A somber atmosphere lingered throughout Kellits Market in Clarendon yesterday as people continue to mourn the death of a 55-year-old woman, who was highly revered especially in the local business community.
Carolina Lindsay, better known as ‘Miss Terry’, died at Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine on Wednesday, February 24, after spending 10 days at the medical facility.
The reality of her demise hit home especially on Saturday, which is usually the biggest market day in the relatively tiny Kellits town.
A store, which Miss Terry operated for about two decades inside Kellits Market, was closed – an unusual sign. It will be re-opened after the funeral, the bereaved family said. Photographs of the deceased have been posted on the store, and also on nearby buildings.
The market people spoke highly of Miss Terry.
But amid the plethora of glowing tributes, speculation is rife as to whether the businesswoman died of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The deceased woman’s son, Kemar Spaulings, said his mother, who previously underwent two major surgeries, had been ailing for years.
She did not do a COVID-19 test, and was never on a ventilator in hospital.
The son further told The Beacon that he, along with other members of Miss Terry’s household, all tested negative for COVID-19 subsequent to the death of their matriarch.
He explained that his sister, Lasanya Valentine, also tested negative although she repeatedly made physical contact with her mother throughout her hospitalization.
Some of Miss Terry’s close friends also did the COVID-19 test. One of them, who operates a store beside Miss Terry’s, yesterday showed The Beacon a result slip, proving that she too tested negative for the virus.
“Mi sure seh a nuh it; only God can tell mi seh a COVID kill mi mother,” the son posited.
He added: “Mom had underlying illness, but, from the moment she went into the hospital, people said is COVID… I did it (the COVID-19 test), my sister did it, everybody who live in the household did it, friends also did it, and nobody has it (COVID-19).”
The son, who stated that no autopsy will be done on his mother, recalled her being an epitome of resilience and hard work.
“In the book of good, she is everything,” he added. “It’s a long way she is coming from.”
The son explained that his mother, who originally is from Kellits, went to live in Kingston in her early years after leaving Kellits Secondary School, now Kellits High School.
When she returned to her hometown, she became a higgler. The son said Miss Terry sometimes walked several miles from Kellits to St. Ann’s Bay in St. Ann, selling bleach and other disinfectants along the way. She also was a vendor at Claremont Market in St. Ann.
Miss Terry eventually started to sell clothes.
She, over the years, diversified her business, especially after she opened the Kellits store.
Miss Terry, who was the main breadwinner for her two children, was able to build a house at Long Ground in Croft’s Hill, Clarendon.
“She is a mother and a father and everything to the family,” the son said. “It is a sad moment.”
Miss Terry worshiped at Croft’s Hill New Testament Church of God.
Up to last evening, members of the church visited the family to offer moral support.
On the day Miss Terry passed away, the church, on its Facebook page, also wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of our beloved sister and friend Sister Terry. She has gone home to be with her saviour. Sleep on sis; we’ll meet you in the morning.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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