Woman killed at funeral laid to rest
"Make your life count for something" was the charge given yesterday by Richard Dean at the thanksgiving service for his daughter Shanice 'Peach' Dean inside the Good Tidings Mennonite Church on Whitehall Avenue in Kingston.
"Don't waste your life, people, living someone else life. Make your life count for something. Peach live a wonderful life and she lived it with all of us. Fight for what matters to you, fight for your loved ones. This is a dark day and there will be days when you are going to break down and cry. I miss Peach so much. We must hold on to hope to live and to love. We have to be greater than what we are suffering now," he said.
Shanice was the sister of Ananda Dean, whose abduction and murder in 2008 shocked the nation, and after whom the 'Ananda Alert', a missing persons' programme for children, was named. Yesterday, Dean described Shanice as a beautiful soul who loved every friendship she was blessed to have.
"And even though Peach may come off rough and tough, trust mi, she had a very beautiful soul. We must carry a piece of Peach with us throughout our lives and live, love and forgive people," he said as he fought to hold back the tears.
Shanice, 27, was killed in a gun attack at a funeral on May 17 at Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine. Another man was also killed. The funeral attendees were reportedly trailed from Kingston and attacked while leaving the burial ground.
Shanice had her own business in the fashion industry but was preparing to enter her dream career of being a policewoman. According to her aunt Antoinette Dean, who read her eulogy, she was a couple of weeks short of starting her training when her life was snuffed out.
"This was the job she really wanted, as it fits her character," she said.
During a part of the programme, Dean draped his arms around the casket of his daughter and wept. Shanice's mother Nordia Campbell was inconsolable and had to be removed from the church while several of her loved ones offered emotional support.
In his sermon, Pastor Liston Aiken encouraged the bereaved family to turn their pain over to the Almighty.
"Never try to deal with your pain by yourself. Give your pain to God because God is the God of love. My words to the family is 'turn your pain over to the hands of God as he is the God of all comfort'," he said. The interment followed at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.