Mon | Jul 15, 2024

Clarendon centenarian dies a month after birthday

Published:Monday | June 5, 2023 | 12:16 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Julia Rose-Campbell, a centenarian of Hayes, Clarendon, shares a laugh with her daughter Marelyn Shaw last year.
Julia Rose-Campbell, a centenarian of Hayes, Clarendon, shares a laugh with her daughter Marelyn Shaw last year.

Clarendon centenarian Julia Rose-Campbell, who celebrated her 106th birthday on April 18, has died.

Rose-Campbell, who passed away on May 26, last spoke with The Gleaner in September 2022 following the death of 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and Jamaica’s head of state.

At that time, she had revelled in being gifted by the Queen with a special card to commemorate her milestone 100th birthday in 2017.

Rose-Campbell, who recalled how happy she felt to be recognised by the Queen, said, “I love her very much. I love her to my heart. I feel sad and sick hearing that she passed.”

Rose-Campbell’s daughter, Marelyn Shaw, told The Gleaner that she lost her best friend.

“I will miss my best friend and dear mother. I will miss her sweet laughter, her jokes, her telling stories from [the days when]she was younger, and most of all her dancing. She was a great dancer, that was one of her favourite hobbies,” said Shaw.

Recalling the last days with her mother, Shaw shared: “She was in the hospital for nine days. I saw her last Thursday for the last two hours. I said, ‘Mom, you don’t look good,’ and she mumbled and moved her fingers because she wasn’t talking. I told her to be strong and I will l see her Friday, but Friday morning the phone rang, that was the hospital calling... she was gone, my mom, friend, sister... everything. She was everything in the world to me.”

She said, however, that she was finding solace in the fact that her mother lived a long and fulfilling life.

“I give God thanks for allowing us to have her for 106 years. A life well lived. Those memories will always be remembered by many,” said Shaw.

Having been predeceased by one of her children, the centenarian is survived by tw0 children, 27 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

Her death comes months after that of Louisea ‘Mama Lou’ McDonald, who died last September at age 111. Mama Lou, of Bog Hole in the parish, died three months shy of her 112th birthday. She was Jamaica’s oldest resident.