VIDEO: St Elizabeth Family Buries Loved-One Who Escaped Tragic DeathSeptember 7, 2022
Icilda Parker-Dunkley was among people singing her husband’s praise during his burial at New River in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, on what turned out to be a wet Sunday afternoon, September 04.
Stanley Overton Dunkley, better known as Waff Waff, 77, who escaped death on previous occasions, passed away on 31 July 2022 while undergoing treatment for illnesses at Black River Hospital in his native parish.
“He is a nice person and kind; I miss my husband,” Parker-Dunkley told The Beacon after laying a wreath on her spouse’s grave, build beside that of his older brother Ricardo Dunkley. The remote family plot, in the vicinity of two old family houses, also contains the remains of other relatives, including Mr Dunkley’s father and step-mother.
The thanksgiving service for the latest member of the Dunkley clan to be buried was held at Santa Cruz Seventh Day Adventist Church and attended by a number of relatives and friends.
Pastor Elcando Citeron, nephew of the deceased, told the congregation that his uncle previously had various brushes with death.
“One thing for sure is that God has extended his life, and we had this saying to say ‘what a hard man fi dead’,” Pastor Citeron noted.
He recalled his uncle telling him about being struck by a crocodile and sprinting past his home during a scary encounter with a gunman.
The clergyman also recalled an occasion on which relatives thought that Mr Dunkley had died at his home and so they started to cry and contact the police. To their surprise, he was still alive.
One of Mr Dunkley’s daughters, Brigette Dunkley-Forrest, revealed that her father experienced four strokes and survived two motor vehicle crashes during adulthood.
In his latter years, health issues took a serious toll on him.
“He was diagnosed with a lot of complications. These include kidney problem, lungs problem, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the list goes on. He had to take multiple pills each day,” Dunkley-Forrest further disclosed.
She added: “My final words to him in the hospital were, ‘Papa, let go and let God; God has his reason’.”
The late Mr Dunkley was born 18 May 1945 to Ruby Gayle and Alexander Dunkley at New River district on the outskirts of Santa Cruz.
He attended Santa Cruz All Age School, which has been renamed Santa Cruz Primary.
“From an early stage, my father had a love for farming, fishing, cooking and security work. He mastered the four of them well,” Dunkley-Forrest said in the eulogy, adding that her dad was industrious.
She said it actually was a struggle to get Mr Dunkley to retire from fishing. He also planted several crops and reared pigs and goats.
He had four children – Brigette, Stacia, Simone and Tyrone – who were all born before his relationship with Icilda Parker, whom he wedded in 1996 after a few years together.
According to Dunkley-Forrest, her father, a Christian who was in and out of church, struggled with alcoholism.
Notwithstanding his challenges, Mr Dunkley remained God-fearing, according to Pastor Citeron.
“He wasn’t a saint; neither was he perfect, but my uncle had a praise for God and he was always talking about God,” the clergyman said in a prelude to his sermon.
Pastor Citeron, as well as others who spoke with The Beacon, portrayed Mr Dunkley as an honest man.
“He would remind us that honest debt must be paid. And I believe that, if we practice that, we would have less problem in Jamaica,” the pastor told the congregation.
Mr Dunkley also loved his family.
His niece Peter-Gaye Dunkley-Mullings, who lives in the United States, described his life as a blessing.
“Uncle Stanley, your life was such a blessing and a memory. Your memory will always be our treasure. It’s hard to forget someone who gave us so much to remember,” she said in a recorded remembrance played during the thanksgiving service.
Dunkley-Mullings, in explaining how family-oriented her uncle was, explained that he didn’t refer to his close relatives by their names, but specifically by how they were related to him. A niece, for example, would be called ‘Niece’ as though that were her name.
Mr Dunkley was also described as kind and encouraging.
“It was always a happy moment around you,” Dunkley-Mullings said as though she were speaking directly to her uncle. “We honour you for being the kind of man who always showed kindness and always wore a smile on your face.”
Mr Dunkley is survived by his wife and four children mentioned earlier; four sisters – Dothline Dunkley-Dixon, Patricia Simpson, Joyce Simpson and Magylin Simpson; two brothers – Auden and Edgerton White; two aunts – Delores Dunkley-McKenzie and Evelyn Dunkley; uncle Joseph Dunkley; six grandchildren, other relatives, and friends.
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