Footprints: Hilda Pearl Henry -- mother and friend
Even nature, by its bright sunshine and gentle breeze, seemed to be in agreement with the celebration of the life of Hilda Pearl Henry nee Thomas, as family and friends gathered to bid her farewell.
The service was held at the Grace Baptist Church where Miss Hilda worshipped for over 70 years. She was a leading alto on the choir. A rich musical tribute preceded the service which was conducted by host Minister Rev Dewayne Williams, Rev Dr. Glenroy Lalor, and Pastor Owen Cooper as officiating clergy. Miss Hilda, or Mama as she was affectionately called, was born in Downlodge, St Ann, 99 years ago. At age 22, she married Maltius Henry and the union produced eight children, three of whom predeceased her. The fruits of the union continue to multiply though, as there are 17 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
After 51 years of wedded bliss, Miss Hilda was widowed.
Miss Hilda was eulogised as a prayer warrior, an apostle of the gospel, mother, aunt, sister friend and community stalwart. Those who paid tributes remembered her many endearing and sterling qualities as a precious gem, a woman of 'Humility, Integrity, Love, Devotion to family, and an Approachable and Affectionate spirit' (the first letters of each trait spelling H.I.L.D.A.).
Her cousin, Deacon Mary Henry, recalled her pioneering work and commitment to the building of the church over the decades. Janet Graham- Gordon, who was particularly close to her favourite aunt, fondly remembered her for her sound advice, wisdom, love of family and indomitable Christian spirit. Close family friend and "adopted son" Mahlon Watson, echoed similar sentiments as he was the beneficiary of Miss Hilda's mothering touch while living with the family in the late 1970s. In his remembrance, Ancell Henry, the youngest of the five remaining offspring, spoke of his mother's culinary skills, warmth and generosity to children, love of sports and entertainment, passion for music, and above all, her love for Christ.
Miss Hilda leaves to mourn children Carmen, Myrtle, Lindon, Fitz, Albert, Ancell; sister Myrtle; brothers Bertie, George and Earl; and a host of relatives and friends.