HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A day after her passing, a group of women who made history with Judge Cassandra Hollemon is remembering and honoring her.
The 19 ladies who make up Houston’s Black Girl Magic knew Judge Hollemon was ill but no one, perhaps not even her, had any idea she was near death.
After months of campaigning and bonding together, Judge Hollemon’s unexpected death has devastated the judges who became known as Houston’s Black Girl Magic.
They are the 19 black females elected to the bench in the November election's Democratic sweep.
”It makes me realize how much more of a family we really are and with families comes celebrations as well as tragedies sometimes,” says Harris County Criminal Court #2 Judge Ronnisha Bowman.
”She was 57. I’m still in my 30s. So I kind of considered her nurturing, kind of a mother figure,” explains Harris County Criminal Court #3 Judge Erica Hughes.
”It’s very sad that after all of her hard work and diligence she will not get to experience the fullness of her term,” adds Harris County Court #15 Judge Tonya Jones.
Judge Hollemon died early Monday morning around 1:00 a.m. in the Texas Medical Center after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer only one week earlier. She was also misdiagnosed with Chronic Bronchitis in December 2018.
“We lost a kind soul. Someone who definitely shined brightly with the love of God,” says Judge Hughes.
“Every day that I come to work is a reminder that she’s not here. I’m trying not to cry. That’s difficult because we all came in this together,” Judge Jones adds with tears in her eyes.
“I was so looking forward to having this experience with her,” says Judge Bowman.
Several members of Black Girl Magic are actually not on the bench today. They are home grieving their loss.
“I was sad today when I got on the bench. I actually thought about her and thought I’ll be a lot nicer today, a lot more compassionate, a lot more loving, a lot more like Judge Hollemon,” explains Judge Hughes.
In fact, all of the ladies say Judge Hollemon's amazingly kind spirit is far reaching and will continue to touch lives.
“She will live on through me,” says Judge Bowman.
”There is no replacement for her. We are the Houston 19,” smiles Judge Jones.
Judge Hollemon leaves behind two children, Brandy and Brandon Hollemon and one granddaughter. Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning at Good Hope Church. I’m told the service will truly be a celebration of her tremendous life.
“You have to find the silver lining in it. I’m excited she got to see her accomplishment, she got to see her dream and I got to see it with her,” smiles Judge Bowman.