They say there is a reason, they say time will heal
But neither time nor reason can change the way we feel today,
Today a Family chain is broken
Today hearts are heavy with grief
Today pleasant memories cradle our hearts.
“As is a tale so is life;
Not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters”.
It was a tranquil day in Corn Piece Hayes Clarendon, Jamaica March 29, 1965, when a beautiful baby girl was born to Iris May Moodie-Metcalfe and Donald Ira Mcrae Metcalfe. They named her Verna Rose Metcalfe. She’s one of God’s greatest gifts to us and that is why we’re all gathered here today to celebrate her life.
In her earlier years, Verna attended the Hayes Adventist Basic School, Hayes All Age, the Vere Technical High School and later the Duffs Business College.
Verna is remembered as a very jovial, light hearted and good natured individual. From an early age she knew what she wanted and always gravitated towards, she was a go getter.
As a young woman in full bloom, with the urge to be independent, she acquired the skills, discipline and tenacity to be successful in the world of work. She was considered a very good administrative assistant where she excelled in the areas of type writing, shorthand, and document preparation. These skills afforded her the opportunity to obtain her first job at Multi Spares Jamaica LTD. and later the Osbourne store Primary and Junior High School in Clarendon.
On March 22, 1977, Verna gave her life to the Lord and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, Cornpiece, Hayes in Clarendon. I must say that she knew the Lord as her personal Saviour and grew up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Verna met and fell in love with Vern Gordon. They later got married and this union produced their two beautiful daughters Tameka and Tiffany.
In 1994, Verna, in search of greener pastures, migrated to the United States of America. There, she met and fell in love with Wayne Samuel and in April of 2001, they got married. Verna’s captivating personality and dedication drew many friends and well-wishers to her, as she was positive in her outlook on life and always thought the best of others. Her big liberal heart had no place for grudges nor did she cherish petty thoughts. She spoke her mind and that was it.
Verna was an empathetic individual who received her first job in the United States as a caregiver with the Gendell family. She took great care of their children and they loved her endlessly. She later moved to the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where she was employed as a housekeeper and was later promoted to a desk clerk. From here, the Mary Seacole in her ignited and she was enrolled at the Borough of Manhattan Community College where she obtained her Associates in Science degree in Nursing. She sat the board exams and finally reached the peak of her career, a Registered Nurse.
Death does remind us that man has a short time to live. It is the things we do and the life we live that lives after us. There’s no doubt in my mind that Verna was a committed and devoted employee. As a Registered Nurse, her willingness to serve, her patriotism and undaunting spirit led her to become one of the best nurses on the floor of Tower ll at the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Here, she served on several committees representing her colleagues with dignity. She loved her job. During the peak of COVID19, March 2020, I was so scared for her. As such, we spoke at every break she got. I reminded her to be safe as my sisters and I were more afraid than Verna was.
Like Florence Nightingale, she was the lady with the lamp. Like Mary Seacole, she was charismatic and brave. She was not an ordinary nurse. She not only provided care physically and emotionally but gave spiritual support as well. We can all testify to honest, humble, but outspoken presence that she displayed. She was however, no walk over in her own simple way.
What else do we remember about Verna?
Her graciousness and well cultivated manners that characterised her attitude to all persons who she came in contact with – irrespective of class or position. Her natural modesty, her radiant smile, her calm demeanour and even her love for her family.
Verna was the life of our family; she was the planner, the organizer of sisters’ vacations. She was her children’s best friend, our children’s best friend and our mother’s super hero daughter - Family was her life. She had a heart of gold as she felt that it was her duty to make every individual that crossed her path happy and always strive to make a lasting impression.
Today we are confused….today we feel cheated and rightly so, but let me remind you that though life is unfair, God is still good. Since her passing I’ve heard us say many times, if I had known.
I am sure we can identify with the excerpt of this poem entitled “If I had known” and I could rephrase to say, oh If Verna had known…If we had known.
If we had known it was our last night at your side, I’d pray a miracle would stop the dawn and when you smiled at us we would look deeper into your eyes….and make sure you know our love for you goes on and on ……oh if we had only known…..If only we had known….
On April 10, 2021, Verna’s last telephone call was at 12:30 am in her usual jovial voice checking upon us, making sure we were ok. However, at 4:15 am, we received a devastating call from her husband Wayne, telling us that she was unresponsive. At 2:02 pm, our hearts were shattered, she was no longer with us… A friendly face was missing. A family voice was silent, two willing hands were still, a tender heart stopped beating. In our hearts, treasured memories live on forever. We can and will never forget.
Today, as we courageously say farewell to a wife, mother and grandmother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a confidant and our friend. We will continue to live, love and laugh in Verna’s memory.
Verna leaves behind to cherish memories:
Mother: Iris Metcalfe;
Sisters: Christine, Ella and Avis;
Daughters: Tameka and Tiffany;
Grandchildren: Tari, RJ and Axel;
Nieces and Nephews, Cousins, co-workers and friends.
We will meet you again Verna on that great eternal morning when the mist have rolled away.
Tears are a language only God understands;
He sees the tear of a broken heart and soul.
He sees our tears and he hears them when we cry.
Tears are a language only God understands.
I say to the family at this time:
It is the little things you will remember
The quiet moments, the smile, the laughter
And although it may seem hard right now,
It will be the memories of these little things
That helps to push away the pain
And bring the smiles back again
Tonight, we say, good night our sweet princess,
may flights of herald angels sing thee home to thy rest
Let the alleluias ring out over the hills and valleys
Walk on from glory to glory Walk good – our best sister ever.
Sleep on Verna, Sleep on
The visitation for Verna Rose Samuel will be held at Marine Park Funeral Home on Friday, April 23, 2021 from 4:00 to 9:00 PM. On Saturday, April 24, 2021, there will be a Funeral Service from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM celebrated at Macedonia Baptist Church (330 Beach 67th St, Arverne, NY 11692). The Committal Service will immediately follow the Church Service at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
Please take advantage of the Tribute Wall tab to express your compassion and condolences over Verna's passing.
For those who wish to send a floral tribute to the wake service, please call Floral Fantasy Florist at:
718-238-6978 or CLICK HERE to be directed to the florist.
To ensure the safety of all our visitors and employees, all attendees are required to follow these safety measures:
All family members, attendees, and funeral home personnel MUST wear a face mask or covering.
*Maintain Physical Distancing.
*Stay home if you are sick.
Individuals who are sick or not feeling well should not attend the service.