Soto, Luz

SOTO, Luz "Lucy"

Luz Marina "Lucy" Soto, a beloved mother, wife and journalist, whose joyful spirit and generous nature touched countless people, died suddenly in Atlanta on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 after a heart attack. She was 52.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on May 11 at 10 AM at The Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.

At the time of her death, she was an editor at the American Heart Association and wrote regularly about heart health.

"Lucy carried the AHA mission with pride. She also carried us every day – not just through her talents as a journalist and collaborator, but also through her humor and big-hearted friendship. Even as her work reached millions of readers, it was always the people around her who she put first," said Melissa Weber, News Editor at the American Heart Association.

Lucy's pursuit of a story led her in 1999 to interview Atlanta real estate developer Stephen Macauley. After a whirlwind romance, they married and had four children who became the focus of Lucy's life. She was widely admired as a mother who brought deep love, joy and support to each of the children - Lucas, Sofia, Joseph and Gabriela– through each stage of childhood. She was present at all of her children's activities, which included lots of soccer games.

Stephen shared that Lucy lived out her Catholic faith daily, loving everyone with authenticity. She never faltered in her devotion to her faith, family and friends.

Lucy was born in Medellin, Colombia, one of seven children of Manuel Jose Soto and Maria Elena Soto Palacio. The family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia when Lucy was 2 years old, after her father obtained a job working as a textile machinery technician.

Lucy graduated from Berea High School in Greenville, South Carolina, and entered the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, where she graduated with honors. She started her journalism career as an intern with the Associated Press, and quickly earned a full-time reporting job covering floods, plane crashes, natural disasters and a federal bribery sting.

She would move on to a distinguished career at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent a decade covering local government, the environment, state government and development. She became the newspaper's Spotlight reporter, writing a weekly investigative column.

"She was smart, vibrant, exceptionally qualified and the kind of person every newsroom needs to balance the wacky personalities that populate our co-working space," said Mike King, a former editor at the AJC who hired Lucy. "Everyone loved working with her. Everyone saw her light and felt the goodness in her soul."

While juggling motherhood and her career, Lucy made time for hikes with friends and monthly meetings of the book club she had been a member of for two decades. She was a leader of the Women's Bible Study Group at Christ the King. She was also a volunteer for Horizons Atlanta, a nonprofit that supports underserved students. She was a positive force on social media, always offering comfort or joining in celebrations of her friends. She proudly posted her children's major milestones – heading off to prom, leaving for college or embarking on a summer program. She relished the flashback photos of countless happy moments.

Lucy seemed to find a way to remain close to everyone she encountered and to reach out to anyone in her enormous circle of friends and large extended family whenever she could help. "If you know Lucy, there is no doubt as to her abundant capacity to love, never expecting to be rewarded," said her older brother, Miguel Angel Soto, in a remembrance about his sister. "She devoted herself to her family, friends and career in every imaginable way."

Lucy is survived by her husband, Stephen Macauley and children, Lucas, Sofia, Joseph, and Gabriela. She is also survived by her siblings, Miguel Angel Soto (Dorelby); Jose Soto (Christine); Alberto Soto (Gloria); Marta Matthews (Curt); Olga Bannister (Jeff); Elizabeth Conway (David) and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Lucy's memory may be made to The American Heart Association.

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