JEAN Allison Mair Casserly, mother of Jamaica Observer's 2004 Business Leader of the Year Awardee, Patrick Casserly, was last week Saturday, remembered as a dedicated wife and a loving mother who lived her life to the benefit of others.
An emotional mass of resurrection celebrating her life was held at St Andrew Parish Church in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.
Casserly died on January 30. She was 78-years-old.
Close family friend, Oliver Jones, remembered Casserly as being a faithful wife to her husband, Alvaro, and a tower of strength to her children, Marie, Bruce, Patrick and Robert.
"Jean devoted most of her years to the well-being of her family, her husband, her children," Jones said.
After graduating from St Hilda's High School in St Ann, Jean Casserly joined the staff at the Bank of Nova Scotia in the parish capital of Port Maria and resided with some of her relatives in Highgate. She later moved to Kingston where she continued on the staff of the Bank of Nova Scotia in senior positions at East Queen's Street and Liguanea branches.
Jean and Alvaro were introduced by a friend in 1959. They had both worshipped at St Andrew Parish Church but had not met. The friendship blossomed and they wed on 28th January 1961.
"After the birth of her fourth child, Al and Jean took on the responsibility of bringing up children, which demanded time. The decision was made that Jean should cease working at the bank, so that more time could be devoted to the children," Jones said.
"They have always been of the view that this was one of the best decisions they had ever made," he added.
"Jean learned to drive so that that she could share in the duty of taking the children to and from school, but Jean did not enjoy driving. When it was no longer necessary to take the children around, she stopped driving, and did not renew her driver's licence," he said, eliciting laughter from the congregation.
She was an active member of the church and is known to have proposed fellowship groups for St Andrew Parish Church before they were officially established.
"She earned the respect and admiration of a wide range of persons. Jean was at ease with all, [from] the Head of State in King's House [to] the vendors in Papine Market,"
Jones then read remembrances from all four of her children.
Her only daughter, Marie, remembered her as a good companion.
"Mommy and I found relationships in so many ways. She was sister, counsellor, confidante, coach, teacher, and friend. In fact, she was my very best friend. She personified love. She knew no other way than wholehearted love and being of profound faith in God. She was a loving mother whom everyone would dream of having."
Bruce remembered his mother as a kind woman.
"My mother was a very loving, kind person who was always doing for others, putting all others before herself. I remember her saying, 'My children, those people who you meet in life, always give them the respect, even the little man in the street, because he too has his story."
Patrick said he will forever cherish her unique smile.
"My mother's smile could lighten any room. She remains today my best friend. I love her dearly."
Robert, on the other hand, was lost for words to explain his grief over the loss of his mother.
"Mom, if you were here now, what would I say to you? I would say that I miss you and I don't know how to explain it."
Casserly was born on October 9, 1934 in Adelphi, St James. She was the fifth and last child of Hugh and Sara Mair.
She is survived by widower, Alvaro; children, Marie, Bruce, Patrick, Robert, daughter-in-law, Katrin; grandchildren, Aaron, Keiko and Phillip, Josef; brother, Lloyd Mair, sister, Daphne Goodison, sister-in-law, Sybil Mair; nephews, nieces and other relatives.
She was interred in the church cemetery immediately after the service.