Funeral rights! - Pastor wants to lead Aunt V's service
Reverend Harrif Allison, pastor of the Trittonville Baptist Church in Duanvale, Trelawny, is urging the family members of Violet Moss Brown, fondly called 'Aunt V', to ensure her funeral takes place at his church.
Rev Allison told WESTERN STAR that Brown was a member of the church for 103 years and it was her wish that her funeral was held there.
"She requested of me that I ensure that her thanksgiving service be held at the church, where she served as organist and choirmaster for many, many years. Among the requests is that the service not be long and elaborate."
Brown, who died on Friday, held the title of the world's oldest person for six months. She was 117. Brown, who was born on March 10, 1900, became the world's oldest woman in April, following the death of Emma Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899, in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Reverend Allison hopes that the relatives honour the wish that her thanksgiving service be held at the church.
"It would be most unfortunate if it is held anywhere else. She made other wishes, which I would not want to disclose," he informed.
The last few days of Brown's life had been eventful. She had been caught in the middle of a tug of war between members of her family, as one group that claimed that she was not getting the best of care had snatched her from her Duanvale, Trelawny home and refused to say where she was.
"She had a very confused last few days of her life. If I was in her place I, too, would have died," Reverend Allison said.
Her son, Barry Russell, 85, said that he gave instructions for his mother to be taken from her Trelawny home on Saturday after she got ill.
According to Russell, when he spoke with his mother, she asked when he was coming, and he told her: "Hold on, I am coming Monday.
"Even the doctors can't believe it, because they were supposed to release her today," he said. He said that during the conversation, his mother had said her heart was willing, but her body was weak.
Russell said that she was at the Fairfield Medical Centre and argued that she may have died on the previous weekend had he not ordered her removal from the house.
"I feel bad, but I know she is old and she can't take a lot of things. It is sad, but I expected something like this at any time," said Russell, who saw his mother a month ago.
Russell told WESTERN STAR that he sent some documents which with a justice of the peace on Thursday for her to sign and she did that in her best handwriting.
"She looked at them, she read them [and] she said, 'The only time I sign a piece of paper is for my son Barry', and she laughed. She signed it as nice as ever and she give it back to the justice of the peace," Russell said, recalling one of the last acts his mother performed.