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Tribute to Ann Garraway Stephens by: Genevieve Bramble

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Thu, Dec 22. 2011

Ann Doreen Stephens, the youngest of the five daughters in the union between Dougal and Venetha Garraway, was born on 11th July 1952. She lived in Rose Hall. Ann Stephens was affectionately called Aunty Ann by even some of her own children. If I was asked to summarise her life in three words, they will be “a remarkable woman!” Her life brought joy to every one. The Joy that has a special meaning:

J- Jesus-she was firm believer in Jesus Christ.

O- Optimistic- she firmly believed that good prevails.

Y- Yourself last- she put others before herself, she was selfless.

Aunty Ann was a daughter, mother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, community seamstress, counsellor, cook and teacher. She passed on before her brothers and sisters Adolous, Benson, Malcolm, Daniel, Eric, Emil, Enita, Hilda, Elfreda, Evelyn, Loren and Alice. She was the wife of Daniel Stephens.

She is the biological mother of Osbert, Fitz, Kwasi, Unolda, Daniel, Delson and Dixie Ann. If a number is to be assigned to the number of children she mothered, the number will be in the hundreds. She was woman of compassion and touched the lives of those whom she came in contact with in a positive way. As she lays before us today, the tears flow genuinely, and we are filled with emotion and a sense of losts from the home and the community of Rose Hall. Life will never be the same without Aunty Ann. She was a woman of the people and for the people.

She catered for every one and anyone, the well and the sick, the rich and the poor, the young and the old. On the day of her passing, one lady remarked “Aunty gone now, way me ago do.”

She was a key player in many of the weddings in the constituency of North Leeward.

She laboured to ensure that the cakes were ready for the bride and groom, even if it took her late into the night.

Villagers will remember Aunty Ann’s ability as a seamstress. She took everyone in a special way as she tried to make their garments according their desire and their personality. If you needed a school skirt and mommy could not afford a new one they came to Mrs. Stephens. If your skirt was too wide or your dress to long, Mrs. Stephens would make it fit right. When the principal sent you home from school because your pants were too tight, the boys would come to Mrs. Stephens for her assistance. She tried to help everyone who came. She would say come back tomorrow, or Friday or at the end of the day. Everyone left with a feeling of satisfaction, and she knew how to make you smile.

Aunty Ann liked to chat and she always gave you a good advice. Her conversation did not involve a negative thought and she stood for principle. Her granddaughter Kenisha remembers vividly that Aunty Ann went to the shop to get a cold drink for her when she was sick, because she loved her and wanted to make happy and well. She tried to avoid arguments and did not abuse anyone verbally or physically. She respected everyone and was respected.

Whenever I was at home, Aunty Ann would always greet me with her unique smile. That smile I forever remember. She was a good cook and loved to feed the hungry and the needy.

In her last days, she was no longer physically agile, but she was determined to accomplish her daily tasks and to try her best to assist her family. She spent time strengthening her relationship with Jesus Christ and her spiritual life.

Aunty Ann, we love you, and we miss you dearly, but our precious memories of you live on. Gone, but never forgotten. Rest in peace…..

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