TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of nutritionist Dr Heather Little-White.
Leading the tributes, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said she was deeply saddened by the loss of the renowned nutritionist.
"We have lost a dear friend and Jamaica has lost a professional woman of courage, whose life exemplified the true spirit of perseverance against the odds," the prime minister said yesterday.
According to Simpson Miller, "Through her work in nutrition education, Dr Little-White's life touched many lives, whether it was by way of the very popular 'Creative Cooking' television series, her countless interviews on radio, numerous articles in the newspapers, scores of lectures or direct sampling of her delightful home-grown recipes and catering services."
The prime minister said despite being challenged by "a regrettable and most unfortunate incident", when she was shot during a robbery in 1999, Little-White demonstrated remarkable courage and strength of character which was admired by all Jamaicans who knew her.
"She will be greatly missed and her work as an outstanding nutritionist, writer and advocate for the disabled community will be remembered and treasured for many years to come."
Simpson Miller expressed her "deepest sympathies to husband Peter, brother Lennie, and other members of Little-White's family".
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said Little-White's resilience in the face of tremendous odds, and her consistently positive outlook, despite the many challenges from her disability, were exemplary and provide a model for Jamaicans in the face of the current social and economic crises impacting the country.
"Although she was physically challenged by the disability, … she continued to play a very significant role in Jamaica's social life, including serving as convenor of the National Steering Committee for the Government's Values & Attitudes programme in 2006," Holness noted.
Chief executive officer of GraceKennedy Group, Don Wehby, said the company mourned the passing of Little-White, who was a former employee, mentor, friend, adviser, stalwart and invaluable consultant.
"Our hearts go out to her family and friends," Wehby said, noting that the relationship between GraceKennedy and Little-White spanned almost three decades.
"She was family to us. We are grateful for all that she brought to GraceKennedy, and for having contributed significantly to who we are as an organisation, particularly in our foods division. We will miss her very dearly," he said.
Meanwhile, the University of Technology (UTech) said it was saddened by the passing of Little-White, who it described as a well-known nutritionist, lifestyle consultant and educator.
Little-White served UTech as part-time lecturer in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Business and Management since 1997.
"Her contribution to UTech has been immeasurable, where she gave unselfishly of her time and talent as a specialist in the development of training programmes in food and nutrition with emphasis on local foods," UTech said in its tribute.
Little-White, 60, died Tuesday evening at the Kingston Public Hospital.