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Arrol A. Swan, Alva A. Swan, Jeremy C. Swan,
Ive A. Swan and Alvin A. Swan
Dorothy Swan, Doris Hopper
Elizabeth Swan, Arline Swan and Gertrude Swan
John Bell, Dr. Edward Robinson and Mary Riley
Patricia Swan, Simone VanHolten-Turnbull, Kayden Swan,
Malachi Swan, Micah Swan, Nicole Swan, Tonya VanHolten,
Kerryn Swan, Timisa Swan, David Swan, Jeremy Swan, Jr.,
and Yvette Swan
Treavor Alva Riddick and Fidel Timmel Pena
NIECES AND NEPHEWS
Roy Canton, Jr., George Swan, Jr., and Bridgette Potter,
Alana Hopper Brown
Esmie Callwood, Hazel Callwood, Janice David, Irene Davis,
Enid DeCastro, Isabella Dublin, Judy Gomez, Catherine Henry,
Vitalyn Henry, Emelda Pickering, Una Potter, Linda Richards,
Hattie Stevens, Violet Thomas, Carlos Woods, Sr.
Viola Agatha Perez was born March 1, 1922, on St. Thomas, Virgin
Islands to Sarah Mathilda Williams and Arturo Perez. All her formative
years were spent on St. Thomas where she attended elementary and high
Viola left high school to raise a family but would later return to Char-
lotte Amalle High School to complete her high school education and
graduated in the night school class of 1968.
While raising five sons and one daughter, Viola commenced her nurs-
ing career in 1949 at the Municipal Hospital as a nurse's aide. Subse-
quently, she pursued further studies in nursing and was promoted to a
licensed practical nurse. Her career would later take her to the Knud
Hansen Memorial Hospital from which she retired in 1978, after thirty
years of dedicated and exemplary service to the St. Thomas community.
Further, Viola always worked assiduously at her job, irrespective of the
importance or significance of the task. By the end of her career in
nursing, Viola achieved a commendable performance record.
Viola was extremely proud of her children and was equally proud of
their career accomplishments. Two of her children are attorneys. Five of
her children are currently employees of the Territorial Government Her
children have held positions of Territorial Court Judge, Attorney General
of the Virgin Islands, Acting Attorney General, Postal Service Manager,
Teachers, Police Captain, Senior Revenue Officer and Financial Counsel
She was a pivotal influence on them.
Viola was a loving and caring individual. She offered her family
unwavering love, unceasing encouragements, and moral support. In
times of crisis, Viola always found time to listen to family members and
offered "words of wisdom." Likewise, she instilled upon her children the
virtues of hard work, self discipline, honesty and respect for self and
Additionally, Viola unhesitantly made personal sacrifices for her fam-
ily and would unselfishly and magnanimously place family members'
welfare before her own. Undeniably, she was truly a dedicated mother
Her sacrifices, devotion and dedication to her children did not go
unnoticed. They are encapsulated in the following: in his July 9, 1987
speech at Government House, after taking the oath as a Territorial Court
Judge, her son would say "... All that I am or even hope to be, I owe to
Viola was a deeply religious person, and she imbued her children with
a Christian upbringing, which encouraged one of her sons to become a
minister of the Gospel.
Viola was an intelligent individual who followed the daily events of
news locally and nationally. Similarly, she followed the political and
sport events of the day.
Viola was also an engaging conversationalist, and on most subjects she
was most loquacious. Her affable and congenial personality quickly won
her numerous friends, associates and acquaintances. Her friendship
knew no social, professional or ethnic bounds; she cultivated friendships
lasting more than thirty-five years.
After a brief but agonizing illness, Viola was called home on January
20, 1995. She left to mourn two sisters, six children, twelve grandchil-
dren, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins in the Virgin
Islands and in Lynn, Massachusetts, and numerous friends, associates,
acquaintances and former co-workers. Her bereaved family is reminded
of the haunting words of Revelations 7:17 "For the Lamb at the center of the
throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to the spring of the living water.
And God will wipe away ever tear from their eyes."
As we bid her our earthly farewell, and despite profound sorrow, we
take solace in knowing that she has been relieved of her suffering and has
gone to be with the Great Almighty.
May She Rest In Peace.
Arrol A. Swan, Alva A. Swan, Jeremy C. Swan, Ive Arlington Swan,
Alvin A. Swan, Salino VanHolten, Verne C. David
Members, Licensed Practical Nurses' Association
Celebrant: The Reverend C. J. Ramcharan
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER ......................... Page 491
OPENING HYMN ................................ The Solid Rock
THE COLLECT ....................................... Page 493
THE LESSON .................................. Revelations 7:9-17
PSALM 27 ........................................... Page 617
HOMILY ........................................Jeremy C. Swan
APOSTLES' CREED ................................... Page 49
EULOGY ....................... ....................June Adams
MUSICAL SELECTIONS ................ Blessed Assurance, My Way
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE ....................... Alva A. Swan
OFFERTORY HYMN ........................... Whispering Hope
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING ......................... Page 361
COMMUNION HYMNS ................ His Eyes Is On The Sparrow
I'll Fly Away
POST COMMUNION PRAYER .......:................... Page 498
HYMN BEFORE ABSOLUTION ....... Just A Closer Walk With Thee"
RECESSIONAL HYMN .............. Battle Hymn Of The Republic"
Service Continues with the Committal at Graveside
"A mother is the only person on earth who can divide her love among
many children, yet, each child has all of her love.."
The breath of life left my mother, Viola Agatha Perez, on January 20,
1995. I am told that her departure was tranquil, so serene that those
standing nearby were unaware. It was her prayer and desire to slip out
into the night, into the arms of Christ her savior. Let me tell you what my
mother meant to me, for this is the way I will remember her. Yes, she was
not perfect, no mortal is, only Christ the Lord is perfect. However, her
love covered her faults.
Next to Christ my lord, she was my pillar of strength and encourage-
ment. She was the only one who would sense the turbulence within and
helped me to achieve peace of mind. In rejection, I could always go to her
fountain of love and be refreshed. From her, I learned the importance of
education and I have never stopped learning. My mother was strong
mentally, as the medical personnel that attended to her can tell you. Her
strength, her endurance, and her "pitbull tenacity" were some of her
attributes. Her fortitude is her legacy. Yes, this is the way I will remem-
ber my mother. I will tell my grandchildren of her attributes, because I
want those attributes to be woven into the fabric of her lineage. My
mother's house was the hub of the family wheel; the nexus of the family
system. It was at her house that her love for her children and grandchil-
dren blossomed. She was a loving mother for only a child can fathom the
depth of a mother's love. I knew that someday, she would depart this
world, but never thought I would miss her so much.
Jeremy C. Swan, Rev., Capt.
There is a special emotional bond that exists between mother and son,
but we had much more than that. We had lots of laughter and teasing,
calling each other Shortyy" and insisting that there is no way we could
resemble each other, physically or in character, while knowing the oppo-
site to be true. When we disagreed, referring to the other as "acting just
like Sarah," your mother, a no nonsense, strong-willed woman who
tolerated no opposing poigt of view. This always started a second "argu-
ment" as to who is most like Sarah. We have never concluded one of our
"arguments," but this conclusion was reached on January 20,1995; that is
the day much of the laughter died. You were my conscience and my
religious teacher. Mom, I will miss you dearly.
Your Loving son, Alva
My Dear Mother ... You did so much with so little. You have taught
us well and will forever remain in our thoughts and hearts.
Your Son, Arrol
My Dear Mother... As we bid each other our earthly farewell, I find
solace in the fond and precious memories of our time together, which will
traverse my lifetime. I shall always remember our enjoyable, lengthy
discussions on a myriad of subjects. I cannot forget the satisfaction, joy,
pride, and triumph you expressed with my career accomplishments.
Thank you for your love, for your understanding, for your kindness,
for your advice, for your guidance, and for being supportive in all my
endeavors. You have always been there to assist us. You have enriched
your children's and grandchildren's lives, and in so'doing, have left our
lives with an indelible mark, for which we are eternally greatful. May
God bestow upon you his richest blessings as he takes you in his king-
dom and may you now find eternal rest and comfort in God's arms. Rest
Your Son, Ive
Mom, you were a mother in the true sense of the word.. Total
dedication to your children. Respect, a religious upbringing, love for
God and our country. These are some of the values you taught us. God
Your son, Alvin A. Sonny Swan
Dear "Miss Vi" ... Over the years we talked about many things, and
we shared many laughs together. However, we never talked about my
relationship with your son, Alva. I guess it probably was not necessary,
because as perceptive as you were, you could tell that ours is a very good
relationship. Many times you have jokingly asked "girl, what do you see
in him?" And you often stated, "I couldn't marry a short man." I cannot
recall if I ever responded to you, therefore, I am doing so now. I see a
man who is short is stature, but bigger than anyone else I know. I see a
man who is warm, loving, gently, caring, religious, honest, respectful,
sincere, intelligent, hardworking, jovial, disciplined, dedicated and of
high moral character. I see a man who you raised and in whom yoi
instilled all of these virtues. I see someone just like you. Thank yoi
"Miss Vi," for a job well done and for giving me "the love of my life.'
May you rest in peace.
Your loving daughter-in-law, Arline David Swao
Mamie, you were my inspiration throughout the years that we've
shared. Thanks for your support, guidance and understanding. Yoi
have left me with fun-filled memories to last a lifetime. The bond that wi
shared will remain always close at heart. Rest now, until we meet again
Love, your daughter, Jennifer Perez VanHoltei
Dearest Viola ... May your soul rest in peace. You were the family
patriot as well as the family historian. If there was a story to be told and i
was being told by someone other than you, Viola, then all listening wer
listening to the wrong person. Viola, you were a person of good charac
ter and good will. As we remember you, we recall one of the man,
phases... "You must think I was born yesterday." Viola as you travel to
a far better place, we know that your stories, goodwill, and loving way
will always stay with us. Thank you for all those special and cherish<
memories of times spent with you. We love you, but God loves you besl
Your loving sisters, Doris Hopper and Dorothy Svwa
Your Niece Alana Brown/Great Niece Chantay Potte
My grandmother, Viola Agatha Perez, was such an inspirational par
of my life. She gave so much love and strength, and so many reasons t
Her strength led me to write this poem for her on Mother's Day:
Strength is not bought or sold,
It is not measured by an individual's height nor weight,
Strength comes from within.
I will forever treasure the visits at her house, and the things we dic
together. The cherished memories of her life will give me peace as ever
day goes by. I have the assurance that with these memories, my love fo
her will never die. I know that love ones must someday pass beyond ou
present sight. Although it's difficult for me, I must understand that th
Master fills the shuttle of life, and it is he who knows what's best. M,
only regret is that there were times when I should have said, I love you
and I let those times go by. But she knew that I would love her always.
Patricia Olivia Swau
Granny Perez will surely be missed by all of us. She was just one of a
kind. It seems so strange passing by the house and she's not there with a
smile and a good joke, but it's comforting to know that she's out of her
suffering, and that she is safe in the arms of Jesus.
Karen Swan & Family
Granny Perez has brought us much joy in our lives. She always had a
story to tell, as only she could tell it in a way that would make you laugh.
We will both hold her memory dearly in our hearts. We will love her
Granddaughters, Nicole and Timisa Swan
Even though you left us physically, we know that you will always be
here with us spiritually. Therefore, you will always be in our hearts and
mind to guide us through our daily lives as you always did. Thank you
Love, Timisa and Fidel Timmel
Granny You were always someone I could count on no matter
what You were one of the strongest and liveliest persons I've ever
known. I will miss your laughter and the way you would make me feel
better when I'm down. I thank God for the fun we've had together. I
thank him for blessing my life with you. So many memories, I'll cherish
them always. Of all your grandchildren, you always said I was the
craziest, but you loved me in spite of it. Well, I guess I'll be off the kalaloo
for a while, because no one cooks it for me like my Granny.... I miss you,
and I love you more than any "lil red girl" could.
Your Granddaughter, Tonya VanHolten
Granny ... you were my mother more so than my grandmother. I
could always depend on you for help, advise and guidance. As a child
and even as an adult, I knew.that if mommy said "no," granny would say
"yes." No matter what it was, no matter what the cost, if it could be done
... you, Granny would do it. I became dependent on your unyielding
love and strength. I miss you so much. No longer will I hear your
laughter or see your smile. No more of my special pork chops. No more
opening the door and calling out "Granny." No more of your waiting for
me and me alone to wash, curl or braid your hair. No more talks or
stories. No more daytime phone calls to each other to check up or check
in. No more jokes and silliness. No more of your worrying about me. N<
more of my worrying about you.
You, granny, are the best grandmother this grandchild has ever seen
and I thank God for you. Even when we fussed with each other, whici
was rare, I still could come to you and your arms would be opened. Nov
that you have departed this earth, I go over events with you in my minc
and I recall my coming to your house on my lunch hour to check on you
I recall our conversation and at the end of it, as I was about to leave you
bedroom, you said, "Child, what you gonna do when I am dead?"
turned, looked at you, studied your face and shook my head saying, "
don't know." Well, I still don't know, but I have my memories to sustain
me. I have you in my heart, and I know you'll still be listening to me anc
watching over me. My grandmother, mother, and friend, I love you mor
than I could ever say, but God loves you more. Until we meet again in the
Kingdom of God, take care and keep smiling.
Your Granddaughter, Simone VanHolten-Turnbul
Dear Grannie... Thank you for giving me my "daddy." I love you.
Trevor Alva Riddid
Dear Grannie ... Although we are separated by many miles, and ou
times together only came when we visited St. Thomas or when yoi
visited us, I have happy memories of you, and I admire your strength anc
wisdom. When I become concern about raising Trevor as a single parent
for now, I will think of you and how you raised six children by yourself.
will get strength from that. I will miss your special call on my birthday
asking "how is my fellow pieces."
See you later Grannie Love, Kaydei
Grannie ... Before you ask "which one are you?" It's me, Kerryn, thi
one for Alva. I would like you to know that I often think about you an<
that although our contacts were infrequent, the ones that we had have
always been pleasant, enlightening and jovial. I have good memories o
you, and although your physical body will no longer be with us, you
spirit and your character will live on in my father; for in many ways he i
like you. I love you, Grannie. God bless you and may you rest in peace
Lovingly, your grandson, Kerryn Ala
John 17: 1-2... Jesus Said, Fathe the hour has come. Glorify your so'
that the son may glorify you. As you have given him authority over all
mankind, so that he may give eternal life to al whom you have granted
him. My beloved Viola, You have been a faithful friend for thirty-nine
years. We travelled all over the world together. I will miss you dearly.
Miss Perez was more than a neighbor to me. She was a friend, confi-
dant, and mother not only to myself, but to my four children as well.
Always jovial, I can just hear her hearty laugh as we shared some joke.
Just as she was my mother's friend, she became my friend too, after my
mother's death. Always she would have a ready answer or solution to
some problem. She never pried, but was always available to give her
In many ways she was a mentor. Miss Perez was ageless. There was
no generation gap. Toddler, teenager and adult alike could relate to her,
one on one. Jennifer, Sonny (Alvin), Ive, Alva, Jerry and Arrol, she has
left a great legacy to each of you, your children and grandchildren.
Cherish It. God bless you all, and I pray we will all rejoice together on the
great getting up morning when Jesus bursts the clouds in glory!
Linda L. Richards and Family
To the Children and Grandchildren of my Friend, Viola ... Be com-
forted in the fact that your mother was loved by everyone. Your mother
and I had a great friendship for 45 years, more like family from Vester
Gade to Harris Court to Tutu. She wil be greatly missed by me.
My family and I share in your grief, we will miss her very much. She
will always be in my memory. Viola and I had a great time and lots of
laughs together. Her last words to me on Friday before her stroke on
Saturday, "Enid, I must tell you, you have been a true friend to me." May
She Rest In Peace
Prom all of your Godchildren... You always took care in disciplining
and always shared a laugh. We could always stop to get a drink or a
candy. You have always been a very Good Godmother to all of us. A
very part of our lives will be gone. May-you rest in peace.
Claudette & Children
Claudina, Clarice, Ishmael, Kimberly, & Kamela
An Ode To A Wonderful Lady... We knew Ms. Viola as an outstand
ing mother and grandmother. We knew her concern for her family wat
genuine and sincere. We knew her as a dedicated nurse for over thirty
years, respected by all she came in contact with for she was real. We
knew her as a warm, friendly lady, full of life gone in flesh but with u
she still lives. Ms. Viola was prepared for the Master's call and made
peace with our Lord. Arrol, Ive, Jerry, Alvin, Jennifer and our deal
classmate Alva, Be Strong in the Faith.
The C.AH.S. Class of 196
Dear Ive ... today I join the Territorial Court family in mourning th<
passing of your mother, Ms. Viola Agatha Perez.
Those of us who knew this loving mother, express our appreciation tc
her for giving us the wonderful gift of your dedicated service to th<
Territorial Court. You have brought to the Court aspects of commitment
fairness, and caring which she instilled in all her children.
We know that you and the rest of your family will find comfort in th(
knowledge that your loss is shared by all of us, and that, as you recover
from this traumatic moment, you are not alone.
On behalf of the judges and staff of the Territorial Court, I offer yot
our sincere condolences at this moment of grief as your mother, Vioh
Agatha Perez, goes to rest.
Sincerely, Verne A. Hodge, Presiding Judgo
As the bells toll today for Miss Viola Perez,
Someone who I loved and cherished,
An inspiration to me,
I wll always remember those simple, thoughtful gestures,
So typical of her,
A call to my office in the middle of the day,
Just to say hello or to render advice.
In the light of the Spirit,
She has walked this earth,
Vividly expressing her feelings.
Today, as she passes on,
I rest assured that she has found comfort
In the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For: "She's reached the land of corn and wine,
And all its riches free of time,
Here shines undimmed one blissful day,
For all her nights have passed away.
0 Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land,
As on thy highest mount she stands.
She looks away across the sea,
Where mansions are prepared for she
And view the shining glory shore:
Her heaven her home forevermore!"
God be with you and with your family;
May He comfort you during this time of sorrow.
With you in my prayers,
Judy Gomez, Senator