From our news partners at NBC 15)
Hundreds gathered at MATC's Mitby Theater for a memorial service on Saturday June 15, for Al and Jan Studesville who were killed in a motorcycle crash last week.
"We're just so very proud of them and what they've accomplished in their lifetime," said Al's brother, Larry Studesville.
Unlike most memorial services, bright colors streamed across the room. It was a celebration of their lives that were cut short doing something they loved.
They were taking one of many motorcycle rides across the country when they were killed.
"They went to Quebec City. They went to Yellowstone, and they were on their way to Grand Canyon this year before the accident happened," said Al and Jan's friend of more than 20 years, Merritt Norvell.
Saturday afternoon, they were honored for all they did in the community.
Al was a counselor at Madison College and founder of 100 Black Men of Madison.
Jan was president of Women in Focus and literally gave her good friend and fellow rider part of herself.
"Two years ago Jan gave me one of her kidneys," said Norvell.
They both leave behind a legacy that was illustrated with a packed theater and spoken with words of love.
"They were the best. They were the embodiment of what's the best in people," said friend, Enis Ragland.
Instead of flowers, the family is asking for donations for the "Studesville Memorial Fund," which will be used to fund scholarships for Madison students.
Texas authorities say the driver of the semi that collided with Al Studesville's motorcycle had been reaching for a candy bar shortly before losing control.
Studesville and his wife, Janet, were killed in the accident near Amarillo, Texas on Tuesday, June 4.
From our news partners at NBC 15:
According to Madison College, Al Studesville, a counselor at the school, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Texas. Here is a statement that Keith Cornille, Madison College VP for Student Development, released to employees today: “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Al Studesville, counselor in the Counseling and College Success Department at Madison College, and his wife, Janet, were killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon near Amarillo, Texas.
The Amarillo Globe-News reports that a tractor trailer crossed the center line and struck Al’s motorcycle head on. Next-of-kin are still being notified and additional details are few at this point. But as a member of the Madison College family, we feel an obligation to share this news with you right away.
A big man with a warm heart, Al will long be remembered at Madison College for his good humor, hearty laugh, genuine interest in everyone he met and his gift for telling stories. He was an incredibly gracious man who clearly enjoyed his work. To say he changed the lives of tens of thousands of students during his 19 years at the College through his service as a counselor, and as a mentor to the Wiser Older Workers program for displaced adult workers, is not overstating his impact. I have known Al for a long time and know that many of you have too.
We have made arrangements with our EAP provider, Heitzinger and Associates, for an on- campus grief counseling group session at 12 p.m. today in the board room at the Administrative Building, Room 122/130. On-campus EAP grief counseling services will be available until 4 p.m. today. Funeral arrangements are pending and we’ll be sure to share details as we receive them.”