Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst's Family Announces Public Memorial Following Her Death at 30

"The celebration will also be live streamed, with the link available closer to the date of the service," organizers said

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 City, her family on Thursday announced that her memorial will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Public memorial plans have been announced for Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, attorney and EXTRA correspondent, who passed away Jan. 30," organizers said. "The family will host a public celebration of life on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Elevation Blakeney. The celebration will also be live streamed, with the link available closer to the date of the service. The public is welcome 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, fellow beauty pageant queen April Simpkins, opened up about her loss in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

"I have never known a 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, was officially confirmed," Simpkins said of her daughter.

"While 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 was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death."

Acknowledging that Kryst's "life on this earth was short" at 30, her mom said "it was filled with many beautiful memories."

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

"We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs. We miss all of it — we miss all of her. 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 one another all day, every day. You were more than a daughter — you were my very best friend. Talking with you was one of the best parts of my day. Your smile and laugh were infectious. I love you baby girl with all my heart. I miss you desperately. I know one day we'll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace."

In lieu of flowers, Simpkins requested 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 struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255," she added. "Thank you all for continuing to respect the privacy of our family while 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

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