Exclusive | Linstead native buried – he was killed while in Jamaica for funeral

January 17, 2021 0 By Horace Mills

Clayon Kelly, who came to Jamaica to attend his cousin’s funeral in August last year, was laid to rest yesterday (January 16) at Time and Patience district in Linstead, St. Catherine.

He was shot dead less than a month shy of his 46th birthday while visiting a woman at a bar. The incident transpired after nightfall on October 10 at Victoria district in Linstead. The killer is yet to be apprehended.

A few hours prior to being shot, Kelly visited his mother’s residence where he also saw his sister Lilisa Llewellyn, who yesterday recounted that Kelly was in high spirits and was even showing her photos of his five sons.

She said Kelly’s demeanour changed suddenly after he received a phone call, which he did not answer. “He was quiet for a while and I was puzzled,” Llewellyn noted.

She stated that Kelly eventually told her about a dream he was having repeatedly. He dreamed that, while on an plane heading back to his New Jersey home in the USA, he realized that he had forgotten his passport in Jamaica, Llewellyn told the gathering.

She said Kelly subsequently left his mom’s home.

Shortly after 8PM, someone telephoned Kelly’s mother to inform her about the shooting.

Llewellyn recalled: “She (Kelly’s mother) fell to the floor and she beat that floor for about five minutes, and she rolled and she rolled… When we reached [the hospital], I went to the room and I saw my brother lying on a stretcher with blood all over his body with his eyes wide open. I shook my head in disbelief.”

Llewellyn also declared: “I am here to tell the person [that killed my brother], the Lord says all vengeance belongs to him; he never sleeps; he never slumbers.”

Kelly, the first of five children for his mother, was raised by grandparents at Time and Patience district.

He attended Time and Patience Basic School, Time and Patience Primary, and McGrath High.

Kelly worked as a taxi operator – one who drove fast.

He, in September 1997, wedded Cassandra Kelly.

About a year after marriage, Kelly left Jamaica to live with his wife in the United States.

His wife did not attend the funeral, which was held amid national restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But she, in a tribute read by one of Kelly’s relatives, described her late husband as ‘a remarkable man’, who was dependable, loving, and hard-working. Kelly worked as a mechanic with Coach USA bus company.

His wife said: “It is hard to believe you are no longer here; words cannot describe how this makes me feel… When I got the news of your demise, I went into a daze because I just couldn’t believe. The fact that you are gone is overwhelming, and I just can’t handle you laying in the casket and being buried… I am very grateful for the 23 years and the experiences we shared together.”

Kelly had at least five children overseas with other women while he was married.

Four of those children – ages 16, 15, 12, and eight years old – have one mother. The other child – seven years old – travelled to Jamaica with his mother to attend the funeral.

Kelly’s relatives and friends yesterday commented on his love for women and vice versa.

His niece, Janeel Grant, who delivered he eulogy, said: “He was especially loved by many women because of his personality. His plan, always, was to build a big house so that his children could come to Jamaica and spend time with his family… He loved people and loved to make them happy. He loved music and loved to dance and entertain people.”

Grant further stated that her uncle travelled far and wide to support his relatives and friends during their times of bereavement.

Some of his friends did the same for him.

They travelled from the United States to attend the funeral.

One of them, flanked by others, told the gathering: “We are grateful to have been Clayon’s friends in life, and will continue to be his friends in death, honouring him in all that we do… He was a wonderful father, a great friend, and loved by all of us who truly knew him.”

Kelly was interred in splendid afternoon sunshine at his family plot in Time and Patience, under the watchful eyes of his parents, other relatives, friends, and H.S. Burke Funeral Services out of Linstead.

The interior of his grave was decorated with paintings – including his portrait and a bottle of his favourite beverage – Red Stripe Beer. In fact, two bottles of Red Stripe were placed inside the grave. Natural flowers were also strewn on the floor of the structure – Kelly’s new home, for now.

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