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Footprints: Easton Emerson James - Lights dim for quiet, humble TV electrician

Published:Tuesday | March 22, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Easton James

On March 5, 1945, Iris Chambers delivered a baby boy at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston. She named him Easton Emerson James.

James was an only child for a while, which is why he was pampered by his grandmother, 'Oney'.

He was eventually joined by sisters, Sadie, Idalyn, and Ethlyn, and a brother called 'Biggy'.

James attended Windward Road School in east Kingston. He was a dreamer, telling his mother of things he would do for her when he grew up. His mother was a dressmaker for whom he drew clothes that he thought she should have made.

After saying goodbye to school, James learned tiling, but switched to electronics, doing his apprenticeship at the House of Issa, where he was eventually employed to do electrical wiring. His job took him to rural parishes to service and repair televisions, which were being introduced into the island by the House of Issa at the time. For years, he worked as a TV electrician.

But the man who did not know his father evolved into a committed businessman. He and his wife, Shirley, whom he met in the 1970s, were among the first tenants in the Constant Spring Arcade.

Called 'Nana' and 'Tata', Shirley and Easton were inseparable.

On the morning of February 26, death suddenly grabbed James from Shirley's clutch. His children, Shaleed, Christopher and Alafia, too, were left in a pall of sadness, likewise his many relatives and friends.

"He may never have done any community service noticeable to man, but in his own way, he looked out and cared for the people around him. Easton was selfless and nothing was too much for him to do or too hard," daughter Shaleed, told Footprints.

James' thanksgiving service took place at Boulevard Open Bible Church on March 16. He was interred in Meadowrest Memorial Gardens.

'Upsie', as he was popularly called, and who lived along Bob Marley Boulevard, Cooreville Gardens, in Kingston at the time of his passing, was eulogised as a quiet, humble, friendly man, who lived life to the fullest.

"Easton had a good childhood, one I know he would reminisce and laugh about until tears ran down his cheeks. Easton lived a full life and will be greatly missed," his sister, Sadie, said.

- Paul H. Williams