Sonia Elizabeth Gayle remembered for her indomitable spirit
PAYING their final respects to 59-year-old businesswoman, Sonia Elizabeth Gayle, who was killed on February 17 while driving on McCook's Pen Main Road in St Catherine, was one of the most unbearable tasks her three children, Tracy-Ann and Nicole King and David Fung had to take on.
The pain and hurt mourners were feeling for the woman, whom they describe as being in the prime of her life which was unfairly cut short, could have been extracted from their faces and unsteady motions when they gathered in the pews of the Church of God of Prophecy in Old Harbour, St Catherine at the Thanksgiving Service celebrating her life on March 1.
According to reports, Gayle, who was from Ginger Lily Close in Eltham View, Spanish Town, was driving to Spanish Town when a car drove up to her vehicle and gunmen opened fire.
Gayle was hit and died at hospital.
Three mourners offered tributes at the service which was complemented by the eulogy which was given by her daughter Tracy-Ann King.
King described her mother as a determined entrepreneur and individual until her tragic end came last month.
"She would never stop working. Even to the tragic end on that evening of February 17, 2014 when she was on her way home from work," the grieving woman said.
"After serving as a secretary at Ace Betting Company, Sonia completed Leon's Beauty School and opened a parlour in Portmore, St Catherine. Her zest for entrepreneurship led her starting her own business at Pearnel Charles Arcade, going weekly to Falmouth market, stalls in Constant Spring Arcade and a barber and beauty parlour on Dunrobin Plaza," King said.
"Wow. Wow. While doing all this, Sonia was an Avon representative in Jamaica and she excelled at this. She won several awards from Avon," King added.
King went on to describe her mother with the adjectives: ambitious, respectful, thoughtful, courageous, generous and kind.
Gayle's son-in-law, Dr Carlos Wilson, said Gayle's 59 years of life was worthwhile, well-lived and impacting on those she encountered across the world.
"Miss Gayle made a difference just by being herself. Her inner light still shines bright and touches lives a yard and abroad," Dr Wilson said during his tribute.
"Like many of us here, I love Miss Gayle and Miss Gayle loved me and she demonstrated it in her usual indomitable way. If you knew Miss Gayle, you'd know she was principled bad. Though Miss Gayle is gone from this world, she is in the smiles, the priceless moments, is treasured in our hearts," Dr Wilson added.
Her neighbour, Reverend Rakar Williams and close family friend, Nickesha Burton, also offered tributes.
Gayle was born in Gordon District at White House, Westmoreland on August 30, 1954 to parents Myrtle and Theophilus Gayle. She was the eldest of three children and the only girl.
Her academic pursuits began at New Hope School. After being successful at that institution, she was later offered a half scholarship for Manning's School, but her family could not afford to send her to the institution.
Given the loss of that opportunity, she migrated to Kingston and joined one of her aunts and attended Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School evening classes before joining Ace Betting Company as a secretary.
Gayle was laid to rest in a family plot located in Gordon District, Whitehouse, Westmoreland.