Daisy Hyacinth Richardson aka Daisy Wong or Dee, died peacefully on March 8, 2018 at Staten Island University Hospital after a brief illness. She was 97 years old. She married John Richardson on August 9, 1944 who preceded her in death on June 8, 1999. The union produced seven children: Joleene (Shirley) Gumbs, Lunsford (Deceased) Bevis, Jacqueline and Corinne (Sprocka) Richardson, Verlyn Yearwood in Anguilla and Dawne Benjamin in Staten Island, New York.
Clothed in confidence and strength, this carrier of faith, hope and wisdom made the impossible possible. Events from those chaotic early days of struggling to find a sense of place without biological parents, to effectively parent her children in the absence of our father who lived abroad, to balance growing financial demands against a small fixed income and her ability to effectively create her own hustle, selling Anguilla and Puerto Rico lottery tickets by foot, along with her cockenias, a special peppermint candy, she made from scratch with great success; and sewing school uniforms and other clothing flow a stream of images, each portraying specific aspects of Daisy’s character I respected and admired. Her creative ability to perfect and master the art of cockenia-making was baffling and to create such fashionable clothing without patterns was beyond human comprehension. Gifted, resilient, humble, courageous and so many other notable words can be used to describe the autonomy and sovereignty of her God-given talents but yet she was so humble.
Daisy’s patriotism and love for community influenced her decision to play an integral role in Anguilla's bloodless Revolution in 1969 when she and her cousin Mena Bryan journeyed secretly to St. Kitts in the wee hours of the morning to nominate an Anguillian for the Anguillian seat in the state elections. Not only was this daunting mission executed seamlessly but Daisy's family had no idea of her involvement. The only indication was her statement to her older children upon leaving stating “tell John I died fighting for my country if I don’t come back.” Daisy knew the seriousness of this mission but her fierce resolve and determination took precedence over the mission which was affirmed in Ronald Webster’s book entitled “Scrap Book of Anguilla’s Revolution.”
Her legacy is tremendous. The road traveled was not always smooth but her walk was steadfast, upright and resolute. She lived a life that was exemplary and purposeful. She exuded peace but was not afraid to challenge the status quo when warranted. She despised immorality and was a true extension of the God she knew intimately and served. Not only did she talk the talk, but she modeled the behavior for her children to follow. She poured equally into other people lives without prejudice or reason and didn’t hesitate to share baked delicacies such as coconut drops, sweet potato pudding and cakes with the neighborhood children who were drawn to the yard by the aroma from her outside cement oven. No wonder she was summoned to be God mother to over 100 children whom she loved and adored!
Daisy was a prominent member of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Anguilla, British West Indies and was actively involved in several community and church-based organizations, including The Household of Ruth, and St. Mary’s Mother’s Union Association where she served as Head Nominating Member for several years. An esteemed cub leader, Daisy served as a chaperon for student exchange tours throughout Jamaica, Antigua and St. Kitts when needed. Because of her resourcefulness and prudent business sense, she willingly spearheaded the collaboration and organization of various fundraising initiatives at St. Mary’s church including the Easter Monday Bazaars and tea parties, the Mother’s Union picnics and Friday night ping soirees on the rectory’s lawn. She sang in the St. Mary's and Gold Tones choirs for several years and attended various conferences and events throughout the Eastern Caribbean. She also organized and starred in many mother’s union concerts where she danced the Polke, Waltz, Cake Walk and Foxtrot with ease. She wrote and recited her own poetry which captivated and mesmerized her audience as she recalled several stanzas so effortlessly and fluently. In 1997, Daisy published a book of poetry entitled “Lil Bit of Guinea Corn Porridge” with much success In fact, this book is currently available through Stanford University Libraries in Stanford, California and can be attained via https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/6785826. Additionally, she was recognized in May 2016 by the Malliouhana Poetry Club in Anguilla for her contribution to poetry and involvement in the literary and cultural development of the island.
Daisy will be memorialized at a celebration of life service on Saturday, April 7th at the Castleton Hill Moravian Church located at 1657 Victory Blvd in Staten Island, NY beginning at 10:00AM. A State funeral service will be held at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Anguilla, British West Indies. Please note the following:
Thursday, April 12th: Memorial Tribute, Wallblake Catholic Church Hall
Friday, April 13th: Viewing and Public tributes – exact time and location TBD
Saturday, April 14th: Family Tributes beginning at 1pm
Funeral Service and communion from 3-4PM
Interment to follow at the St. Mary’s Burial Ground
Repass immediately following at Johnno’s Beach Bar in Sandy Ground
She will be greatly missed by her six children, 15 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren; two Sons-in-law; Raybeurn Benjamin and Dave Yearwood; two Daughters-in-law; Sylvia and Edmee Richardson; one sister; Ulrica Illis-Bryan-Richardson in St. Marten, Families of her six deceased sisters and one brother who were: Elsie Jones, Alice Webster, Imelda Carty-Richardson, Salena Marlin-Bryan-Richardson, Agatha Bryan-Richardson and Edith Rosalie Milton and Ernest Bryan-Richardson. Numerous nieces and nephews including Valerie Pontiphlet-Gittersen, Nkosazana Esther, Melvin, Daphne and Miranda Iliis, Raymond Benjamin, Dianna Benjamin, Rita Bryan and Laurencia Lake in St. Marten; Family of her nephew Amos Adolphus Bells (Deceased), Family of Alvin Milton (Deceased), Family of her nephew Clarence Bruney (Deceased); Neville, Edwin and Kenneth Milton and family in the U.S; Ian Richardson in Anguilla, Terrence Hodge, Somerset, New Jersey, and Cordell and Joy Jones in Irvine, California; two special daughters; Sharon (Sebby) Richardson (Daisy’s First Grand Daughter who she raised as her own from five days old) and Charmaine Niles (who she raised from age 10); Several close cousins too numerous to mention including Laurice Vanterpool and Fred Richardson in Anguilla, Agnes Roberts in Brooklyn, and Catherine Boyce of the Bronx. Over 100+ God children including Cecil, Claudette Carty, Darcy Rogers, Janice Gumbs, Marilyn Yearwood and Shirvin Lake. Special sons, cubs and daughters: Johnno in Anguilla; Max Hodge; Lanville Harrigan; Moran Rey, Tall Boy Bryan; Desmond Richardson & Family; Rev. Hugo Rey & Family, Frank & Lileth Woods & Family; Family of the late Calvin Lake and family; Evalie Bradley and family; Beatrice Hennis. The golden girls: Teacher Roslyn Pond and family, Evelyn Thomas and family, and Scilla Richardson and family; Mabel Gumbs and family; Anglican Mother’s Union Association, the entire Anguillian community from Windward Point in Junkshole including the family of Eulalie Rogers (Deceased) to the end of West End and from Corrito Village to Shoal Bay who she was related to, loved and adored.
Due to the popularity of our mother, we are unable to recall every name, person or close affiliation at this time. But her love for each of you was genuine and special.
Please refer to the link below for an indepth overview of Anguillla’s rich history per The “Conde Nast” Traveller article entitled: The Best Beaches In The Caribbean and to hear Daisy recall her role in the Anguilla’s Revolution: http://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/anguilla-best-beaches-hotels-caribbean.
~Lovingly submitted by Daisy’s Family~