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Footprints | Muriel Rhone - she lived by the Good Book

Published:Monday | July 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Two weeks shy of her 100th birthday, on June 20, Muriel Laureldene Rhone, nÈe Rhooms, went to join her siblings on the other side. They all departed in their 90s, and the woman who was born in Morris Hall, St Catherine, on July 7, 1917, is now a member of the '90s club'.

Muriel was the daughter of Thaddius and Miriam Rhooms, and the sister of Rita, Ruby, Lucille, Terrence, and Lilla. She attended Seargentville All-Age School in the parish of her birth. The brilliant girl was a teacher pupil, who sat her second and third Jamaica Local Examinations.

She became a dressmaker, and was married for 53 years to Herman Rhone, with whom she produced 10 children: Eloise, Yvonne, Marcia, Clinton, Winston (Bobsie), Fitzy, Norman (Jackson), Carlton (Winkie), Lambert, and Lester, who predeceased her three years ago.

Her daughter, Eloise Rhone, remembers her as a faithful, humble, Christian woman, "who believed in peace and harmony and in education". Sadden by the high level of illiteracy in her community, Rhone that vowed all her children would learn to read and write. As such, she taught them all to read before they started their formal education.




The active churchwoman was committed to her children, passing up "several opportunities to migrate to England", so that she could be with her offspring. "Her sons were her world," Rhone said, "But she constantly reminded us girls that she had to show them how to protect their sisters."

A lover of the natural environment and poetry, Rhone would recite verses around her sewing machine. Her versatility included dressmaking. She was known as a skilful dressmaker, and her legendary skills were in high demand, "especially among the wives of the estate owners, who constantly wanted new outfits for their garden parties", Rhone said.

Muriel Rhone was also regarded "a very good cook", Eloise Rhone told Footprints. "Many in the community still recall her puddings, cakes, and Christmas dinners." And for all of that, and more, family members and loved ones gave thanks for her life on Saturday, July 15, in Calvary Gospel Hall at Harkers Hall in St Catherine. Internment took place in the Harkers Hall Cemetery.