Outstanding public servant Faith Innerarity died yesterday morning after a battle with cancer in a hospice in Florida, United States, with her husband of 32 years, Joseph, by her side.
Last night, Innerarity's son Stephen told The Gleaner his father had informed him "she left us wih a smile".
Stephen had been at the airport on his way to see her when he got the news.
Innerarity had been battling the disease for several years but became very ill a month ago. A new diagnosis revealed that the cancer had developed to stage four and spread across her body to her vital organs.
She began to deteriorate and her family made the decision to keep her away from the public to rest. On Monday, she was flown to Florida for treatment; however, she died a few days later.
Public service veteran
A veteran in the public service, 54-year-old Innerarity had served Jamaica for more than 30 years and was lauded for her outstanding contribution to public service as well as to international relations. She served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports (MICYS) and prior to that was chief technical director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, after serving as senior director social security for 10 years.
Last night, Opposition Spokes-person on Youth, Sports, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Culture, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, expressed sorrow at the passing of the veteran civil servant.
Grange, a former minister in the MICYS, recalled Innerarity as a flawless professional, who was totally committed to excellent work ethic, high standards of performance and the highest levels of Christian values.
"It is indeed unfortunate that her death has occurred at a time when the country needs her input in areas of social protection more than ever, but God knows best," Grange said.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness also paid tribute to Innerarity.