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!

Doing what he loved--playing in the CAU Marching Band!

Doing what he loved–playing in the CAU Marching Band!

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.

The Houston Siblings - Rhesa, Rhonda, Ramona and Cecil

The Houston Siblings – Rhesa, Rhonda, Ramona and Cecil

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!

Ramona Houston


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
Download as PDF



Categories: General Topics


  1. Comment by Tarri J

    Tarri J Reply January 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Ramona, I am so sorry to hear about Cecil’s passing. I remember Cecil from High School and beyond and he was ALWAYS such a wonderful person. He could lift your spirits in your most discouraging moments with his smile, laughter, or silly joke. He was such a warm and uplifting person and he has truely left an imprint on all the lives he has encounterd. That is a life well lived! My prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Comment by Tamara Irving

    Tamara Irving Reply January 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Hello I am a class of 94 NAHS grad as was Cecil. I remember him in high school as an all around fabulous guy….who rocked the percussion section! I also teach dance at north ATLANTA and would love running into him at our APS arts functions. I pray peace over the entire family. Cecil was wonderful and will be missed. I’m so glad I took the time to email him before the holiday break to wish him well on the holiday concert.

    Thank you,

    Tamara Merritt Irving
    NAHS 1995

  3. Comment by Alyssa Madrie

    Alyssa Madrie Reply January 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I met Mr. Houston my 11th grade year. He was one of those teachers I instantly felt comfortable with, I would always talk to him , and if I was having a bad day he always had a way of cheering me up. He would always “harrass” me about joining the marching band. My responds would always “Ehhh, ill think about it” and he would always say “Your joining this band just watch and see” lol. As he predicted I did. I glad I joined and I was having fun. I met Dr. Houston one in his office she asked was I enjoying it? I told her “yes” and she said “that’s good just stick to it” By the end of marching band season I wished I had joined sooner. Throughout my senior year doing band and having band class I learned Mr. Houstons trick to his yes/no head movements. It took me a minute to catch on to it. Also anytime I came in his office in the afternoons ill say Good Afternoon he would Good Morning. Ill say Mr. Houston its not Morning. He would say well its Morning somewhere. Lol. He also blamed everything on the COOTIES lol. When graduation came in May 2012 me and my friends were sitting in his office talking about all the adventures we had throughout the years he told me that those were nothing compared to what ill experience in college and to make sure I come back and tell him about those that’s when the real stuff happens. Im sad I didn’t make it up there to visit. I’m really going to miss him he was one of my favorite teachers.it really feels as though he was my blood family it hurt me to the core when I got the news. Eventhough we weren’t blood related we were a band family. Its comforting to know that my favorite teacher will be watching over me in heaven and I have an angel. I will really miss you Mr. Houston I love you and thank you for everything you have done for me. RIP and BIP (BandInParadise)

  4. Comment by Sandy Simblist

    Sandy Simblist Reply January 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Dear Ramona – Ron and I were shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of your brother Cecil. You and your family have been in our thoughts and my heart is heavy for all of you. He was indeed blessed to have the family he had as you were blessed to have him. In all of this sadness I am touched and gladdened to hear that you were all together over the holidays and that his funeral will be a celebration of his life.

    With love and sympathy,

    Sandy Simblist

  5. Comment by Denise Jennings

    Denise Jennings Reply January 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    My sincere thoughts and prayers of peace snd love for the Houston family…

  6. Comment by Johann Stensom- Ransom(tinka)

    Johann Stensom- Ransom(tinka) Reply January 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    First and formost i send out My prayers and blessings to Cecil wife and sons and also his parents and sisters. I remember Cecil as. Baby boy back in brownwood tx. My brother Terry and I always were at the Houston’s home. I remember one night We were there getting ready for bed and he saw My brother getting dress he thought My brother invented the underwear. He politely said why come i cant wear Winkie wear. We all laughed. Didnt Have pleasure to know him as a Man but from thestories he was a good one and will truly be missed. Love Tinka and Winkie

  7. Comment by Jacqueline Louis

    Jacqueline Louis Reply January 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Ramona I am sorry to hear of your brothers passing . I remember you and Rhonda when you were small children . I was then a young college at Howard Payne University ( then college ) . Your mother was my shero . I was her freshman who handed her the flowers at her college graduation .

    As the years passed I have heard of the accomplishments of you children through my brother Robert Louis , who was a good friend of your father .What amazing parents ! The news of Cecil was a definite shock , but know that God makes no mistakes .It was meant that you spent those lasting days together . Those memories will help you through the days ahead .
    Please give my condolences to your parents . May the Lord shower you all with strength and love .

    Respectfully ,

    Jacqueline Louis

  8. Comment by Cynthia Pierson

    Cynthia Pierson Reply January 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Ramona,

    You probably don’t remember me from Brownwood days, but I have known your mom and dad for many years. Loretta and I worked at the Statewide Reception Center in the 80s and I even had the privilege of chaperoning a party for you girls when you lived on the hill st state school.

    I am so sorry for the passing of your brother. Please give my condolences to everyone. I will be praying for the family. It looks like the celebration of his life is going to something wonderful. Praise God that you all were able to spend such happy times together making lasting memories. God Bless!

    Cynthia Pierson
    Sacramento, CA

  9. Comment by Van Vaughn

    Van Vaughn Reply January 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    My brief dealings with Cecil, Jr. allowed me to see how deeply he loved his family. I do so wish I could be there for your dad and mom as Cecil, Sr. has been an important person in my life. Please hug him and Ramona really hard for me and I will be praying that the good memories of your brother will help assuage the grief.
    In christ’s love,

  10. Comment by Candice parks

    Candice parks Reply January 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I am truly honored and blessed that I met Cecil. He was what a real man was…. I am a graduate of NAHS co 95 also a fellow member of the band in the drill team… I loved the spirit Cecil brought to the percussion team and loved rocking to the beat…. He will be missed in person, but that on fire spirit will live on……

  11. Comment by Linda Cameron

    Linda Cameron Reply January 4, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Your Mother has been a friend of mine for many years. I was at your HS graduation, but you may not remember. Shirley and Johnny Lewis are also friends and will bring hugs and love from me. I have kept up with the amazing accomplishments of all of you. I love the celebrations that are planned. Great memories will get all of you through difficult times. Stay close to each other and I look forward to the Memorial Fund.
    My love and prayers are with your entire family.

  12. Comment by AhKeba Green (Craighead)

    AhKeba Green (Craighead) Reply January 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I am so sorry for your loss…. May the Lord continue to provide comfort and peace during this trying time……

    Class of 95, w/Rhesa H. i didn’t know him personally, but when i would see them (the siblings) together they would always be laughing, such an infectious smile….. His spirit touched so many, and brought the world joy just to be in their presence.
    you all have my deepest condolences…..

  13. Comment by Zernoby Humphries

    Zernoby Humphries Reply January 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I am fellow c/o 94 classmate and bandmate of NAHS. My most sincerest condolences, prayers, and heartfelt thoughts for Cecil’s wife, children, and family. He was truely a humble, genuine person who always had a warm smile and kind words for anyone. His spirit will truely be missed. I will always hear him rocking the drumline.

  14. Comment by Michelle D. Bradley

    Michelle D. Bradley Reply January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Ramona and Family, my thoughts are with you as your celebrate Cecil’s life and homegoing.

    Deepest Condolences and Prayers

    Michelle D. Bradley
    (Atlanta Marriott Downtown)

  15. Comment by Kara Crump

    Kara Crump Reply January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I graduated from North Atlanta in 1997, and I was also in the band. Cecil was a senior, and I was but a “lowly” freshman. However, there was never a class issue with Cecil. He was truly a great person who enjoyed making others smile. I remember when the band went to Texas for spring break, and I was in awe of watching him grab a pole and position himself in the air sideways, as if the wind was blowing him, and he was holding on to the pole! I have seen him over the years at various venues, and it was obvious that music was his passion. I am certain he was as influential to his students as Mr. Colbert was to us, if not, more. I saw him a couple of months ago in the grocery store. He said he was just leaving his mother’s house, and had to pick up a couple of things. Family was a very valuable gift to him, and he obviously appreciated the people who were in his life. I hope and pray that you will look back on the memories you made with him with a smile. It is apparent that he positively influenced many generations. My prayers are with you and yours.

  16. Comment by Clarence & Virginia Lewis

    Clarence & Virginia Lewis Reply January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Hello Ramona,
    You have our deepest sympathy. Sometimes we are never ready for death when it comes. Remember all of the good times that you shared together.

  17. Comment by Quisa

    Quisa Reply January 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    My heart goes out to the entire Houston Family…I love you all. (enough said).


  18. Comment by Lisa Palmer-Henderson

    Lisa Palmer-Henderson Reply January 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    When I received the text about Cecil on Monday, I lost my breath for a brief second & began remembering all of the fun we used to have when y’all lived in Brownwood on the hill of TYC. It’s hard to believe when someone that you have known for so many years, is gone. Although we have lost contact, I think of your family often cause your family welcomed me with open arms. You all have my deepest condolences & I pray that God will continue to give you & your family strength.


  19. Comment by BA

    BA Reply January 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Cecil was a Great man and a Great person that anyone wanted to meet WHEN WE WERE AT CLARK. He was always a down to earth and a funny person to talk to along with Brian. We always spoke and enjoyed talking about back in the days when he was playing in the band and I was playing football. My Friend …..You will truly be missed. You are our Angle Now so please keep watch over us and to the family…….. GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE.

  20. Comment by Samiah Sheets

    Samiah Sheets Reply January 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Rest easy in the arms of the Lord. I pray that God gives your family a peace that surpasses all understanding during this time.

  21. Comment by Kris Henry

    Kris Henry Reply January 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Ramona and Rhesa,

    I am so so sorry to hear about Cecil. I am a graduate of the class of ’95 at NAHS. I was also a member of the band with Cecil. I am living in Washington, DC now and I am working a way to get dack down to Atlanta for the service. Please remember that your family is in my prayers.


  22. Comment by Marston Atkinson (Younger)

    Marston Atkinson (Younger) Reply January 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Cecil. I am a graduate of NAHS c/o 95 with Rhesa H. We lift all of your family up to the Lord. May He bring you peace and comfort during this very difficult time.


  23. Comment by Chuck Irving

    Chuck Irving Reply January 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I’m going to miss my friend… the laughter.. the talks we had.
    the ways he got me to open my eyes too so much.

    I love you Cecil.

  24. Comment by Brandon Gilliam

    Brandon Gilliam Reply January 5, 2013 at 2:24 am

    On behalf of the Zeta Xi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Lincoln University, I extend my deepest gratitude during this difficult time. Cecil was and is the catalyst of many good memories and life lessons for myself and my frat brothers. I remember Cecil bringing us to Atlanta in Spring 2001 to help us gain perspective. If my memory serves me correctly, I would like to say we ate chicken fajitas at your dad’s house. That was the first time Cecil brought us around his family. Cecil is family to us and we will miss him dearly. We are blessed to have known such a great man. We will continue to pray for the family and always have you all in our thoughts.

  25. Comment by Romund Anderson

    Romund Anderson Reply January 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    To the Houston family,
    I’m also a graduate from North Atlanta High School and played in the band with Cecil. I have nothing but fond memories and tried to impress him and all the upperclassmen with my trumpet skills. I still have family in Georgia but have been living in Colorado for the past eight years and prior to here Ohio. When I would visit home and play jazz downtown I would run into people that knew Cecil. Of course they told me he was tearing it up in Atl and it was great to know that. I wish I had the chance to play with him as an adult but our paths didn’t cross. In the past few days I have been reading about him and his accomplishments. The biggest, of course, is being a family man. I’m truly sorry for your loss and will carry on the memory of Cecil in my life. He has touched many lives and will continue to do so by the example he has left behind. God bless you all. I’ll be sending money to the memorial fund when the link is available.
    NAH ’97

  26. Comment by Sis Vanessa

    Sis Vanessa Reply January 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    The Houston family’s God-centered unity and support system is wonderful and this will keep balance for the coming trials of life. Our prayers are with the Houston family.

  27. Comment by Larry & Carolyn Gilbert

    Larry & Carolyn Gilbert Reply January 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Ramona, Rhonda, Rhese, Cecil, Loretta and other family:
    Words cannot express the hurt in our hearts as we grieve with you. Our families have always been close; and when you hurt, we hurt! We pray your comfort and strength in the Lord. God gave, and God has taken what He gave! Blessed be the name of the Lord! We regret that we cannot be there with you on this occasion of celebrating lil Cecil’s life, but know we love you all very much and we are with you in spirit!


  28. Comment by Justin Gamble

    Justin Gamble Reply January 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Words cannot express the deepest condolences for the family, friends and all who loved and came in contact with Cecil. As one who had the opportunity to march and play with VATO in the CAU Band, I can truly say that he was a blessed individual who shared his blessings with everyone. Though his time on earth was shorter than we ever could have imagined, his impact on the lives of those he encountered live on for generations to come. My prayers are with the family and friends as we celebrate the life of Cecil and my heart breaks for Fantara and the boys during this time. VATO will live on forever in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

  29. Comment by Gena Gardner

    Gena Gardner Reply January 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    You and your family are in my prayers. Im the school nurse at Jackson High and I will always remember Mr Houston as a “kind
    spirited” person. We will miss him and the students will always love him.

  30. Comment by Lori Jackson

    Lori Jackson Reply January 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I want to express my deepest & sincere sympathy to your family. I don`t know you or you siblings but I was very blessed to have worked with your wonderful, loving, kind parents at Turner Middle school.
    No one could be surprised at your expression of love for your brother and other family members knowing your parents the way I do.
    I`m thankful we continue to keep in contact even though I`m back home in California.
    Just know my thoughts, love, and prayers are with your family.

  31. Comment by Lydia Williams, Choral Director

    Lydia Williams, Choral Director Reply January 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

    As I sit and reflect on this past week, I find myself missing my adopted son Cecil. We worked side by side for the last year building the music department at Maynard H. Jac

  32. Comment by Lydia Williams, Choral Director

    Lydia Williams, Choral Director Reply January 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I thank God for the life of Cecil Houston. His legacy will continue through his beautiful wife and children and family.
    It will also continue through his students at Maynard H. Jackson. God Bless and Keep You!

  33. Comment by Autumn (Goolsby) Hanson

    Autumn (Goolsby) Hanson Reply January 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

    My heart felt condolences are extended to you and your family. Cecil and I were friends and fellow bandmates at NAHS and CAU. He was such a delight to be around and I have so many fond memories of him – particularly riding around in his hoopty after band practice at NAHS 🙂 I’ll really miss seeing him around town.

    I’m praying for your strength through this very difficult time. May God be with you.

  34. Comment by Val Parker

    Val Parker Reply January 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    A dear friend and fraternity brother was lost. Indeed a great man who had an incredible love for music is gone from us. I have wonderful memories of Cecil-on the drumline,teaching in coming freshmen the style and character of the CAU drumline; memories of talks that we had about music and its ability to lift the spirit of men. Many great memories. I consider myself to be among the fortunate people to have known Cecil and shared in this great legacy that we call music as fraternity brothers. We did not see each other often, but when we did, it was as if no days had passed from one time to another. I will miss my brother.

  35. Comment by Dr. Tarin Hampton

    Dr. Tarin Hampton Reply January 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Dear Houston Family,

    It is Bitter-Sweet news that came to my phone last week. My heart and mind was in total Bitter shock to know that the wonderfully High Spirited and Loving young Man, Son, Brother, Husband, Father, and Friend, Adopted Nephew, God’s Child…., had transitioned at what I felt was such an early age…but then God is in charge, not me!!! We, the Hampton Family, extend to you our sincere condolences, and join in with you in Celebrating the Sweet and Awesome Life of Cecil Houston II. It was always such a joy having him around as a young boy as he was growing up. Following along with his professional growth made me so proud of him…that he took charge of life and lived it to the fullest. A truely loving and caring person! I Dearly Thank God and Rhonda for the invitation in December to the girls dance recital, where I had the beautiful opportunity to embrace him and see his bright smile before his transition. May God continue to keep each of you strong and protect you from all harm. In loving memory, Cecil, “You’re the Man!” 🙂

    • Comment by Rhonda Houston-Crisp

      Rhonda Houston-Crisp Reply January 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      Dr T.

      Thank you so much for those kind words and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to make the girls recital. It’s always a joy to see you!

      Thanks for your support and always being there!!

      Rhonda Houston-Crisp

      • Comment by RH

        RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        Ms. Hampton, as always, the family appreciates you!

  36. Comment by Mark Boozer

    Mark Boozer Reply January 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Ramona, I am deeply grieved by the sudden passing of your beloved Cecil Houston II. May you find comfort in this expression of sympathy and in knowing that Cecil was most successful in leaving a wonderful legacy.

    It was a pure joy to teach Cecil during his student days at Clark Atlanta University – first in the former trailers next to Vivian Wilson Henderson Gymnasium, then in the Music Department’s current location at Park Street. It was also a joy to interact with him throughout the years after his graduation, especially on the occasions when he stopped by my office for a chat. Cecil had a real talent for conducting and I often told him so, but he left an even greater impression as a human being – a kind, caring, gentle spirit, dedicated to living his life with purpose and to touching all who knew him.

    I already miss him and I shall cherish his memory. My deepest sympathy to family and friends.

    Mark Boozer
    Associate Professor of Music
    Clark Atlanta University

  37. Comment by J.Jerome Fletcher

    J.Jerome Fletcher Reply January 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Greetings dear Sisters and family members of the Houston Family. First, May God strengthen and Cover you during these sad days. Ramona, I remember seeing this amazing young man at the different CAUJO and CAU Band events. You later told me that is my little Brother. Well, He became my little Brother also.A Great Personality and God Spirit was always in Brother Cecil. And, an awe inspiring love for Music. I will cherish my memories of my little Brother Forever. God Bless you all.

    J.Jerome Fletcher C/O 85′ CC.

  38. Comment by WANDA JONES RAINEY

    WANDA JONES RAINEY Reply January 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm


  39. Comment by Heather King

    Heather King Reply January 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I knew Cecil from church…I sing on the praise team at Fellowship of Love. I didn’t sing the Sunday of Cecil’s passing and was in disbelief when I heard the news. I didn’t know Cecil well, but knew he had THE most welcoming and warm personality. I was touched whenever his sons were at church and just loved the bond of a father and his sons that was evident when they were together. It’s interesting how God works. What I saw in Cecil, for the short period of time I’ve known him has impacted me FOREVER. I’m assured of a few things: God forever reigns and makes no mistakes, taking the time to cherish your loved ones will prove to be your comfort when the hour comes for God to pick his prettiest flowers, and through it all…honoring the Lord Almighty will serve you well when your time comes. I pray the Houston family continues to seek the peace of the Almighty through this time and I pray the strength and courage to push on through this time for Cecil’s wife. May we all be encouraged to live, love and laugh a little more. God Bless.

  40. Comment by Yolanda

    Yolanda Reply January 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your sudden loss.

    I enjoyed reading about Cecil’s life and all the joy he gave it and others. My prayers are with you and the entire family while you grieve.

    May his ceremonies and festivities be filled with all of the love, peace and fun he brought to his life’s journey. Special blessings upon his wife and children. I know he will be missed.

    If you need ANYTHING I’m here.

  41. Comment by wilbert rogers

    wilbert rogers Reply January 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I have had the joy of watching, participating and sharing in the lives of this family since well before Lil’Cecil was born. He lived life to the fullest, and he did it quickly. He was all a parent could hope for in a son. I have shared in the happy times and now in the saddness of having to go on without him. Since I cant be there, please find comfort in these words. .
    your prayers have all been answered, hes finally arrived
    The healing that you’d hoped for has now been realized
    No one’s in a hurry, theres no schedule to keep
    He’s just enjoying Jesus & sitting at his feet.
    . .And if you could see him now, hes walking streets of gold
    If you could see him now, hes standing tall and whole]
    If you could see him now, you’d know hes seen His face
    If you could see him now, you’d know the pain’s erased
    You’d never want him to leave this perfect place
    If you could only see him now.. .
    but we’ll miss him till we get there. . .
    Sure wish I could be there. . . Your friend, Wilbert

  42. Comment by Dr. Jayan Allen

    Dr. Jayan Allen Reply January 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Ramona, I went to tell Cecil goodbye today. He will be sorely missed by the CAU family. Right now his passing defies our understanding but we have to place our faith in the Lord. God bless you and the Houston family. I am here if you need me.

  43. Comment by Dante' Taylor

    Dante' Taylor Reply January 8, 2013 at 3:09 am


    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You’ve written a very lovely and touching post that I think honors your brother well. I pray you and your family are always surrounded by loving memories to comfort you in the time to come.


    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Mr. Taylor, thank you so much for your support and reaching out to me. I hope that you are doing well in school and accomplishing all of your aspirations. Please continue to keep my family and me in your prayers.

  44. Comment by Tarnisha Dent

    Tarnisha Dent Reply January 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I met Houston as he began his teaching career at Maynard Jackson. We were both new in our positions but were determined to meet the goals we had set for ourselves. I soon learned that he was a family man and we often talked about our families and how much we loved them. He shared his talents and times with the students and had began to see the fruits of his labor. I was honored to work with him and was proud of the teacher he had become and of the growth of his Marching Jags. He was a good man and I will truly miss his friendship and presence. God truly has welcomed an angel into his kingdom.
    God Bless
    Tarnisha Dent

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Ms. Dent, teaching is an art, and it is so good to hear that Cecil was a good teacher and a good colleague. Thank you for being his friend and supporter at Maynard Jackson High School.

  45. Comment by Dr. Sarita Maolud

    Dr. Sarita Maolud Reply January 8, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Ramona, Rhonda, and Rhesa, losing a loved one is undeniably the most difficult experience. However, with the loss of a sibling, the pain can be even more piercing. But the way that you all sent Cecil off last night with that awesome and love-filled celebration, you made it obvious that his life was much bigger than what any of us could imagine and that it could not be contained. May God continue to surround you with love and support for all time. Comfort, understanding, and peace is what I pray for you and your family. Love you girls.

    Your friend, Sarita

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Twin! Thank you so much for attending my brother’s celebration. We wanted so much for it to be a festive occasion. You are right, Cecil’s life was “much bigger than what any of us could imagine.” In fact, we are still discovering his reach. We are hearing from people from all walks of life. All talk about how Cecil impacted them in a big way. It is such a blessing to hear so many good things about my brother, and know that it is true! Please continue to keep the family in your prayers. We love you, too!

  46. Comment by Glenda & Gary Long and Tiffani Andrews

    Glenda & Gary Long and Tiffani Andrews Reply January 8, 2013 at 11:09 am

    We are very sorry to hear that Cecil passed. We offer our deepest and sincerest condolences. Your family will forever be in our prayers. From reading your blog, we know that Cecil had a blessed life and was loved. May God comfort and give you peace at this time, and may He watch over you.

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Thank you so much for sending your love and prayers to the Houston family. It is because of your support that we are finding comfort and peace during this time.

  47. Comment by Cyrelle George

    Cyrelle George Reply January 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Cecil was my friend the moment we met 1995 right before band camp. He had a way of making every day a good day, he always knew the right thing to say, do or not say to put the joy back into life. I will forever be grateful for the memories I hold dear to my heart. Praying God’s peace, comfort and strength to the entire Houston Family during this time.

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Cyrelle, hank you so much for your love and prayers. We are happy to hear that Cecil brought sunshine and joy into your life, too!

  48. Comment by Marlyn Dixon

    Marlyn Dixon Reply January 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    To Mrs. Loretta and The Houston Family,

    A loved one is a treasure of the heart and to lose a loved one is like losing a piece of yourself but, the love that Cecil brought you…did not leave, for the essence of the soul lingers. It cannot escape your heart, for it has been there forever.

    Cling to the memories and let them find their way to heal you, his love and laughter, the joy in the togetherness you shared…will make you strong.

    Your time together, no matter how long, was meant to be,
    and you all are so very blessed to have such a precious gift of love in your life.

    Keep your hearts beating with the loving memories of Cecil and trust in your faith to guide you through.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you……

    God Bless,

    Marlyn Dixon
    Heavenly Interior Designs, LLC

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Ms. Dixon, thank you so much for encouraging the family to focus on the love we share as a family. We truly feel blessed to have Cecil as our brother, son, husband and father. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

  49. Comment by Deone Wilhite

    Deone Wilhite Reply January 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Dr. Ramona, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother Cecil. I didn’t know him, but your beautiful writing about him sure makes me wish I did. He was blessed to have you and such a wonderful family, and I’m so glad to hear that his final days on this earth were filled with the happiness and joy of family. Please know that I’m praying for you and all of the Houston crew and thank you for sharing this about your brother…

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Deone! It is great to hear from you! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I, too, am so glad the family enjoyed such happiness during his final days. Those are memories we will cherish forever.

  50. Comment by Aaron Asberry

    Aaron Asberry Reply January 10, 2013 at 9:46 am


    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Mr. Houston loved you and the rest of his students as much as you love him. Continue to do well in school and make sure you do everything in your power to go to and finish college. That would be the best way to honor him.

  51. Comment by Gary W. Houston

    Gary W. Houston Reply January 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm


    Jeni and I were in Alpine and visited Sul Ross over the Holidays, so the Brownwood Houstons were already on our minds. I shared with her your family’s “origin” story there. I shared news of this tragedy when we learned about it when we returned to San Antonio. You have our deepest sympathy and warm, supportive, prayerful best wishes as you deal with this loss. Young Cecil’s legacy and spirit live on in those fine boys. Your family’s faith and strength will see you through. God Bless you all.


    Gary and Jeni Houston
    San Antonio, Texas

    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply January 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      To the San Antonio Houstons, thank you so much for your love and support. My father always talks of you being his “play” cousins from his childhood in San Antonio, since y’all had the same last names. The phone calls, cards, and prayers mean so much to my father and the entire family. Please continue to keep us in your hearts as our family works through this difficult moment in our lives.

  52. Comment by Sylvia Hanley

    Sylvia Hanley Reply April 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I just googled Cecil’s name because I hadn’t heard from him in a few months. He often sent me updates about the CAU Band, etc. I can’t believe that he’s gone. Please send my condolences to his wife who I also remember from my Freshman year in the band. May he rest in peace.

    Thanks for always looking out for me Vato. You had the biggest heart!!


    • Comment by RH

      RH Reply April 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Strawberry, I am disappointed to hear that you found out about Cecil’s transition on the Internet. Thank you for sending your condolences, and also for being a good friend to Cecil.

      Ramona Houston

  53. Comment by Kenyata Carter

    Kenyata Carter Reply June 27, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Ramona, me and Cecil were good friends, classmates at Alabama A&M, teachers at Dekalb Alternative school and carpooled to work for a while. Mr. Houston was a true friend and will be missed.

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