Goodbye Jenell
12-y-o flood victim laid to rest
The 12-year-old’s parents, Nicholas Walters and Christine Gilbert, are seen during the funeral service.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Family and friends of 12-year-old Jenell Walters, who drowned in flood waters in April, bid her farewell on Sunday during a touching funeral service at King’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montego Bay.

Among those who mourned were her grandfather Berris and aunt Shannon, who were rescued from the family car during the tragic incident that claimed the young girl’s life. The service was also attended by students from Montego Bay High School for Girls, where Jenell had just entered the seventh grade.

On Sunday, Jenell was remembered fondly by those who knew her. She was loving, bright and had dreams of becoming a doctor, they said.

Pastor Jonathan Myrie offered solace to the family, telling them to look to the Lord.

“I pray that the Father will bring comfort and care during this time. I pray that you will find peace of mind with God... Christine, Nicholas, be strong and of good courage, trust in the Lord,” he urged the child’s parents before offering the same advice to other relatives.

Berris Walters and his daughter Shannon, who were in the car when it was washed away by floodwaters on April 19, are shown here.

Among those paying tribute to Jenell was Opposition Leader Mark Golding, whose prepared remarks were read by Senator Janice Allen.

“To her parents, Christine and Nicholas, may God give you the strength to continue to be there for each other as well as for Jenell’s siblings. I know that no amount of words can express the pain that you are feeling right now. I pray for your peace, comfort and courage during this most difficult time of sorrow,” said Golding.

There was an outpouring of support for the family in the days after the tragedy. After her daughter’s funeral service on Sunday, Christine Gilbert expressed gratitude to all who have provided support to the family in their time of need.

“I’m really happy and grateful for all the support that we’ve been getting. I have a lot of persons to thank and maybe I’ll take out an ad to highlight some of the persons,” she managed to say despite being overcome with grief.

On April 19, little Jenell was swept out of the family car into the Barnett River, near Westgate. Her body was recovered that evening about a mile and a half away. Her 68-year-old grandmother, Beryl, was also swept away by flood waters. Her body has never been found, despite weeks of searching.

As they said goodbye to Jenell on Sunday, the family knew there was even more pain ahead. On Wednesday there will be a memorial service for Beryl Walters at Mount Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cornwall Gardens.

Parents Nicholas Walters and Christine Gilbert are joined by family members during prayer at young Jenell Walters’ funeral service on Sunday..
From left: Jenell’s grandfather and father, Berris and Nicholas Walters, share a moment after the service..

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