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January 14, 2013
Star Features


Mavis McDonald laid to rest

Retired Superintendent Rosalee McDonald-Barker taking a last glimpse at her late sister-in-law at the thanksgiving service. - George Henry photos

Mourners viewing the body of the late Mavis McDonald inside the Boulevard Baptist Church.

When Mavis Mereleta McDonald passed away on December 8, 2012, a void was left in the hearts of all her relatives, scores of friends and associates.

Her passing was met with grief and sadness; and from the outpouring of love witnessed at her thanksgiving service on Saturday, January 5, 2013, it was easy to tell that she is sadly missed.

The Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew where the service was held, was well populated by scores of mourners, who turned out to pay their last respects to a woman who was easily described as an individual who was very ambitious, dedicated, respectful and hard working.

There were glowing tributes for 'Merle' as she was affectionately called by some of her friends and relatives. Tributes came in song and the spoken word from her friend Opal McLeod, grandniece Deyas Laing, retired Superintendent of Police Rosalee McDonald-Barker (sister-in-law) as well as from the Boulevard Baptist Church where she worshipped.

Delivering her eulogy, Melvena Clarke, a family friend, said she met McDonald when she went to work at the Ministry of Finance Supply Division over 43 years ago, and she was her (Clarke's) supervisor. She remembered that their friendship developed and even the children of both ladies grew up together and shared close friendships.

"After 10 years I migrated to the United States, but our bond of friendship was never severed but remained until her demise on December 8, 2012. However, we spoke on December 4, a few days before her passing," said Clarke.

Clarke said Mavis was full of life as a child, and was very active. She added that she was a true lover of sports, especially track and field. McDonald she said was a tough competitor, as she was very tough with anyone who tried to beat her.

"With all her involvement she never faltered in her studies, which showed her ability to excel in all her endeavours. Her years of study were at the Bell Castle Primary School, after which she studied privately," recalled Clarke.

She pointed out that when McDonald landed her first job in banking, she never stopped studying, as she continued her studies and successfully completed a course in Pitman's Shorthand and Typing. As if she always wanted something to occupy her time, Clarke said her late friend used do crochet, as that was her favourite pastime activity.

"She did so well in crochet and excelled to the point where she was awarded gold medals for two years consecutively at fairs held for craftsmanship. She passed on this now scarce skill to me," bragged Clarke.

She made it clear that her late friend was a most devoted wife to her late husband Leslie McDonald, and a wonderful mother to her children Winston, Steve, Gary and Rohan. She added that being a family woman was Mavis' calling, as she loved children. She added that Mavis had a huge heart which she shared with everyone openly and without fear.

Clarke said her late friend was a strong yet gentle woman as she stood through the heartache from the passing of her late husband Leslie, to being a widow, breadwinner and support system for her grieving children; and faced even greater strength when her first son Winston died.

"She was a beacon of light, a ray of hope and a woman of great pride. To have known her is to love her; and that she surely was. I will miss you dear friend, but I will cherish the good times we spent together. Rest in peace. Your friend 'Mel'" eulogised Clarke, who also said it was impossible to put into words the importance of their friendship and how much her late friend meant to her and her family.

Following the thanksgiving service, McDonald's body was interred at the Dovecot Memorial Park.


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