579433_10200779939998441_50534381_nPeggie was a woman of substance, character, humbleness and transparency. If you have the awesome privilege of knowing Peggie Russell the way I did, then you will know that Peggie was the wearer of many hats-literally and figuratively. The mother, grandmother, wife, attorney, author, pastor, community leader, public speaker, facilitator, mentor and friend has touched the lives of 1000’s over the years. She loved her hats, her heels and believed in pampering yourself. She was an encourager who motivated and inspired many of us to pursue dreams. She shared in your enthusiasm and volunteered countless hours of her time and talents and sowed tangible seeds into individuals and organizations who work to implement change and help those in need.

I am so honored that we had the opportunity to show her how much we appreciate her service as one of the first recipients of the SIS Awards. Most recently, she was a presenter at the Successful Single Moms Memphis Boot Camp for which she gave away an autographed copy of her book, When Life Cracks. I remember going up to her before the event and telling her that I would be the winner of the book, and when I won, she would have to sign it for me. We both laughed about that, not knowing that someone would actually pull my number for that specific prize. My last message from her was about two weeks before her transition. She told me she loved me, she was proud of me and the work that I’m doing and to keep soaring. What a blessing it has been to have interacted with such a powerful, dynamic woman.

Writing this piece brings tears to my eyes. It is a daunting task to work in this field, and her physical presence will be greatly missed. Her work has truly left a staple in the community. But, for me, and those who knew her even more intimately than I, we have lost a true friend and mentor. Let us be found doing as Peggie did-being doers and not hearers only of what we have been commissioned to do. Our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.