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So long, dear Pal!

So long, dear Pal!

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As he lay in his bed, surrounded by family members, Frederick Beache made the sign of the cross, said “thank you, Jesus,” then he took his final breath.{{more}}

Last Sunday at about 3:45 p.m., St Vincent and the Grenadines’ oldest man, affectionately known to all as “Daddy Pal,” passed away peacefully.

He was 108 years old.

Beache died at his home in Campden Park, with his daughters, Yvette John and Verna Shallow at his side, shortly after being put to bed.

Shallow told SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday that other family members are trying their best to cope with the painful reality that Pal is no longer around.

She said that there had been no indication that Pal was about to die, since he was his same upbeat and jolly self to the end.

“The fact that I had Daddy so long, there are so many memories. Just this morning to pass the bedroom and to realize he is not on the bed…. It’s not easy.”

Shallow said that Pal’s final moment is one of the memories that she considers a blessing, and that she would always hang on to.

“He just repeated twice ‘Thank you, Jesus, oh Lord, hold me, Jesus, Amen.’ And Daddy just made the sign of the cross and he was gone,” she said, fighting back tears.

Born in Kingstown in 1905, Beache also lived on the Grenadine island of Bequia, as well as Greiggs, Georgetown and Calder.

He married his sweetheart Jennetta in May 1944, and the two had seven children, one of whom has died.

Beache and Jennetta were married for 53 years, until her death in 1997.

During his lifetime, Beache was employed as a sailor, carpenter, mason, basket maker, among other occupations, and was considered a jack-of-all trades.

He was described as a happy and optimistic man who was never sad or depressed.

In his later years, Pal maintained his remarkable love for God, whom he began serving at an early age, and was always joyful, had a quick wit and an impressive memory.

During the administering of the sacriments, which had been done in recent times by Dean Patrick McIntosh, Daddy Pal was able to recite the communion prayers, word for word. He also sang hymns and recited the prayers.

Shallow told SEARCHLIGHT that the family has been receiving calls of condolences from persons near and far, and relatives have indicated that they would be coming home for his funeral, which is slated to take place some time next week.

She said that although she will miss her father, she knows that he is at peace, and would be remembered for his contribution to her life, as well as the lives of her siblings, and the people with whom he came into contact, and who grew to love him over the years.

“He had been a living testimony to everybody who had known him within the last few years; he was always so full of life, despite his age.

“I know that he lived a good, full life and he always wanted us to live good with each other; that has been his prayer all his years, that we live united. And if that is all that we can do for him, we have to continue with the love that we share among each other.

“I am really thankful to all who have been supportive, but it’s still not easy.”

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