Jacqueline Avant’s family has announced a memorial fund in her honor, and confirmed a special celebration of her life will be held following the holiday season.
Avant, the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, was murdered last week at their Beverly Hills home. She was 81.
Per her wishes, Avant’s survivors have arranged the Jacqueline Avant Memorial Fund for the new MLK Children’s Center, located in South Los Angeles in the Watts/Willowbrook neighborhood.
Family members give thanks for “the support, kindness and prayers” since her tragic passing. “The outpouring of love and support from around the globe has been felt and appreciated by all of us,” reads a message from the Avant and Sarandos families. “We ask that you please allow us some time and space to grieve as a family and continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We thank you in advance for respecting our privacy during this difficult time.”
Born Jacqueline Alberta Gray, Jackie was a former Ebony Fashion Fair model known for her philanthropy. Among her various philanthropic endeavors through the decades, Jackie served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center, as an entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction and NOW membership, in addition to serving on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA.
Clarence, known as the “Godfather of Black music,” received a trustees award from the Recording Academy in 2008 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.
Police swiftly made an arrest following Jackie’s murder. Earlier this week, Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles was charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and felon with a firearm, in connection with the Dec. 1 incident.