Tearful send-off for 'Ms James'
Heavy rain poured outdoors, and tears flowed indoors, as relatives and friends said their final goodbyes during Sunday's thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of Esther James at the Harrison Seventh-day Adventist Church in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay.
The 75-year-old James was born in Cornwall Mountain, Westmoreland, to parents Kenneth James and Essie Vanriel on January 31, 1931, and was affectionately known to her loved ones as 'Agri', 'Mama', and 'Ms James'.
She passed away on April 11 after a period of illness.
During the thanksgiving service, which was presided over by church pastor Chadwick Cunningham, musical tributes and memorials were given by relatives and friends and by members of the Harrison congregation, of which James was a member for the last six years of her life.
In reading the eulogy, Desreen Anderson-Pringle remembered her mother as a woman whose main focus was the welfare of her six children.
"Mama lived for her children. As a young single mother, she ensured that each child was well taken care of, and she would sacrifice her happiness for ours," said Anderson-Pringle. "Our mother taught us many things as young kids that hold us in good stead today, including good manners, respect, sound moral values and how to be frugal."
Granddaughter Rene Anderson recounted how her grandmother was a disciplinarian who always spoke her mind.
"She never believed in sparing the rod, which would spoil the child," said Anderson. "Ms James was a straightforward lady, and what she said was what she meant," she said.
James was later laid to rest at the Dovecot of St James Memorial Park.