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'We’ve truly lost a gem' | Community mourns Judy Williams, Mothers of Murdered Offspring co-founder

Much like she did for so many other families before, a candlelight vigil was held Friday for Judy Williams.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For more than 25 years, Judy Williams played an important role in the Charlotte community as co-founder of Mothers of Murdered Offspring also known as MOM-O. 

After dying from lung cancer just days ago, the community gathered to honor a woman who made it her mission to honor the lives of thousands of homicide victims.

The goal now to keep Ms. Judy’s legacy alive. At Friday night’s candlelight vigil members of the community came forward to share some of their thoughts and memories.

“I had two of my first cousins pass away in April and she made sure we didn’t want for nothing. I just want to thank God for creating her she was so special,” one person said.

“One of the things she always used to say is continue to pray,” another person added.

Ms. Judy leaves behind sons, grandkids and plenty of other loved ones as well.

“It’s a bit overwhelming to be honest,” son David Howard said. “Everybody keeps asking how I’m doing and honestly I think I’m just riding everyone else’s energy right now and I’m determined to make sure we send my mother out the way she should be.”

At the end of the night the crowd had a balloon release letting go of 27 balloons off into the air to honor the 27 years of service Ms. Judy gave the community. Current members of MOM-A say they will continue the organization in her honor.

On January 1st MOM-O also plans to install a memorial brick for Ms. Judy in Frazier Park.