Cayman Brac’s oldest resident laid to rest

Myrtle Jane Brown, Cayman Brac’s oldest resident, passed away on Dec. 15, 2015. She was 101. 

Affectionately known to all as Aunt Dean, Mrs. Brown, the grandmother of Speaker of the House Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, was laid to rest on Dec. 27. 

Two hundred and fifty people, including Premier Alden McLaughlin, dignitaries and other officials attended the service for her life at the Aston Rutty Centre on Cayman Brac. 

At the service, Ms. O’Connor-Connolly shared Mrs. Brown’s life story, noting that her grandmother had attended the Baptist Church at the Creek with her parents Eli and Mary Jane Scott ever since she was a toddler. 

Growing up on the Brac in those days, there was no opportunity for Mrs. Brown to pursue secondary or tertiary education. However, she did attend the little Creek School under the direction of Teacher Hill and throughout her life never hesitated to share what she had learned with others. 

In 1931, she married Lewin Astor Brown, and the couple had six children, Chestly, Valdalee, Annilee, Natilee, Shirleymae and Delma. Mr. Brown preceded his wife in death in 1983. 

“The last conversation that I had with her before she died, she reassured me that she was ready to meet her Jesus,” said Ms. O’Connor-Connolly. 

“I kissed her forehead and said ‘Aunt Dean, you want me to come back tomorrow?’ She tightly squeezed my hand and said, ‘Oh yes, when you come back I will kiss you twice as much.’ That was our Aunt Dean,” she said. 

She recalled how Mrs. Brown loved to dress up in her younger days. Ms. O’Connor-Connolly said for a long time her grandmother had a new dress made every week for Sunday Church. As they grew older, when she would request a new dress, she would specify that it should not be one for old people, because she was not yet old. 

“Aunt Dean was a very kind and generous lady, an excellent cook, baker and homemaker. She was not a lady of great wealth but she was satisfied with what she possessed and was very eager to share it with all,” said Ms. O’Connor Connolly. 

“We will all miss Aunt Dean as her passing is a colossal loss to our family, but we take comfort that she has the promise of eternal life with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” 

Left to mourn her passing are her children Annilee Ebanks and Shirleymae O’Connor; her sisters Rita Scott, Viola Brown and Atheida Bodden, and her sons-in-law Fritz Gayle and Reynold Ebanks; grandchildren Barry, Juliana, Jacqueline, Joyce, Donna, Patrick, Ingrid, Raymond, Tiffany, Burnard, Susan, Kirk Standford, Jeff, Maerino, Cherrylyn, Ernie, Curtis, Jareen, Jennifer, Chuck and Jessie, as well as many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, special nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

Myrtle Brown, with her daughters Shirleymae O
Myrtle Brown, with her daughters Shirleymae O’Connor, left, and Annilee Ebanks, on her 100th birthday.