Obituary of a 106-year-old lady

Obituary of a 106-year-old lady

The funeral of Léociana Arnoux Castagne on March 28 was an indication of how lonely funerals can be in the age of COVID-19. Of her extensive brood that spans four generations, the 106-year-old popular matriarch drew only 25 of them to tell her goodbye forever.

On Saturday March 28, family and friends were expected at the J. Foster Philllps Funeral home in Jamaica, N.Y., to bid farewell to the centenarian who passed away on March 21 after so many parties for her birthday, including the last one on October 19 when some 50 attended the lively affair. Nothing to do with Coronavirus, attendance was down from the 100 in 1918. But the 25 at the funeral was a testimony of what it’s like in these days of social distancing forced by the deadly virus that has already caused more than 10,000 deaths in the United States.

Considering the current situation, the family had apprised all that “to the current pandemic, viewing will be done in rotation of a maximum of 10 allowed in the room with the immediate family. So, please, understand.” But no apology was needed. “No one came, but the 25 of us,” said her granddaughter Christina Célifié. By the way, Léociana wasn’t a victim of COVID-19.

Léociana Arnoux-Castagne was born October 19, 1913 in Maïssade, near Hinche, in Haiti’s Plateau Central, the Highlands adjoining the border with the Dominican Republic. She immigrated to the United States with her youngest daughter Myrtha in 1967.

On this sad occasion, we at the Haiti-Observateur, present our condolences to his four remaining children, Raymond, Willy, Jean René and Myrtha, as well as to her son-in-law Georges Célifié and to her 80 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In HO’s issue of October 23, 2019, we presented her as an accomplished woman who gave birth to nine children, five of whom preceded her to their eternal home. She also outlived her two brothers and her younger husband who died in 2014 in his 90s.

When asked to what she attributed her long life, Anne readily said: “It’s God’s grace. I stay at the feet of the Lord.” And she mentioned Psalm 91, which in the New King James version of the Bible is entitled: “Safety in abiding in the presence of God.” And she quoted the first verse: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High abides under the shadow of the Almighty.”

cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, VOL. L No.13 New-York, édition du 8 avril 2020 et se trouve en P.14, à :