Urlings centenarian dies

Catherine Thomas at her 103rd birthday celebration on April 1. (Photo by Tameika Malone)

Matriarch, Catherine “Dane” Thomas passed away recently leaving the legacy and cherished memories she built in her 103 years of life.

McClean Hunte, retired assistant commissioner of police said his mother died at home on Sunday after being ill for several weeks.

“She was still jovial and talking when she went to bed, she was fine on Saturday and on Sunday she woke up, she was fed and had a bath. She was coughing, she vomited and that was it. It was just her time, she had been weak for a while, but, she lived a long life,” Hunte said yesterday.

The centenarian, who celebrated her birthday on April 1, was with family when she closed her eyes for the last time at approximately 6:30 a.m.

Coincidentally, the mother of 13 also had 12 siblings. She lived in Urlings all her life and was raised by her three older brothers when her mother passed away when she was a child.

Thomas was from a family of long livers. She was the last survivor of her 12 siblings. Many of her siblings lived past 90 years old and one of the centenarian’s sisters survived to celebrate 103 years, before dying three years ago.

The centenarian worked her field up to when she was 98 years old, she was still able to see, walk with some assistance and get around her home on her own.

The centenarian also tended a coal kiln to provide for Nathaniel, Victoria, Samuel, Christiana (deceased), Simon (deceased), Joseph and Yvonne, Prince and Iota, Justine, McClean and two other children who died as infants.

Thomas is remembered as a disciplinarian who instilled strong values about the importance of respect for others and a sound education, in her children, grandchildren and all the children she helped raise.

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