LAST Sunday mourners packed the pews of the Everton Park Seventh-day Adventist Church at Parks Road, St Andrew to give thanks for the life of stalwart community member Eltha Smith.
Smith was attacked and brutally shot dead on June 22 at her businessplace in the West Rural St Andrew community of Lacey.
Even though she was a well-known Jamaica Labour Party activist, supporters of the ruling People's National Party attended her funeral in a display of love for the woman who was truly a community stalwart.
Smith, affectionately known as 'Webba', 'Lippy', 'Skibba' and 'Shower Mumma', was 46 years old at the time of her death.
She gained her formal education at the Salisbury Plain Basic School, Allman Hill All-Age School and the Papine Secondary School, where she acquired numerous skills in Cosmetology and Entrepreneurship.
According to Lethia Brown, who delivered the eulogy, Smith placed great importance on the unity of
"She was an ardent businesswoman. She was also a strong, independent, courageous and industrious person. She was loving and undoubtedly family-oriented. Eltha had a great love for her family, friends and for her community. Speaking of her fascinating and industrious character, one of the brightest moments that we can remember was the day she purchased her first bed at the age of 12 (as exciting as a typical teenager would be). It was a great jubilation when the van drove up in the community that afternoon; this ambitious young lady was crowned queen of Lacey," she said.
Her determination to succeed drove Smith to higher heights and, at the time she was cut down was in the process of building her dream house.
"Eltha was very determined in her quest to achieve her goals. She was a go-getter and her dream was to build a mansion for her family, which she started but did not get a chance to complete it. Eltha was a great stewardess; she was vibrant, vigilant and straightforward. She did not know how to be a hypocrite. She was also an outspoken person; whatever was on her mind she would just tell you like it is. Sometimes she would seem embarrassing, but if you really know her, you would realise there was no meaning behind it," Brown added.
Eltha Smith is survived by her four children: Lamar Prendegast, Lashanna Holder, Jamar Holder, Rojay Holder and one grandchild Christashae Benjamin, her common law husband, parents, sisters, brothers and a host of other relatives and friends.
Her killers are still at large.