ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Alethia Helene Martin, affectionately called "Mama" by her family and "Miss Girly" or "Mama Girly" by members of her community. She made her transition to heaven on March 21, 2021 at 90 years old and will be missed forever by her five children (Claudette Davis "Little", Veda Smith "Nelly", Florence Stephenson "Bev", Barbara Collash "Jasmine" and Rose Reid "Rona"), 1 niece (Hortense Brown-Royes "Tensie"), 11 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, 2 grandnephews, 1 grandniece, 3 great grandnephews, 6 great grandnieces, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Join us in celebration of a life well lived...

Thanksgiving Service for the life of
Alethia Helene Martin
June 20, 1930 – March 21, 2021
                                                 Friday, May 7, 2021, 11:00 a.m.                                                   (Jamaica time - UTC/GMT-5) 
                                                    Guy’s Hill Gospel Chapel                                                                                                       St. Catherine, Jamaica W.I.                                                     
Officiating Pastors: 
                                                             Denzil Greaves
                                                            Donahue Collash
                                                               
Interment: Guy’s Hill Gospel Chapel Cemetery   
     ** Jamaica COVID-19 restrictions and protocols will be followed  
   
 Join the Thanksgiving Service on Zoom at 11 a.m. :  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8473587701?pwd=b2JZQ2YzclUyZW9sR0c1V1pSSEZRdz09   Meeting ID: 847 358 7701; Passcode: 088847   
Join the Interment on Zoom at 1 p.m. :  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6325118985?pwd=UGFRRFE5VWdMbjFYMmhnZDVLNUxLQT09                                                                 Meeting ID: 632 511 8985; Passcode: 507996

Posted by Dionne Holness-Smith on June 7, 2021
I remember those Summer Holidays spent with your family.

I remember how you treated us as part of your family.

I remember your gentle ways, your kindness, your smile ,and the twinkle in your small eyes.

I remember you sitting on the veranda watching the children play and smiling at their antics.

I remember your family devotions and your soft voice as you said prayers for everybody under your roof.

I remember the meals you prepared for everyone with so much love at summer time, your immediate family, the cousins the grandchildren and those vacationing with you.

You were blessed woman, kind and gentle in your ways. Forever remembered.

Posted by Merline Small on May 7, 2021
Sister in the Lord, humble, kind and gentle in her ways. You are missed but you are in a better place. Resting in the arms of your heavenly father.
Posted by Sonia Brown on May 6, 2021
Miss Girly was a kind loving person.I would look forward to her ripe bananas every Saturday in the Linstead market. Always smiling. She's still smiling. Gone but not forgotten. May life perpetual shine on her. Rest in peace. Stay strong my cuzs

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Dionne Holness-Smith on June 7, 2021
I remember those Summer Holidays spent with your family.

I remember how you treated us as part of your family.

I remember your gentle ways, your kindness, your smile ,and the twinkle in your small eyes.

I remember you sitting on the veranda watching the children play and smiling at their antics.

I remember your family devotions and your soft voice as you said prayers for everybody under your roof.

I remember the meals you prepared for everyone with so much love at summer time, your immediate family, the cousins the grandchildren and those vacationing with you.

You were blessed woman, kind and gentle in your ways. Forever remembered.

Posted by Merline Small on May 7, 2021
Sister in the Lord, humble, kind and gentle in her ways. You are missed but you are in a better place. Resting in the arms of your heavenly father.
Posted by Sonia Brown on May 6, 2021
Miss Girly was a kind loving person.I would look forward to her ripe bananas every Saturday in the Linstead market. Always smiling. She's still smiling. Gone but not forgotten. May life perpetual shine on her. Rest in peace. Stay strong my cuzs
her Life

Alethia's life story written by her children

Hark! ’tis the sound of trumpet … yea, a flourish and a choir of heavenly band. Hark, I hear a voice proclaiming, “Bring her hither, come up higher, welcome home. Take a rest my child. You have fought a good fight … you have finished the course.” What a cheerful vison of the heavenly welcome! What joyful anticipation of a coming grand reunion!

As we give thanks for the life of Alethia Helene Martin (nee Davis), let us remember her, let us celebrate her, let us eulogise her with joy and gladness. 

Alethia Helene, aka Miss Girly, entered this world on June 20, 1930, a gift from God and the joy of her mother. We trace her step from Highgate, St. Mary where she was born, to Guy’s Hill, St, Catherine to which she relocated when she was not yet fully one year old.

We trace her transition to a new parental home, when at a young age she was left in the care of adoptive parents Cecil Christopher and Edna Reid. Her primary education at Wesleyan Elementary School ended pre-maturely due to the ill-health of her adoptive parents, and thus what was to become her life-long career in home making and home management began.

We trace her ‘coming-of-age’ when as a young adult, she met and fell in love with Hezekiah Martin (now deceased), whom she later married. She responded to God’s call on her life in the summer of 1963 and shortly thereafter was baptised and brought into the fellowship of Guy’s Hill Gospel Chapel.

We remember and give God thanks for her commitment and unstinting service behind the scenes, as she involved herself in the life of the church. Hers was the gift of helps, and so in addition to being regular and punctual in attendance, she would clean the sanctuary in preparation for Sunday services, help with the hospitality table  on special occasions at church, host visiting speakers at her home and always contributed her much sought-after pot of rice and peas for Sunday school picnics.

As her children, we give God thanks for her undying love and commitment to her family. We remember mama as selfless and caring. Driven by her desire to provide for her children, she became an entrepreneur in her own right, as she very early took on the responsibility of supplementing the family budget by taking to the popular Linstead Market every Saturday to sell the excess produce from papa’s farm. 

We give thanks for the rich spiritual legacy she has left us. She modelled for us what it means to be kind, honest, hardworking, to care for others, to love, to give and to share despite the paucity of our own means. Her life demonstrated to us that one did not need to have money to be happy. 

Mama was not much of a talker and so she allowed the whip to speak! She certainly wholeheartedly drew her parenting skills from the proverb which admonished not to spare the rod and spoil the child. That was enough to make us walk the straight and narrow, and when we couldn’t, to devise all possible schemes to ensure our ‘nefarious’ deeds remained concealed. 

Mama was never demonstrative in her affections. Never a hugger and a ‘I-love-you’ verbaliser, but we knew and felt her love. Love was mama always making sure we had enough to eat (even if she had to do without) and ensuring that we never went to bed hungry. Love was mama baking toto for supper on Sundays. Love was mama with a cup of homemade brew for head ache, belly ache or any other ailment that did not call for a doctor’s visit. Love was mama admonishing and warning us "if you caan tan and bun, cut an’ run". Love was mama waiting up to make sure we get home okay whenever we were out late. Love was mama shedding tears as she says goodbye to us after a visit. 

Today, we eulogise and remember mama in a happy way, in a special way that goes like this:

Mama is a poem … irregular rhythms, no set rhyme scheme, free – and so allowed each of us to become ‘me’.

Mama is a song, a song of courage and determination that gives us inspiration in the midst of our own battles.

Mama is a flower … blooming in desert places; a Jasmine, exuding fragrance in times of darkness.

Mama is a stream … meandering gently, sometimes trickling underground but emerging with renewed vigour.

Mama is a poem, a song, a flower, a stream, but above all she is a model. She silently lived her faith out loud and has left etched in our minds the undying memory of a poor mother … an empty cupboard … an empty pot on the stove … and a God who showed up and provided right on time!

Mama transitioned peacefully on Sunday March 21, 2021 and has left us the greatest legacy a mother can give to her children - a spiritual heritage that will last for generations to come.  


Recent stories

Tribute to "Mama" from her Grandchildren

Shared by Lloye Dillon on May 4, 2021
It is with sadness, many tears and a heart full of cherished memories that we share this tribute to our caring and hardworking grandmother, Alethia Helene Martin, affectionately called “Mama” by her grandchildren. 

 A doting grandpa once said, “If I knew grand children were so nice I would have had them first”, and I am sure that was how mama thought about her grandchildren. She loved us all unreservedly and has left us with many precious memories. 

Most of our memories of Mama are from the many summers spent in Guys Hill with her and our late grandfather “Papa”. We looked forward to being in their loving company, visiting the farm, playing outside with the chickens, rabbits and other animals, and to enjoying Mama’s exceptional cooking. Some of our favourites were her roast pork, toto, potato pudding, bread pudding and chocolate tea. Mama would always give us a cup of herbal tea (aka “bush tea”) before bedtime. (Even now as an adult I look forward to tea before bedtime). One of the highlights of our summer was helping mama sell various items from her in-home shop, as well as help to eat some of these items. Community members would stop by to purchase ice, chicken, suck suck, banana chips and other snacks. We were rewarded for our labour with a "suck suck"... our favourite item on the shop menu. This was one of our first lessons in how to manage finances.

Mama’s favourite time of the year was Christmas! She was very adamant that Christmas decorations be put up each year. That would mean getting word out to her grandchildren that it was time to decorate her Christmas tree. There was just an extra sparkle in her eyes when we would all come gather together as a family to celebrate Christmas.

Over the years, through our many visits to Guy’s Hill, we had the opportunity to observe the many roles Mama played in her family and in her community. She was the market lady, the godly woman, the disciplinarian and our caregiver. I’ll share a few of our memories of mama in each of these roles. 

1. Mama the Market Lady: Mama sold food items (mainly produce) in Linstead Market every Saturday for many years. She would pack her items on Friday evening and get up in the wee hours on Saturday morning to catch the market truck to Linstead. We thought our Mama had special powers when she would balance heavy bags of market produce on her head. We would try to mimic her with small buckets filled with whatever we could find in the yard ... of course, we failed. On Saturday evenings, we would wait on the front porch in anticipation of her arrival. At first glimpse of her, we would race up to her, to help carry her bags and get whatever treat she brought for us from the market. We will always remember and try to emulate her strong work ethics. 

2. Mama the Godly woman: Time with God was very important to Mama. We once visited Guys Hill every first Sunday at least. At church we had to sit up, and pay attention ... no playing. We had to memorize our Bible verse and recall what we learned in Sunday school. No doubt, this habit of reading the Bible has helped us excel in quiz competitions, school and life. These Bible verses are now stored in our hearts and continue to guide us. Thank you, Mama, for modelling strong faith and commitment to God.  

3. Mama the disciplinarian: Mama was a no non-sense woman. We knew when Mama said “No” she meant “No”. No if, but or maybe. She was quick to discipline. Most times all we needed was “that one look” and we would quickly straighten up wi self. Some of us would push Mama to the limit - I will not call names but Linty you know yourself. Mama wanted to train us to be respectable citizens of the community. And I’m proud to say she succeeded. 

Finally, we remember: 

4. Mama the caregiver: Whenever we were sick or not feeling well, we just had to say the word and Mama would immediately spring into action. She had a herbal tea (aka “bush” tea) for every ailment, chicken noodle soup and a bottle of overproof white rum to anoint us whenever we had a fever. Mama was not the “lovey-dovey” type but whenever we were sick, we could always count on a hug from Mama. She also extended care to members of her community. She was always willing to help others by sending food or items of clothing to those in need. She was also willing to open her home to anyone who needed accommodation. Thank you, Mama for teaching us how to put God’s love into action by meeting the needs of others.

These are just a few of the many things about Mama we will always remember. Mama, you left us beautiful memories and we will cherish them in our hearts forever. Although we cannot see you, your love and godly example will stay with us forever and guide our lives.

Until we meet again...We love you!

Written by Lloye Dillon, Danehue Collash and Danielle Stephenson

Tribute to "Mama" from Torrian, Great Granddaughter

Shared by Lloye Dillon on May 4, 2021
A Great-Granddaughter's Words

All things happen through time,
Being able to meet you was a great sign.

Very few people meet their great- grandparents,
So having you around made it all transparent.

I was loved by you more than I knew,
And how great it was I still have no clue.

So now while you sleep in the Father's mansion,
Be at peace while you leave this world that is less of compassion. 

Bask yourself in soft pillows of clouds and milk with honey,
And heaven in all its  bliss 
Just know that I love you and you will be greatly missed. 

Say hi to Kar Kar, Auna and Papa for me. 
And farewell until together we all will be.

Written by Torrian 

Tribute to "Mama Girly" from Shirley Waller, Caregiver

Shared by Lloye Dillon on May 4, 2021
May the life I live speak for me, May the service that I give speak for me.
The work that I've done, it seems so small, sometimes, it seems like I've done nothing at all. But when I stand before my God, I want to hear Him say well done.
May the works that I've done, speak for me.

I came to Lime Hall to live with my uncle and family many years ago. Mama Girlie would always visit and she and my aunt would spend hours together. She saw me and asked who I was and where I was from. She said she realized that I do not go to church with the others and added, “You not staying home one more Sunday and no go Sunday school.”  I told her I didn’t have the appropriate clothing for church. A few days later she came with a big bag of clothes and said, “See, you can go to Sunday school now.”

As I grew up, she really became my “Mama Girlie”. We had a good relationship and formed a bond, thereon. When I became an adult,  she was my first landlord, and guess what! We got even closer then. She became my mother and my friend. Everyone must remember Chick V. It racked our bodies and even today it still has some of us in pain. Life was not the same after and on that account I was approached to assist with her and husband, as he wasn’t doing well post Chick V. I spent some years taking care of her husband whom we called “Papa” until he was taken home to be with the Lord, in 2016. Subsequently, I was asked to stay on and help with mama. It was like a sister’s journey. We had good days and bad days. When she was up I was up with her, and when she was down, I was down with her. 

She was very kind and loving to me. Even when I was going through a very personal situation, she was there in my corner offering words of encouragement and giving all the help she could. As the years passed, she became weaker in body but was still high-spirited and would always want to know if everyone was okay and everything was in order.

On Tueday, March 16, she complained of not feeling well and was rushed to her doctor who sent to the hospital where she was admitted. On Sunday, March 21, we got a call that she had transitioned. She has fought the good fight, she ran her race and now has finished her course. May her soul rest in peace. Sleep on mama, I  love and miss you. 

(Shirley Waller, caregiver)