3n Ctelibatin of tfI life of
JLoretta Jnez Normil Picering
December 23,1919 March 29,1995
Tuesday, April 4,1995
Christ Church Methodist
Western Cemetery #1
t" YL.--. a. .
Some of you in this gathering might feel that quotation which I
Just recited is not applicable to the memory of this departed person,
Mrs. Loretta Normil Pickering, but I can vouch from every angle that
Mrs. Pickering was a "Great Person" and as I proceed with this eulogy
more of you will realize that she was a "great person".
I have never asked Mrs. Pickering up to what grade she went to
school, because in my estimation she had much more education than
some college graduates I have come in contact with; to me, she had
as much as two or three PHDs and several lesser degrees. Mrs.
Pickering was a philosopher; Mrs. Pickeringwas a hero, or a heroine
if you prefer; Mrs. Pickering was a devoted and loyal mother, worker,
friend and citizen.
We hear now about all the problems encountered by
single parents and/or children with one parent in a
home, and the fact that many of the problems in our
/ / In Memory of
SMRS. LORETTA NORMAL PICKERING
rs. Loretta Normil Pickering was bor In St. Thomas,
Virgin Islands, on December 23, 1919; she was the twelfth
and last child born to Catherine Smith Normil, originally of Tortola,
BVI and her husband Francis Normil, originally of Haiti. Young
Loretta never knew her mother who died when she was three months
of age; but her maternal aunt, Mrs.Roselia Smith Ludlow, affection-
ately known as 'Tan-Tan Missy" Immediately took charge of her
sister's daughter and took her toTortola where 'Tan-Tan Missy" lived.
I have heard Mrs Pickering on several occasions comment about the
very loving and tender care that her aunt bestowed on her and all that
she learned from her aunt Mrs. Pickering came to StThomas as a
young woman and she got six children of her own (4 girls, who are
still alive and all present here today; and two boys who preceded her
in death). Mrs. Pickering lived in StThomas for the remainder of her
life, except for frequent trips she made to North Carolina and New
York to visit with relatives.
I knew Mrs. Pickering for practically all of my life; she lved close
to where I lived in Savan; and in addition, my uncle is the father of
five of her children. I therefore feel honored to be able to stand before
you to memorialize this lady.
community are caused by the fact that children do
not have two parents In their homes. I am not advocating
single parenthood, but I say that single parents can produce non-
delinquent children. Mrs. Pickering did not sit by and depend on
Welfare Aid and handouts to take care of her children, she Instead
worked her fingers to the bone and her brain to a frazzle to find ways
Sand means to properly take care of her chllldren and her grandchil-
dren. Less than two weeks after her last daughter, Girlie, was born,
Mrs. Pickering was again working the same double and triple shifts that
she had been working up to the day or two before Girie was bor. She
knew that she had to feed and clothe her children and there was
nothing then like WIC, Food Stamps, or Aid to Dependent Children
to rely upon. We always Joked over the fact that Girle was drinking
coffee before she was a month old because the lady in Savan, "Nee-
Nee" who took care of Girlie while Mrs. Pickering was at work, would
give her two or three spoons of coffee everytime she made a cupful for
herself. But, Mrs. Pickering knew that Girlie was in safe hands and
further that she had to work to support Girle and all the others. Wasn't
this a "Great Person?
Girlie, or more professionally Ms. Zysca Wlliams, is today a
teacher at the Charlotte Amalie High School. Mrs. Pickering worked
hard to make sure that Girlie enrolled In College Immediately after
finishing high school and Girle knew that her mother had to make
extreme sacrifices and she always did her best Mrs. Pickering was very
proud of the way Girlie progressed and here I laud Girlie and say that
she is blessed because she took care of Mrs. Pickering to the bitter,
bitter end. She was with her mother up until 1:30 or 2 o'clock on the
morning that her mother expired and only left her side when it
appeared to her that she was resting comfortably. Girlie, you are
promised long life by the Lord because you obeyed the 6th Com-
mandment of the Lord.
In Reader's Digest for April, 1995 now on the magazine stands is
an article entitled "My Way Up" and the opening question in that article
s "Why Do Some Make It Out Of The Underclass while Others appear
Trapped?" The article then goes ahead to give a sees of true life
experiences of individuals. I invite as many of you as possible to read
those true experiences and coupled with what I have recited today
about Mrs. Pickering's life and hardships you might be able to grip a
hold of yourself if you are floundering and heed the words of that Black
pastor in Los Angeles, Rev. Fred Price, who said at one Sunday
Sermons, "Some of you out there are living on Welfare.
What are you doing? The Government is not your
source. God is your Source".
Mrs. Pickering did not wait for Pastor Fred Price or
anyonelse to admonish her In that way, she had the get-upnd-
go, be it selling 2Cspecials; 5 fried Johnny cakes; $5.00 sweetbreads;
$7.00 plates of fish & fungi or kalaloo at the Carnival Fairs; washing,
ironing, "sailor clothes" as we then said; bottling bay rum at the various
factories; working as a clerk In the office of the Election System of the
Virgin Islands; or whatever. She was always able to find work and
make an honest dollar and to live by the principle that "God is the
source" that "God will provide".
This brings me to a philosophy which Mrs. Pickering coined or
"made up" as we would say. She said that there are 3 types of persons
who go out looking for Jobs: (1) those with both eyes closed, hoping
they do not find a Job; (2) those with one eye open and the other eye
closed hoping they find a ob, but wishing they don'tand (3) those with
both eyes open and willing to take any ob available. Of course, you
know that Mrs. Pickering fell into the category of the third group and
she tried to Instill that principle In her children, grandchildren, and all
other with whom she had contact Many persons in this audience can
attest to the fact that Mrs. Pickering helped them to get Jobs and
encouraged them to alwaysstriveforexcelence Shewasa'(reatPerson".
I am not a public speaker or an orator of any sort, but I hope that
someone in this gathering who entered these portals with a feeling of
uselessness; someone who felt down trodden ; someone who was
hopeless will muster strength and courage after hearing and/or reflect-
ing on some of the hardships and setbacks Mrs. Pickering endured in
her life and that they will face the challenge of life the same as Mrs.
Pickering did or with even more tenacity.
Yes, as that famous poet laureate Alfred Tennyson wrote way
back in the period between 1850 and 1892:
I think it Is appropriate for us all to Join is singing a hymn in
memory of Mrs. Loretta Normil Pickering who had a challenge and
who faced that challenge like a champion. The hymn I chose is "Fight
the Good Fight", please stand and sing lustily.
Written by: Henrita Todman
Daughters ...................................... Doris Tultt Hants, Luela Wiiams Stuart,
Lorena L Willams, Zysca L Willars
Special Grandson ....................................................................... Deroy G ft
Special Grand-in-law ..................................................... Lauren Charles Gift
Grandchildren ........................................... Michelle Harrs, Darlene Weekes,
Desiree Watson, Kishma Stuart' Ivan Williams, Jr.,
Derrick Williams, Keith Stuart Dana Watson,
Derron Watson, Darrell Watson
Great Grandchildren.................... AShinlka Watson, LaTriece Isaac, Shentl
Willams, Chelesia Watson, Katreena Stuart,
Delreese Gifft, Michael Gtfft
Nieces ............................... lva Normil Boynes (special niece), Karen Normil,
Aramlntha Normll, Edith Normll Perez (New York),
Ethlyn Normil Maftin (Boston), lo Lettsome (New York),
Ida Hendricks (New York), Dean Smith (New York)
Nephews .......................... Vincent Normll, Reuben Fredericks (Puerto Rico),
Ira Normil (Korea), Alan Dale Lewis (Great Nephew)
Other Family Members ....................... Inez Calender, Ellen Frett Pckering,
Elmira Williams King, Henrita Todman,
Special God Children .................................... Ema Willams, Linda Jensen,
Special Friends ......................................... Adina Lettsome, Samuel Henry,
Andromeda Abramsen, Leonard Monsanto,
Carlos Woods, Perry Davis, Emelda Rodgers,
Earle B. Ottley, Athntel "Addle" Ottley,
Ena & Sidney Knight, Olver & Esther Smithen,
,. Emma Callwood, Cobina Nicholas, Audrey LaBorde
ORDER OF SERVICE
Hymn...#238...................................... My Faith Looks Up to Thee
Eulogy........................................................... Henrita Todman
Hymn...#490................................................ Fight the Good Fight
Solo ........................................................................ Lisa Sm ith
Duet ...................................... Dva N. Boynes & Hyacinth Stevens
Psalm 23............................................................. Congregation
Romans 8:31-39................................... Ema Williams
St John 11:17-27 .............................. Delroy Gifft
Hymn...#745........................................ When Upon Life's Billows
Sermon .......................................... Rev. F. Dunstan Richards6n
The Apostle's Creed ...................................... (All Standing)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Hymn...#179................................ Precious Lord Take My Hand
Commendation (All Standing)
The Lord's Prayer
Hymn..,#313.............................................. To God Be the Glory
Delroy Gifft Derrick Williams
Gilbert Samuel Oliver Smtthen
Egbert Stuart Rublo King
Leonard Monsanto Athnlel "Addle" Ottley
Lloyd Williams Malcolm Callender
Celestino White Ivan Williams, Jr.
Ivo Steele Levron Sarauw
Ilva Normll Boynes
I have had a privilege most of you can only dream of that of
sharing my life with my mother and having her share hers with me.
Mom and I have always had a very special relationship; nothing was
too great for either of us to sacrifice for the other. I could never
imagine life without my mother being somehow involved! How
others do it I can never fathom.
During her last days, Mom gave me the strength she knew I
would need to continue my life without her. She spoke frequently
of "going home" and displayed gestures of rising upward tasks that
were physically impossible for her to perform. Additionally, Mom's
ramblings suddenly became clearly audible and meaningful to me.
I literally saw a total transformation from a woman in physical and
emotional agony to one experiencing spiritual peace and tranquility
that can only be found when a person becomes on with God!
Verbally giving my Mother the permission she needed to
"leave" me was the most difficult thing I had to do during this time.
But how could 1 not tell her, "Go to sleep, Mommy,"when a couple
of hours before in the Emergency Room she had exclaimed to our
neighbor, 'Mr. Smith, I'm going home to Jesus."
I know where my Mother is today and where she will be forever.
This gives me great comfort And I give all the praise and glory to my
Heavenly Father for receiving Mom and giving us both that final
My Mother always knew how very much I loved her. She knew
that for the past ten years I remained committed to her: through her
blindness, during the passing of her husband, and during her recent
illness. Today I feel honored that God chose me and Mom let me.
I would do it again for ten more years!
Thank you Mom for that privilege. My tears are happy one
because you are finally resting happily in God' s loving arms. My
tears are also sad ones because I will miss my dear Mother so very
much. But thank God I can say today, tomorrow, and forever that
my tears will neer.r be because of any guilt feelings regarding any
neglect of my duties as her daughter. How unfortunate for anyone
who, for whatever reason, misses out on sharing those precious,
precious moments only you and your mother can know about!
I take comfort now that it is all over. Rest in peace, Mom until
we see each other again on the other side.
SYour dear Daughter
Zysca (Girlie) (
Mommy, the virtues you instilled In me have made me the
woman that I am today. I will be looking forward to seeing you
at the Eastern Gate.
As the dew in the early morning sets the tone for the
beginning of the day, so has your life been an Inspiration to me.
You were as gentle as a rose, but also as strong as an oak tree.
Mommy. I'l miss you, but what you have instilled In me will live
Your loving grandson,
When I saw you on Tuesday, I didn't know that would have
been the last. You have fought the good fight and, with patience,
ran the race that was set before you; therefore, we know that
absence from the body Is to be present with the Lord.
Take your well deserved rest in the arms of our wonderful
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Mommy, rest now, no more pain for you are in God's loving
care. Until we meet again.
You daughter, Doris and
Mommy, on Tuesday when I visited you at home I knew you
were going home. I knew you heard my voice and felt my hands
gently trying to bring back the warmth into your legs and arms.
I cried when you turned your head and looked at me because I
knew you were saying good-bye and that you loved me. Sleep
on, Mommy, until that day when we See each other again.
'Your loving daughter,
Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price Is far above rubies.
Granny, you were a very special person to me, especially
after my mother died. You had become much more than an in-
law. When I needed someone to talk to, to comfort me, to give
advice, you were always there. Your great grand children
Michael and Delreese will miss their "Granma" very much. See
you in Heaven when we get there.
Your dear Granddaughter,
Lauren Charles Gift
Words cannot state adequately how you have affected my
life, and how much I have already missed you. I thank you for
being an inspiration in my life; you taught me well. I love you for
being there during my moments of ups, downs, and in-
betweens. You raised me well and took great care of me, and I
know that God has taken you home to return the favor. I hope
that you will come sit with me at my house in M~t chair as
promised. Please come often.
Granny, you were one of a kind, so calm and quiet.
Sometimes I never knew what you were really thinking. But you
knew that I loved you. The last few months of your life were very
difficult for you, but being the person I knew you were, you hung
in there strong and tough. Your worries are now over because
you are in the arms of your loving God. I will always keep you
in my heart, Granny. Thanks for being part of my life.
Love, Your Grandson
Ivan U. Williams Jr.
Grandma, I know that many people love you but I love you
the most No matter who loved you, great or small, Jesus, God,
and I love you most of all. Now that you are gone, I will miss
you very much, and I will never forget you as long as I live.
Thank you. for nine and a half years of fun.
Love always. Your granddaughter,
Dear Aunt "Lolo":
You have entered a life that Is free from pain and tears, where
time is not counted by hours or years; and you have found the
ground wherein your soul is anchored and will remain to live with
God through eternity.
The strife is o'er, the battle done, now Is the Victor's triumph
won. Oh, let the song of praise be sung, Hallelujah! Rest in Peace.
Your loving niece,
liva Normll Boynes &
great nephew, Alan D. Lewis
A PERFECT GODMOTHER:
Nennie, you were always there for me and your love never
once faltered. You have always been kind and fair and remem-
bered me in your prayers. You were always honest and never told
me lies. It was so visible in your eyes. You were the perfect
Godmother, Indeed. You remained the constant friend that I
We will surely miss you Nennie, but In our hearts you will
always be our mentor and friend. God be with you until we meet
Erna williams & Pamily
We were taught how to share, pray, trust in God and to love
our fellow human being. Those values were preparations for our
lives In Savan. Days were hard and money was difficult to come
by, but we kept the faith. When our families came along, the values
that were Instilled in us during our earlier years In Tortola became
even more present. Edgar and Alecla both attended the "Balifeld"
school in Savan and Dober School They played together and we
were one family. Now Alecla and Zysca both teach at CAHS.
What goes around really does come around! Loretta, your faith
has made you whole; you are now completely out of your
suffering. Sleep on In Jesus' name until we meet again.
Love. your "Sister" Ellen Pickering
& her daughter Alecla Wells
Miss Pickering, we were there and we knew. We held your
hands and we heard you pray. You have done so much for so
many, and through it all, we can say, "it Is well with your souL"
Your memories will always live In our hearts. May your soul rest
Oliver & Esther Smithen
Ms. Loretta has left a lasting Impression on all of our lives. Our
family is richer for the value she added through her friendship.
Now God's will has been done. Her pain and suffering are over.
Sleep on beloved!
Andromeda Abramsen & family
Also, the Petersen, Moore, Bell
and Preudhomme families
You were a friend of the family and mother of my dearest
friend. The love you were always giving and your caring knew no
end. You gave advice and counsel whenever there was a need.
Such qualities in one person is very rare Indeed. Well miss you
now that you're gone, but in our hearts you will always live on.
Rest in peace.
Cobina Nicholas & family
Miss Lorettta, you were just like another grandmother to me. I
always saw you on Sundays coming to Church. Ill miss hugging
you and giving you that kiss while you asked me how is everyone.
Miss Loretta, you meant a lot to me and 11l never forget you.
Miss Loretta, you always made me feel like part of your family.
When I came to see you, I enjoyed our conversation together.
You were always a very strong woman and I will always love you
and remember you.
Love, June Testamark
Miss Loretta and I became acquainted about two
years ago while listening to the Addle Ottley Morning Show.
When we both found out that we shared our blindness In
common, we became closer, being a comfort and an Inspiration
for each other. Miss Loretta and I spoke everyday sharing Ideas
on politics, baseball, community concerns, etc. We talked about
families-problems and triumphs. But Miss Loretta was a strong
woman, caring, giving. I will miss her very much and I know
everyone who enjoyed listening to her on Addle's morning show
will too. May she rest in peace.
A dear friend
We have been friends forso many years and have shared so much
together. I am going to miss our daily chats on the telephone. We
had our circle of friends who uplifted each other whenever we
needed to. You especially were a rock for me. Although I will miss
you, I am so glad that you are out of your suffering. Rest in peace
my dear friend.
In times like these, words are hard to find to express what I really
feel. Loretta was my friend and a company for me on the
telephone. We were die hard Dodgers together from the good old
days in Savan. Her daughter, Zysoals my god-daughter. She will
be blessed for the constant attention she gave her mother. Miss
Loretta is now out of her suffering. Rest in peace.
Adina Lettsome & family
I have known Loretta for the past 42 years. She was the mother
of my brother's children, and I loved her as a sister. I could always
go to her with my problems and she was always ready to solve
them. My children also loved her as a mother. They even called
her "Mammie", which they never called me. I am really going to
miss Loretta, but I know and have the assurance that we will see
each other again. May you rest in peace.
flmira Williams King "Lala"
He will swallow up death In victory
And the Lord God will wipe away tears
From off all face.
Mercedes Trotman Hodge & family
Your warm smile and long talks during your summer vacations In
New York at my apartment I will always treasure. Somewhere
beyond this life you will rest in peace in a place with no more
paining, suffering, nor sorrow. Sleep on now, Miss Loretta, and
Ruth Calwood & baby Jarid
To the Children,
Despite both of our disabilities your mother and I held a
"special" bond of friendship. I will miss her calls. May she rest in
peace. The Strife is O'er, the Battle Won.
To The Family
I was one of Lolo's special daughters. Lolo and I had been
neighbors for many years, first at P.M.P. Gardens and now at
Contant I enjoyed her kindness, her politics and most of all her
friendship. Lolo suffered, but even though she suffered she never
forgot to call on her Lord. She focused on the cross where Christ
suffered and died for us. So on Wednesday, March 29th, Christ
said, 'Lolo" today you will be with me in Paradise. Lolo gladly
accepted and today she sleeps peacefully in her heavenly home.
E. "Tin Tin" Hart
God bless you. God doesn't give us more than we can bear.
For indeed you made your mother's burden a whole lot lighter.
You endured to the bitter end.. Though you must sorrow, sorrow
not as those who have no hope; secure in the knowledge that Lolo
had made Jesus her choice.
E. "Tin Tin" Hart
II I I i III
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