Her Life
Grace Leonora Lawrence (Auntie Grace, Auntie) was the third of seven chiidren and the second of two girls born in a quet district in the bread basket parish of St. Elizabeth.   Her parents were Mary and Leonard, who both were esteemed educators.  Her father was a headmaster and her mother was a senior teacher - so, it was no accident that Grace decided to pursue teaching as a way of life.

Her early education started in rural Jamaica where she excelled at school -- from the primary level to the secondary level.  She did her early teacher's training at Shortwood Teacher's College. She spent years working as an educator in Westomreland and.St. Mary.  Then she moved on to the seondary level where she taught at Oberlin High, ST. ANDREW  .  After this, she emigrated to Canada to further her  studies where she graduated with a degree in Education from Canada’s or prestigious .....Queens Univerity.  After returning to Jamaica, she made her indelible mark as a teacher at Immaculate Conception High School where she worked as a teacher for  well over 30 years.  She was a versatile teacher who taught, English, Mathematics, Geography,Spanish.  Ms Lawrence was the Girl Guides leader for years.  She volunteered her lunch time at a school with disabled children then she would return punctually on campus to put on a stellar performance as usual ,as a teacher.

Then came  retirement which she wasn’t anxious about  however she insulated her mind against senile decay by founding her  Verandah based school  she named, HopeRidge Academy.  From that small verandah she helped nunerous students -  school age and adults, usually @ no charge. She supervised and proctored exams   Auntie Grace also enhanced  her own   education and became a student of French, piano lessons, sign language...she even dabbled a little in German! 

Her love for teaching was also shared with her church as she was a Sunday School Teacher and  Superindent right here at St. Johns for many years.  This church nurtured her spirtufal growth for almost 5 decades. Covid restriction not with standing, she attended church.    In fact, Saturday August 14th was her 96th birthday and Auntie Grace went to church the day after to make sure receive her blessings  She came home blessed and elated that the congregation regailed her with a beautiful rendition of the "Happy Birthday" song.  Ironically, until now, that was her last appearance.... alive at this church.   

Outside of the academic arena, Auntie Grace was a mother to many of her relatives and community friends.  Her spiritual philantopy of giving back was very alive in her.  She helped people none of us even knew about until after her passing.  She loved her family. She had a special love for her six siblings and all their offsprings.   Many of you in this room lived with her for some years and in some cases, many, many years.   Some had financial help from her, some had academic help but ALL of us have benefitted from her wisdom and advice.  She loved her family—those here in Jamaica,, those in the USA, Those in Canada and in Europe.

Auntie was loved by all of us.  in fact, she was loved by Jamaica in general.  Although she would be considered an unsung hero, she recieved the Butch Stewart Community award in the sector of education,  the Royal school of music award and  awards in other areas.  She did none of her  hard work for recognition, she was a real silent giant.
As they say, all good things must come to an end.  In this case, I should say all GREAT  things come to an end.  Because, Grace Leonara Lawrence, a Phenom of her time was genuinely Great.  She ran her race and finished with an A. Finally,  the Lord called her home peacefully on Friday, October 8th, where she will now join the others around Gods golden throne. ....goodbye auntie