It is with a heavy heart that I inform the world about the passing of my brother Cecil H. Houston II, also known as “Little Cecil” and “Vato.”
Cecil was a special man. First and foremost, he was a family man. He loved his wife, Fantara, and he loved his four boys–Cecil III (10 years), Christian (9 years), Cahron (6 years) and Colin (5 years). He was also a great teacher who impacted a host of young people. Cecil was musician, performer and arranger, touching the world through music. Cecil was also a contributing member and leader of several civic and community organizations.
The family had an absolutely wonderful holiday! We have been together the entire holiday season. The entire family was together for Thanksgiving. We celebrated my birthday at our annual family Christmas breakfast and parade. Christmas Eve Cecil’s and Rhonda’s children, Terreon and I went Christmas caroling in the community. The range of reactions that we received were hilarious, especially considering that black folk don’t carol! We also spent Christmas day together as a family. The day after Christmas we held our annual family five-course dinner at my house, cooked by Chef Terreon and Soux Chefs Cecil III and Cahron. We took family pictures following dinner and returned to my house for desert. Friday, was Terreon’s birthday, so we had the boys’ favorite meal–nachos! Ice cream and cake, drums, fellowship and looking at our family pictures online topped the evening off. It was a perfect holiday!
Sunday morning Cecil attended church with his entire family and played the congas at both services. I heard he was happy and in good spirits.
Sunday afternoon was the last time I spoke to my brother. He and his wife Fantara were planning to attend the Presidential Inauguration with me this year. Since I am the family planner, I called them to discuss our travel plans. Cecil, Fantara and I had a nice conversation. I was excited that they were planning to attend with their boys and was looking forward to the event.
Sunday evening the family received a call that Cecil was rushed to the hospital. I figured, since it was the holidays, Cecil just passed out from exhaustion. NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have thought that we would receive such a devastating report. We were told upon our arrival of Cecil’s transition. The family was shocked as we still are…
All of us have been experiencing a wide range of emotions. Awe. Shock. Anger. Sadness. Thankfulness. Disbelief. Confusion. And the list goes on…
We still do not know what happened to Cecil. Cecil went to a friend’s house, collapsed and never woke. He had no health issues or medical history. What we do know is that God is still good!
Dr. Juan Andrade, a close family friend, called to talk to the family. He said we are truly blessed. He explained that it is such a blessing that the family has such good and recent memories of my brother. Everyone who experiences death is not as fortunate.
On behalf of the Houston family, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported us with such love, support and encouragement. Your prayers are what have sustained us through this difficult time.
Those who knew Cecil know that he was a happy man. That is the way the family wants to send him off. We are celebrating the life of my brother. It will be a happy occasion full of activities that represent the spirit of Cecil.
The celebration begins today and all are welcome to attend. The family thanks everyone who is contributing to help us organize and coordinate this effort. We also want to thank all of our loved ones near and far who are taking time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with us.
Feel free to express your comments below. The Houston family receives such comfort hearing from each of you.
Thank you so much for everything!
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to a memorial fund for the children. There are three ways you can contribute.
1) Go to any Wells Fargo banking center across the nation and donate to the Cecil H. Houston Memorial Fund
2) Make an electronic payment via Pay Pal to the Cecil H. Houston Memorial Fund
3) Send a check or money order to:
Cecil H. Houston Memorial Fund
c/o Fantara Houston
P.O. Box 43003
Atlanta, GA 30336
Articles about Cecil Houston
‘He Made Me Proud to be Part of the Marching Jags Family’
Cecil Houston: A legacy remembered.
Cecil Houston: Celebration of Life at Elizabeth Baptist
Cecil Houston, the beloved band leader at Jackson High School, passed away last week. The 36-year-old is survived by his wife and four children.
Schedule of Events January 3 – 9
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