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In Loving Memory of
Angie Daunt Bennefield





Dear Friends,


Probably much like you, I have heard terrible stories of tragedy and waste, of hatred, and unspeakable sorrow. I've recoiled with sadness and grief at the seemingly new levels of depravity detailed on the evening news.  I've shaken my head in horror at the senseless violence that is an all too common occurrence in our society.  At times, I have taken action to help if I was able and when specific instructions were made available as to what could be done.  Deep down, I think I was always aware that, but – for Gods grace, such a story could touch my life in even more personal ways.


Recently, my life and that of everyone I love, was forever cruelly altered by just such an occurrence.  When I first heard the news, it seemed as though my regular prayers that God would watch over my loved ones and keep them safe from harm had been ignored.   However, I know now that light and goodness in this World do outweigh the forces of darkness and evil.  That regular everyday people, just like me, and my family, do care deeply about horrible tragedy and that they will act if given the information required to help.  This website and the accompanying e-mail campaign is dedicated to this idea that everyday people, like you and me, can make a difference in the lives of others at the very moment when despair has settled in and the need is most desperate.  This is to help the girls.


Here is our story:

On Friday, July 23, 2004, I had a call from my Father in Atlanta, Ga., with truly horrible news.  News, which has the potential to ruin lives and has touched hundreds of people who have already heard of it.


My youngest sister, Angie, was going through a separation, & finally - divorce, from her husband of more than 12 years.  They have two girls (aged 9 & 11).  Relations had been amicable, division of assets was easily handled and regular visitation with the girls was already in place.  However, her husband was a troubled soul, tortured by addictions.  On this particular day, he had lured Angie and the girls to his apartment under false pretenses with promises of support money (and that he would not be there, but, would be at work).  Unfortunately, he was there, hiding, produced a gun and shot my sister to death and, eventually, turned the gun on himself.  These two beautiful, innocent children, my nieces, witnessed their Mother's shooting and, in fact, endured their own Father threatening that if they did not leave quickly, they would be shot next.   Luckily, God guided them safely out of that place and they are now under the guardianship of their grandparents, my parents.


My Mother & sister had planned to meet that afternoon and when Angie never showed up and was not reachable, my Mother became frantic.  She knew of Angie's plans to briefly stop by her ex-husband's apartment that day and had even asked her to reconsider going there.  She drove with my Father to that location.  Once there and, finding yellow police crime scene tape & media about, they inquired to a local news truck operator, packing up equipment, as to what had happened and were told that a young Mother had been fatally shot and that two young girls were also involved.   This was how my parents first learned of their youngest child's violent death and with no assurances that the grandchildren were not lost, too.


There was no will and my folks are now dealing with establishing guardianship and administration of her affairs, getting the girls into new schools and much needed counseling to help them cope with the shattering horrors they have witnessed, locating clothing and personal belongings, closing my sister's house, sorting through bills and sifting through all of the untidy matters of a beautiful life cut short in it's prime.  I'm very worried about all of my loved ones and especially about the financial situation of my parents and the ability of my nieces to have the happy, productive lives that all children deserve.  My folks are in their mid-late sixties and had been winding their financial lives towards impending retirement.  Suddenly, teenagers, homework, car pools, practices, games & lessons will again become major concerns in their lives.  Beyond the immediate day-to-day needs of pre-teens, there are many long-term financial considerations.  I hope to, possibly with your help, make a difference in the lives of all concerned.  Obviously, this horrible tragedy has devastated my family and touched many lives.


As have I in the face of previous tragedies, you may wonder what it is that you can actually do to help.  And I do understand that not everyone who hears this story will have the means to help, financially.  However, I knew that there was virtually no chance of getting help from others if I did not at least make this plea.  Obviously, this very public appeal carries a risk to the privacy of my family and that of the girls, as well as, to their ability to someday have the normal, happy lives they deserve.  It is my ardent hope that no more pain and discomfort will come from this effort and only that more caring people everywhere may hear this story and take positive action to help the girls.   I have also made the personal decision that I will make every effort to tell this story to any and all who will listen in the hopes that another such horrible tragedy may be avoided.


There are at least two ways that you may be able to make a difference in these innocent lives.


First and foremost, pray!  Please ask whatever Higher Power you believe in to heal the hurt and sorrow of these girls, my family and all who have been touched forever by these events.  Ask that the terrible emotional and psychological damage be replaced with love, hope and trust.  Ask that all of us who are now charged with caring for these girls may always be guided to the best possible decision and that we can all find the comfort and strength required to carry on.  Also, please ask that my parents will some day find peace after enduring the unspeakable sorrow of burying a child.


Second, if you do have the means to offer some financial support (and no amount is too small) please send a check, payable to:


Angie Daunt Bennefield Fund
(Note: Fund no longer active. Thank you for your generosity.)


Questions to:


Unfortunately, we are not able to provide income tax receipts.  All funds received will be dedicated to the day-to-day or long-term needs of the girls.


If you are a caring soul who has already helped in all of the ways that you felt you could.   Thank you!  On behalf of my family, words can never adequately convey our gratitude for the many beautiful gestures and uncommon kindnesses we have received.  God bless you.


We grieve for the loss of companionship of my beautiful sister and especially for the birthdays, the holidays, the dances and all the firsts to come in the lives of the girls, for the weddings and, perhaps, grandchildren that my sister will never know, physically.  Our faith informs us that Angie is in a better place, far from the pain and suffering of this World and that, through faith, we will one day be reunited again.  In the meantime, we invite you to join us in taking positive action today to help the girls.


Below is a link to an online condolence website organized by the local newspaper and the funeral home that handled the burial.  Whether you know my sister & family or not, I invite you to share in her memory and to offer your own words, if you are so inclined (if so, send in eMail to link above):   Original Guestbook


Thank you for your time and compassion at this terrible time for my family.  May God bless and keep safe, you and all those who you love.




Nicholas Daunt




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