Roslyn Kirby Bostick, 46: Spelman grad fought breast cancer with faith in God

Mrs. Bostick modeled her own advice, joining cancer support groups soon after her 2008 diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form of breast cancer for African-American women. She received treatment at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Zion, Ill., traveling there every 21 days for treatment.

“She always thought about other people,” said friend Linnet Griffiths of Marietta. “She knew that people were devastated because of what she was going through, but she would say: ‘I’m going to be fine, you continue to pray and continue to have faith.’”

Roslyn Kirby Bostick of Marietta died Friday, March 30 at Heritage Hospice of complications from breast cancer. She was 46.

Funeral services for Mrs. Bostick will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 N. Marietta Pkwy., Marietta. Sellers-Smith Funeral Home in Newnan is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Bostick was the youngest of nine children born to the late Alton Kirby Sr. and Margaret Bonner on July 28, 1965 in Newnan. She graduated from Newnan High School and later Spelman College in 1987 with a B.S. in Computer Science. After graduation, Mrs. Bostick took a job with Kraft Foods and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

She met her future husband, Keith D. Bostick, at church in Fort Lauderdale in 1991. “Right from the start, I knew there was something special about this lady,” Mr. Bostick said. Six months after they met, he asked her out. Shortly into the relationship, Mrs. Bostick received a promotion and moved to Tampa. When she later received another promotion that brought her back to Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Bostick said, “God is giving me a sign, so I’d better make provisions and marry this woman.” They were married in 1994.

Because of Mrs. Bostick’s desire to be closer to her family, she took a job with PepsiCo in Georgia and the couple moved to Marietta in 1998 after the birth of their first child.

"One of the admirable things about her was her unique ability to be brutally honest, which I appreciated," said her great-nephew Tamarkus T. Cook, pastor of St. Smyrna Baptist Church in Newnan. "She always talked about priorities and preached about making wise decisions.”

“She had a fighting spirit,” said her friend Angela Albert-Easley of Marietta. “She was very positive and demonstrated her faith and strength, despite the news of her diagnosis."

The Rev. Lynne Burkhead, the comfort and care pastor at Turner Chapel AME, described Mrs. Bostick as a very spiritual person. “She was like my poster person for what fighting against the odds looks like, and it was definitely against the odds.”

“As mothers, we want to protect our children, but in protecting we have to be honest,” said Rev. Burkhead. “She included them in the whole process. She talked to them about her expectations for going forward, to be strong, to fight and accomplish their goals.”

Her husband marveled at more than just her honesty. “Her quiet strength was one of the amazing things about her," Mr. Bostick said. “She was my shero.”

Additional survivors include two daughters, Kirbe D. and Kelli D. Bostick of Marietta, mother, Margaret Kirby of Newnan, six sisters, LaDoris James of Augusta, Barbara Kirby and Jennifer Kirby of Decatur, Alice Marie Robinson and Kathleen Kirby of Buffalo, N.Y., Cynthia Drayton of College Park, and two brothers, Andrew Kirby of Newnan and Alton Kirby Jr. of Decatur.