Family matriarch was 'good Baptist woman'
GLORIA Patricia Capleton, one of three victims of a fatal motor vehicle collision on the Braco, Trelawny section of the North Coast Highway on January 2, was laid to rest Saturday following a moving thanksgiving service at the East Queen Street Baptist Church in downtown, Kingston.
Capleton, along with her 53-year-old daughter, Claudette Grant and 34-year-old granddaughter, Vanessa Brown, died after the Nissan Tiida driven by their relative Dwight Harrison collided with a Toyota Coaster bus around 11:00 am.
At the service, Capleton, a nurse aide from New York, was described as a "good Baptist woman" who shared her love for and faith in Christ both inside and outside the walls of her beloved Lennox Road Baptist Church in that US city.
According to Reverend Dr Roy Henry, the officiating minister and Capleton's church brother while she attended East Queen Street Baptist before migrating, her love for the Baptist community was always manifested in her deportment.
"She had a shared relationship with East Queen Street Baptist Church, and Lennox Road Baptist Church. When she was a member of the East Queen Street church, she could be heard identifying with the work of the church. She was a very active member, especially in the women's ministry," the pastor said before he offered his sermon.
Prior to his tribute and sermon, a tribute from Reverend Dr Kirkpatrick Cohall, pastor of the Lennox Road Baptist Church was read by Yvonne Slott.
"Sister Capleton was a committed member of the church in New York. She maintained a strong and Christian faith beyond the walls of the church. Sister Capleton loved to worship God and always carried a wonderful smile that would warm our hearts," Slatt said as she read the short tribute sent from New York City.
"She was active in the church's senior ministry where she developed lasting relationships with others. She will be missed by her church family, the senior ministry and friends," she added, before expressing sympathy on the church's behalf for the grieving family who lost members of three generations in the accident.
Tracey-Ann Haye, another of Capleton's granddaughters, followed with a rendition of the song Somewhere Around God's Throne.
Capleton was born in Oracabessa, St Mary, on October 19, 1936. She leaves behind three other children — Barbara West, Sandra Harrison and Albert Harrison.
She was buried at Dovecot Memorial Park. The bodies of Grant and Brown, both residents of Maryland in the US, were returned there for burial. The three women were visiting the island for the Christmas holidays when the tragedy struck.
The driver of the ill-fated motor car Harrison, 27, who is of a Nannyville, Kingston, address, has subsequently been charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving. He was offered bail in the sum of $1 million when he appeared in the Falmouth Resident Magistrate's Court on January 4 and is booked to reappear in court on April 15.
Just over two years ago, a terrible motor vehicle crash on the same stretch of road resulted in the deaths of four foreigners, while four other people -- three of whom were residents of the United Kingdom — were injured.