A Time to be born
On the bright and sunny day of February 18, 1936,a beautiful baby girl was born to Herman Butler and Ida Forbes and they named their flower Jennie. Jennie began life with the odds against her, having toremain some time in hospital after birth. She showed her strong will to live, made a full recovery, and was released as a thriving bouncing baby girl.
A Time to Learn
Jennie grew up as quiet and respectful child. She never got in trouble or had to feel the wrath of her mother (miss Feen). MissFeen was the epitome of a strong black woman and taught her children the same values. She ensured that they had the best and strived to give them what they needed to be successful. Jennie and her siblings attended the Eastern Senior All Age School where she obtained her formal education and gained many meaningful friendships that would last a lifetime. After leaving Eastern Senior she wanted to continue her education as a nurse but thought she was too short for that profession, so she enrolled in Typing school where she became certified.
A Time to Labour
Being a certified typist, she obtained her first job as an office assistant, where she realized that the office field was not ideal for her. Jennie loved people and sought employment in that arena. She connected with Ms. Gladys Kelly who employed her as a sales associate in the infamous Kelly’s Bakery. After a few years, Ms. Kelly found Jennie to be hard working and dedicated and as such she was entrusted to manage Meg’s, a women’s intimate store. After being employed there for some time she then moved on to P&M Limited, managing several of their stores, from 1977 until her retirement.
A Time for Love
On a rainy Labour Day in 1963, Jennie met Leon Edwards, the man that swept her off her feet. After a short courtship, they were joined together in holy matrimony at Zion Baptist Church on February 27th,1964. This union produced 8 beautiful children: Pierre, Desiree, Yvette, Shaun,Lisa, Kayla, Claresta and Travis.
A Time to Live
Jennie and Leon eventually realized they needed a larger home to accommodate this growing legacy and moved into what is now considered the Edwards’ homestead in Fox Dale. The homestead did not only serve as a dwelling for the immediate family but for many it was a ‘home away from home’ where everyone would enjoy her home cooked meals and baked goods. Some of the favorites were the “everything soup, banana bread and bread puddings. Jennie was quite the socialite, as she often hosted many gatherings at her home for holidays, birthdays, and anything to warrant a celebration especially Fox Hill Day.
Jennie was an avid traveller and was not afraid to travel alone. She could ‘shop til she drop’ and knew how to make adollar stretch for her large family which also included her mother, father-in-law and friends. Jennie would travel all around the U.S with her sister and she even had a travel crew.
Jennie lived for her family. She was very proud of all the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren she would brag to her friends as she would spend countless hours on the phone from one conversation to the next. No matter the venture each child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend or cousin knew that they had her support behind them.
She would love when her grandchildren came and spent time with her, to unzip her dress, take her for drives to “Wendy” to buy “chips” or just picked up the phone to call. She loved hearing ‘Hi Ma Jennie”. She was most proud when anyone of them would accompany her to a church service, you would see her smile from ear to ear.
Ma Jennie loved to dress up and everything had to be in place, even if it took hours and made her very late for an event, shetook lots of pride in herself and trained her girls to do the same. She lovedto dance, when music played you were assured to see her tap her foot, clap herhands, or even buss a move (depending on the right band).
Despite the many challenges throughout her life,she never forgot to give God thanks and was always grateful in whatever stateshe found herself in.
A Time to Serve
Her entire life was dedicated to serving othersbut she did not fail to remember where her help came from, and most importantlycommitted her service to the work of the Lord. She was involved in manybranches of her church St Mark’s Native Baptist Church, where she also servedas an Usher, Deaconess, and assisted with leading the breakfast program. Therewas nothing that concerned the Lord’s work she would not commit herself to. She travelled with the National BaptistConvention for over 25 years and never failed to tell of the goodness of God tothose she came in contact with. She formed many friendships.
A Time to Rest
Jennie maintained a relatively healthy lifeover her 85 years and never over indulged. In June of 2020 she was diagnosedwith Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. She opted out of chemotherapy and decided thatshe will live her life on her on terms. She acknowledged she had lived a goodlong life and the Lord had sustain her thus far and will continue until Hecalled her home. She fought a valiant battle even refusing pain medication attimes. On the 15th of March 2021 at 8:15, surrounded by herchildren, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other loved ones she finishedher course and is now resting in the arms of her Saviour.
Left to cherish her memories are her Husband:Leon Edwards; Children: Pierre (Maureen) Edwards, Desiree (Ricardo)Turner, Yvette (Glen) Rolle, Lisa (Anthony) Gigliotti, Kayla (Philip) Knowles, Claresta(Derrick Artis) Edwards and Travis (Mia) Edwards; Adopted Daughter:Rosemarie (Cedric) Poitier; Grandchildren: Tashia and Thurl Edwards,Tasia (Omar) Ferguson, Raissa, Rhea and Ricardo Jr. Turner, Akiah (Everette) Johnson,Ruth Rolle, McNeil Butterfield, Damian (Kristine) Farquharson, Phylisha andPhylicity Knowles, Devin Artis Travis Jr., Trent and Nya Edwards, Remmington, Devanteand Justice Poitier; Great-Grandchildren: Taneil and Tanaya Butterfield,Raidon and Raine Lightbourne and Emani Johnson; Brothers: William andCarl Butler; Sisters: Dorothy Godet, Eloise Johnson; Sisters andBrothers-in-law: Cynthia Brown, Glenda Hepburn, Velva Edwards, AnnamaeKemp, Eleanor and Marie Butler, Leslie Edwards, William Godet, and UlricJohnson; Nieces and Nephews: Ricardo, Dion, Sanchia, Tshombe Godet,Richard, Ricardo, Lybye Johnson-Darville and Nioshe Johnson, Karen King, Tanyaand Ricardo Butler, Earnel, Terry and Larry Brown, GarnellDorsette, Daphne Hanna, Erica Clarke, Darren Hepburn, Deandrea Jolly, TrinetteFerguson, Tarrue Williams, Gracius Saint Ange, Pietro Edwards, Brian, DeniseButler-Brown and Marla Butler, Denise and Zina Butler Mae Munroe, Betty Butler,Audrey Butler; a host of other relatives and friends including: Yvonne Campbell, Jan Styles, Sherry Gomez,Joyanne Edwards, Lionel Styles, Noel Daley Sr., Keith, Noel Jr, George, Tracey,Sonia, Marva, and Yvonne Daley, Joshua and Michell Sears, Vincent and LavernSymonette, Leslie and Arlene Hutchinson, Phil, Camille, Kayla and TrevorCampbell, Kent Francis, Kellie Styles, Alex Armbrister, Keith and Ryan Gomez,Ashley Eva and Jordan Coakley, Elizabeth Mackey and family, Eddins,Clayton Elton, Lymas, Elvin, Velna Taylor, Elra Ward, The entire Taylor Family,Marie Mckinney, Rosemary Moss, Arthur Williamson, Daisy Black, Goldie Mckinney,Henry Edwards, Hess Brooks, Joey Ambrose, Nigel Davis, Herbert Styles and Family, Lisa Allen, TheArtis family of Atlanta, Ga., David and Willamena Knowles, Dudley and MechelleMartinborough, Kingsley Robinson, The Class of ’49 of Eastern Senior, BlonevaBrice, Felice Cartwright, Emma Roker, Patreika Maynard and Family, Ms.Williams, Leotha Kemp, Agnes Edgecombe, Joshua Major and Family, Pauline Careyand Family, The Goodman Family and Winton and Renae Bain and family, MargoWilson and Family, The Sands family, Keno Smith and Family, the entire FoxdaleSubdivision, David Wilson, Colin Wright, Rev. Dr. Carrington and Rev Dr.Sabrina Pinder and the St. John’s and St. Mark’s native Baptist Churches. KevaWood and the Ferguson Families, Catherine Carey, Dominic Carey and Family,Ginear Scavella and Family Norma Deane, Melanie Thompson, Kathleen Ferguson andFamily, Sen. Fred Mitchell, Hon. Shonell Ferguson, The staff of Land and SurveyDept, the Staff of the National Insurance Board, The PHA EMS Staff, The FinanceDept of Colina Insurance, The members of The Grace Centre, The CarmichaelBranch of FCIB, The Carmichael branch of Family Guardian, The staff ofPurveyors (Albany), Bible Truth Ministries members and a host of otherrelatives and friends too numerous to mention.