Family of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst announce public memorial after her death at 30

Cheslie Kryst

Cheslie Kryst

Cheslie Kryst’s family is making plans to honor her life.

Eleven days after the former Miss USA’s tragic death in New York, her family announced Thursday that her memorial will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Public memorial plans have been announced for Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, attorney and ADDITIONAL correspondent, who died on January 30,” organizers said. “The family will be hosting a public celebration of life on Friday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Elevation Blakeney. The celebration will also be streamed live, with the link available closer to the date of the service. The public is invited to attend.”

“The family will observe a private, invitation-only celebration prior to the public celebration, as they continue to ask the public to respect their privacy during this time,” organizers continued.

After the former Miss USA’s death was ruled a suicide on Feb. 1, her mother, beauty pageant queen April Simpkins, opened up about her loss in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“I have never known pain as deep as this. I am forever changed. Today what our family and friends privately knew was the cause of death of my sweet baby girl, Cheslie, has been officially confirmed,” Simpkins said of her daughter.

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“Although it may be hard to believe, it’s true,” she added. “Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she dealt with high-level depression which she hid from everyone – including me, her closest confidant – until very shortly before his death.”

Acknowledging that “Kryst’s life on this earth was short” at 30, her mother said “she was filled with many beautiful memories”.

Miss USA 2019

Miss USA 2019

The Miss Universe Organization Cheslie Kryst, Miss North Carolina USA 2019, is crowned Miss USA 2019

“We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and especially her hugs. We miss all of that – we miss her wholeheartedly. She was a vital part of our family, which makes this loss even more devastating. “, Simpkins added.

“Cheslie – to the world you were a ball of sunshine wrapped in smiles,” she continued. “We talked, FaceTimed or texted all day, every day. You were more than a girl – you were my best friend. Talking with you was one of the best parts of my day. Your smile and your laughter was contagious. I love you my little girl with all my heart. I miss you desperately. I know that one day we will be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace.”

RELATED: Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst Was Also an MBA Lawyer and Social Justice Advocate

In lieu of flowers, Simpkins asked that any donations be made to Dress for Success, “an organization that was dear” to her daughter’s heart.

“If you or anyone else is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255,” she added. “Thank you all for continuing to respect our family’s privacy as we grieve.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to on suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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