The Life the Legacy and Times of Giovana Brabson Kingsberry
Giovana, was born on November 3, 1956. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee with her parents, Hobert and Wilma Brabson. She was the oldest of four siblings; sisters Keira and Sherola and her two younger brothers, Hobert and Ronnie. She attended Mountain View and Fair Garden Elementary School; Park Jr. High and Holston High School. She received a full musical scholarship to Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN, there she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Education. She went on to further her education by earning two (2) Masters Degrees in Secondary Education and Curriculum and Instruction. One of her Thesis provided research and evidence that supported the importance of music and every area of our lives. She began work on her PH.D. at Milligan College in Middle Tennessee. She spent most her life in Europe with an extended supportive family.
As a wife and mother, Gigi married Myron Kingsberry, the love of her life, partner and friend. Together they raised 5 children, Curtis, Cameron, Janay, Jamael and Marcia. Adopted Sisters, Sequin Lee and Ty Young. Proceeded in life by daughter Tunisia and Father, Hobert W. Brabson Sr. extended family, the Whitakers and Mr. Vance.
As a Child, she began her performance career by arranging shows with her siblings to entertain her family. She choregraphed the steps and arranged the songs and even designed the costumes when performing as the Supremes, her little brother was always James Brown. She wrote her first play about the baby Jesus when she was only 12 years old. Her first poem in the 7th grade. She even produced shows featuring the kids in our neighborhood at Chilhowee Park. At fourteen she was crowned the first Miss Black Teen-Aged Tennessee. She loved home economics and was an excellent cook. She enjoyed cooking for family and friends, even until her final days she loved to entertain.
As a Classically Trained Opera singer, her journey began at Holston High School under the direction of Albert Rule. At 14 years old she sang the break out song, “When Thou Comest” We were all shocked and surprised to hear this big voice come out of this petite body. After college, she sang all over Europe in front of Dignitaries, to standing ovations in Cathedrals and stages. As the lead singer in numerous bands, she sang back-up and performed with Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Elton John, Tom Jones and many more. She directed gospel choirs throughout Europe with diverse cultural back-grounds. She directed some of the most talent singers and musicians from around the world, no matter where she was, she was singing. She was quick to learn parts and hear rhythms and could memorize the words in very little time, she was gifted in all genres, Opera, R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Rock and Roll.
As a Teacher for over 40 years for the Department of Defense, she taught thousands of students in band, chorus, gave many private lessons, wrote and directed many plays. Her middle school bands were so good, they stopped competing because they won all the awards. Voted teacher of the year, she was tuff, didn’t take no stuff. She was small in stature but meant what she said and was not afraid to back it up.
While in Knoxville, awaiting a kidney transplant, she briefly taught music at Maynard and Lonsdale Elementary Schools for two years. One fond memory was from one of her students at Lonsdale Elementary who recognized her charisma and flare and asked her the questions, “Is you on BET?” Which she replied, “not is, but are you on BET?” Her children loved her in the Knox County School System.
She loved life and lived 3 life times in one She was admired and respected. She was determined, fearless and curious about everything and she could do just about anything She had a passion unmatched to bring out the best in people. She made friends quickly. Her family, friends and students were her top priority. She was an excellent cook and wonderful hostess, she entertained frequently and all were welcomed in her home. It was a non-judgement zone. She traveled extensively and regularly with her family. They traveled throughout Europe, Japan, the Islands and spent summer vacations traveling throughout the United States. Often time taking her extended family of nieces and nephews with her to visit museums, historic sites, she even got a photo op when the torch passed through Knoxville for the Olympics with her son Jamael. She was at the inauguration of President Barak Obama.
As simply our Wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, relative or friend. We will miss her but if we are in Jesus, we will see her again.
Family will receive friends, 11:00-12:00 noon, Thursday, October 21, 2021 at Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church, 3800 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914
; home going celebration, 12:00 noon, Rev. Dr. Cleo A. Brooks Jr, officiating, Pastor, Holbert W. Brabson, eulogist.
Final arrangements by JARNIGAN & SON MORTUARY