of young storytellers and creating opportunities for them to perform---to the point of insisting that when it was the young tellers' turn to take the stage at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN, that it be the ONLY active stage, such that everyone would be there to applaud and support the next generation of storytellers, instead of splitting up the crowd among the usual multiple venues.

A personal note of thanks to Arthuretta for having been a teaching artist with the Compass Homeschool Program where my granddaughters Julia and Madeleine reaped the wonderful benefit of Arthuretta's inspiring and guiding them in crafting their own stories. Particularly poignant was Julia's story of dancing for her beloved Gran, as a parting gift, just days before my Mom passed away.

Here is a collection of poems, passages and songs collected over time for the celebration of life and grieving of loss: https://docs.google.com/.../1….... Included in Maya Angelou's "When Great Trees Fall."

Sending much love and deepest sympathy to Arthuretta's family and friends.
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Will Spencer
Charlotte Blake Alston Sister Arthuretta was a giant of a Spirit-Woman; kind, generous and committed to building community. Her impact on the lives of all she touched through public speaking, storytelling, singing, teaching, mentoring and social activism is far reaching. May her bright light continue to shine in the hearts of her family and all those who knew and loved her. She will be greatly missed. May God hold you in the palm of His Hand during this challenging moment.
mitchell capel She will be missed by not only me but all of our storytelling community. Always looked forward to her warm spirit and beautiful smile. May peace be with the family .
Shirley Johnson Our sincere condolences to the family.🙏 🙏
Mary WILLIAMS I will miss Retta. We have been friends since 6th grade.
Lori Nicholson I'm so sorry to learn of Arthuretta's passing. She was such a shining light, and she shared that light with the world. Arthuretta and I were classmates in the National Speakers Association (NSA) Speakers Academy (as well as a subsequent training together), and I enjoyed sharing with, and learning from, her. The world is a little less bright without the richness of her energy and her stories. Blessings to you and your family.
At Arthuretta's invitation, I…
Avis D Matthews2018 At Arthuretta's invitation, I joined Frances Brooks and others in presenting songs, poems, and stories commemorating 9/11. Women's National Democratic Club, Wash.,D.C.
Avis D Matthews
Shared a heart Red heart
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Avis D Matthews
John Saunders Arthuretta was a dedicated and beloved member of the board of directors of the Consortium for International Management, Policy, and Development [CIMPAD]. Her shining contributions will be greatly missed and we send our deepest condolences to her family and pray for their strength and comfort. Sorrowfully,
Board of Directors
CIMPAD
We felt like we were on top t…
Winny Parks2016, St Kitts & Nevis We felt like we were on top the world! We fell in love with the islands, its people, and especially the culture. We planned to return; I'm determined now to make that happen in memory of her.
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Makeda Martin
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Winny Parks
NABS Conference and Festival
Ilene Evans2019, Montgomery, Alabama, USA NABS Conference and Festival
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Ilene Evans
Melissa Hartman My heart is broken for the family and loved ones. I am so sorry for your loss. Arthuretta’s spirit will always be with us and we await seeing her beautiful smile when we join her in Heaven.
Glenda Clare I would like to offer my condolences to Arthuretta's family. My heart is truly broken as I learn about her passing. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

In our last conversation, Arthuretta Holmes Martin encouraged me to get my business certifications - Women Owned/ Veterans Owned/ HUB. She gave me an overview and told me the next steps to follow. At the end of June, I went to a workshop facilitated by Katie A. Gailes' staff. I will keep my commitment to Arthuretta and complete those tasks.

We was definitely about the business of making sure African American/black people knew their history and voting rights. I will try to incorporate some of that work in what I do.
In my life, she presented as a teacher and a student, a supporter and a soul sister. If she could help in any way - she was there. Thank you for contributing to my life Arthuretta.
Edwina Johnson Just can’t believe this and I’m truly sorry for your entire family’s loss. From our days at Greater Little Zion to our thought provoking discussions on Facebook, I will cherish the memories. You were an amazing women of God and such a genuine person. May you sleep and take your eternal rest. My sincerest condolences to your entire family. You will be missed 😢😘❤️🙏🏽
Ilene Evans
Shared a heart Red heart
Wanda Clancy My condolences to Arthuretta's family. I first met Arthuretta in high school. We were neighbors, classmates and later cousins. She was blessed with a beautiful voice. I will always remember our days in Levittown, PA. Rest in peace.
Arthuretta and Diane Williams
Diane WilliamsWashington D.C., DC, USA Arthuretta and Diane Williams
Jenny Grove-Bradshaw Arthuretta taught public speaking and storytelling to students at Compass Homeschool Program since 2013. She was a gifted speaker and enchanting storyteller. Arthuretta was also a creative, supportive coach and mentor who helped many students gain the confidence to present in front of others and inspired some students to pursue public speaking at a higher level. She will be greatly missed by the Compass Homeschool community. Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends.

I wanted to share a sampling of the feedback we have received this week:
Kathy O (parent of student): This is awful. What a loss. I hope her family can gain some peace knowing how many young people she influenced, encouraged, and supported in such positive ways. A woman who truly made a difference, and that will live on.

Basma S. (Compass staff): Thank you for sharing this very sad and shocking news. Arthuretta was a kind and giving human being; the world has lost a distinguished woman of both grace and dignity. May she rest in peace.

Ney M. (fellow teacher): I am very sorry to hear of her passing. My condolences to her family and loved ones, and may she rest in great peace.
A surprise meet-up. Compass s…
Jenny Grove-Bradshaw2020, Washington, DC A surprise meet-up. Compass student Lauren Bradshaw was delivering her winning Frederick Douglass oration at the Frederick Douglass annual birthday celebration in DC. And who else was there, performing for the celebration? Arthuretta, who was Lauren's public speaking teacher. It was the first time each got to hear the other perform.
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Busy Graham
Arthuretta engaging her stude…
Jenny Grove-Bradshaw2016, Oakton, VA, USA Arthuretta engaging her students
Marie Barnes Marie Barnes Arthuretta has been a blessing in my life since we met. We have much in common; Distinguished Toastmasters, Members of Alfred Street Baptist Church, and our hometown is Philadelphia. Arthturetta was blessed with many gifts, storytelling, beautiful voice, public speaking, and leadership. She was clearly committed to social advocacy and practice standing up for justice for all. What a legacy she leaves for so many. Rest my beloved sister.
Lyn Ford A blessed singer and storyteller and a blessing to us all. Arthuretta will be deeply missed, but she will live in our memories and hearts.
Sandra Manigault We wish to convey our deepest condolences to Arthuetta's children and relatives. She was so vital and full of life that I cannot believe she's gone. She helped me finish my latest book, and was planning to help others to do the same. She was a very special woman, and always willing to share her knowledge and wisdom with others. She was a vital part of the circle of writers and storytellers and nurturers. We will miss her giving spirit.
Cynthia Roper To the Martin family, we the Roper family are so sorry for your loss. I sang in the Choir with her in Va.Our prayers are with you and your family.God bless you all. From Ned | Cynthia Roper
D'Andrea Moore Our sincere condolences from the Moore family. My name is D'Andrea Michelle Moore. Arturetta and I were best friends of many years until high school and after family moved down south we talked occasionally as she used to call me and ask if I was ok. She was kind that way, and I will miss those phone calls.
Jessica Robinson I knew Arthuretta through storytelling. She was a wonderful voice in our community and she will be missed.
I compiled some of her stories in a playlist. I thought it would be nice to have them gathered in one place.
https://youtube.com/playlist?…
Arthuretta and vocalists who …
Lisa Holmes-Langford2008, Charleston, SC, USA Arthuretta and vocalists who participated at my wedding
Nickita Harrison My sincerest condolences to Arthuretta's family. Sending prayers of comfort and healing your way.
Arthuretta with The Writing C…
Gina BruceWoodbridge, VA Arthuretta with The Writing Circle (Woodbridge, VA)
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Janelle Hunt
Irvine Nugent Dearest Family and Friends,

My deepest condolences to each of you. I knew Arthurette through the National Speakers Association and I will always remember her powerful presence, her wisdom, and her genius for storytelling.

Rest In Peace!
Lillian Collins She was married to my nephew Herman Spencer. Even though I never had an opportunity to meet her, I saw the love she gave to William and Justin. Rest In Peace beautiful lady and niece.
Neville Thompson My deepest sympathies to the family. I have known Arthuretta for several years thru her involvement with the Speakers Association in DC. We frequently talk about being on the big stage. Always an encourager and motivator to friends and colleagues.
A masterful storyteller and most importantly a good friend.
Raymond Henderson Arthuretta, my friend it just won’t be the same without you. I can remember the first time I met you in the First Friday networking meeting and stood up and sung your powerful introduction. I was blown away and knew I had to meet this powerful woman. After the meeting you told me that you needed some photos for an album that you were working on. This began a wonderful friendship.
My deepest condolences and prayers for family and may the Lord send forth his angels to build a hedge of protection around your family.
Irene Neba May your soul Rest In Peace Ms Retta. So hard to believe you have exited so soon. God knows why. May the almighty strengthen and comfort your family for such a big loss.
Tatang Monji Arthuretta joined NACDA DMV family at the beginning of 2020 and we were so proud to have her in our midst. A consummate storyteller, she animated one of our face-to-face monthly meetings with an interesting story just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We will greatly miss you Mama "Retta." Our deepest condolences to the immediate family. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Adieu Sister.
Sheila Dixon My condolences to Arthuretta's family. I first met Arthuretta when she attended a women’s business luncheon. The luncheon expanded to 3 counties in Northern Virginia. Arthuretta used to sing each time I launched a chapter of the WBIS NetGiving Foundation. She always chuckled when I would call her with a new idea. She knew my story from within and helped me express my love for community. Recently she helped the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce with our “Taste of Black History” virtual brunch. Working with her, William and our team was an absolute gift and I’m so blessed to have been touched by Arthuretta. She will always remain in my heart. “LOVE YA SIS”
Carol Ann Lloyd Dear family,
My very deepest condolences on the death of the lovely Arthuretta Holmes-Martin. I knew her through Toastmasters and National Speakers Association. She was a kind and loving woman, a true leader whose compassion shone through in all she did. She will be missed by many people whose lives she touched. May God bless you at this time.
Paulette Jackson Sending my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Arthuretta. I met Arthuretta at Greater Little Zion Baptist Church in Fairfax. She had the voice of an angel, and when she sang, my heart would soar. We reconnected recently and it was a joy to see her virtually. I know she is now in a choir of angels, sending down praises of love on those she loved and who loved her. Rest peacefully, dear Arthuretta.
Jean Monroe Dear Family
My heart is sadden to hear of the passing of Arthuretta. She is a beautiful woman and has a heart for others. I met Arthuretta through Toastmasters. I will truly miss her. I am praying for the family.
Allyn Rollins Dear Family,

Sending my heartfelt condolences - I met Arthuretta in Dec of 2020, I attended a Toastmasters meeting, and subsequently joined. In the short time had to know her it was clear that she was so gifted, she had a kind of vibe to her that stood out. Always had a kind word. I am grateful to have met such a wonderful women.
Dr Fozo Alombah Arthureta, I met you for the first time in our home in February 2020 when you officially joined the Awing DMV community. Because of your easy going attitude and the fun you cracked during the meeting, we hoped to have more fun times with you during our subsequent meetings. But then COVID-19 struck, and kept us from holding face-to-face meetings, until that same shameless scourge has now separated you permanently from us. Go well, Sister, and may the Lord God grant you eternal rest.
Peggy Valentine Dear family,
We at CIMPAD, Consortium for International Management Policy and Development are indeed sad to learn of Arthuretta's passing. She was a beloved board member who traveled and worked with us in many African countries. May God grant you peace and comfort at this time.
Peggy Valentine
CIMPAD President
Keith Durham Lord continue to wrap your loving arms around this family in there time and lost. My heart truly goes out to them right now Lord.
Julie Taitt Arthuretta was my anointed, gifted, talented, smart, loving friend for many, many years. We’ve had countless meals and conversations together through the years which I will truly miss. May the peace and comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your family because you are now in the peace , presence, and comfort of the Lord.
Janelle Hunt Sending my heartfelt condolences! The words she spoke always leap out and grabbed my heart! She taught me how to be set free from childhood traumas. I’m going miss her so much, but know she’s resting with the Lord and I will see her again when the good Lord calls me home. Prayers going up for your family🙏🏽💜🙌🏽
Keith Exum My sincerest condolences to Arthuretta's family. Praying with you and for you!!!
Terri Henderson I am saddened to hear that our sweet, beloved Arthuretta has passed. She graced our congregation with her joy, a beautiful voice in our Zion Inspirational Choir (ZIC) and her presence at Greater Little Zion . This passing is difficult to process and I will pray for Arthuretta's adoring, family and those who also hold special memories.
God has prepared a place for those that love him, But it is written, eyes hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for those that love him. I Corinthian 2:9,
Rest in sweet peace, Arthuretta . . . . . . .
Edward Williams Condolences to the family.
Raymond Henderson Raymond Henderson — "My condolences and prayers for my dear friend Arthuretta Holmes Martin to her family. I will truly miss Arthuretta because of our many conversations and I loved to photograph her and her family. Arthuretta was so wonderful."
Raymond Henderson My condolences and prayers for my dear friend Arthuretta Holmes Martin to family. I will truly miss Arthuretta because of our many conversations and I loved to photograph her and her family. Arthuretta was so wonderful.

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