Metro area mourns passing of daughter of civil rights giant

ATLANTA — Justine Boyd says it’s one of the most heartwarming videos she ever recorded.

“She’d always ask her dad to sing her a song that he’d sing to her when she was a little girl, and one of her favorites was ‘You Are My Sunshine,’” Boyd said.

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It’s a video of the late Rev. Joseph Lowery, singing to his oldest daughter, Yvonne Lowery Kennedy, who just passed away.

Family friend Rev. James Milner says she can be defined by two very important traits.

“Compassion and loyalty,” Milner said.

Those qualities extended to her family and to the cause of civil rights.

Milner says he’ll never forget the special bond between father and daughter.

“The way she seemed to idolize her father, she was very much a daddy’s girl.”


Justine Boyd says truer words were never spoken.

She’ll never forget how tirelessly Yvonne worked to help people, and she’ll always remember her visits with Yvonne and her dad.

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“We would sit—the three of us—and laugh. Dr. Lowery would tell stories about life, civil rights and his childhood.

It was just a wonderful time,” Justine said.

A memorial service is set for Monday in Birmingham.