Jean (Spencer) Cole was born on July 11, 1952 to the late Ruth Williams and Wilfred Spencer in the parish of St. Elizabeth on the beautiful island of Jamaica West Indies. She was the fifth of twelve children and her siblings recall her as been very assertive and outspoken at a very early age.
Jean spent her early childhood years with her mother and siblings in the district of White Hill where she attended primary school and later moved to Kingston, there she attended Duffs Business College. But she developed a passion for fancy hair styles and clothing so under the guidance of Mrs. Ethel Goshine she began her career as a hairstylist that would span over 30 years. Jean dreamed of travelling outside of her home country and as a single mother she also wanted to pursue more for her and her daughter. In 1984 she migrated to New York, while there she continued in the hairstyling business but also pursued interest as a Certified Home Health Aide.
Jean was brought up in a home by a single mom who instilled strong morale and Christian values. And although she did not attend church much in her early adulthood she still believed that there was a God and she supported her daughter’s walk in the Seventh Day Adventist-faith which she herself was later baptized into at the Solid Rock Seventh Day Adventist Church in Far Rockaway New York. There she served as Usher, Sabbath School Secretary and Deaconess for several years before moving to Florida. In Florida she attended the Altamonte Springs Seventh Day Adventist Church and later transferred membership to Patmos Chapel where up until her passing she remained an active member.
Jean’s compassionate heart and commitment to elderly care motivated her into achieving her Nursing Assistant Certification and an Associate degree in Secretarial Management and in November of 1994 she joined the staff at Orlando Health working in the Bridge/Pre-op department as a Nurse Tech. She also worked as part-time Home Health Aide at Village on the Green and Chambrel Assisted Living Facilities. Ms Jean as she was affectionately called by colleagues was a forced to be reckoned with. Coworkers reflection of her – a delight to be around, a loving and kind heart, always encouraging, always thinking of others, just a lovely person to be around, always threatening to “pop” somebody, even patients if they did not follow her instructions to the “tee”. In fact, if she was here today she would probably say “thank you for loving little old me … now come over here let me pop you”.
Jean loved to travel, cook and cultivate her garden. Her daughter always teased that “she was a man in her own rights” meaning it would not take much for her cut down a tree herself if she had to. She did not have the patience of a saint when it comes to getting stuff done around the yard. She equipped herself with whatever basic yard tools was necessary to mutilate weeds or cut down branches that obstructed or invaded on her “Jurassic Garden”… mango tree, avocado, sugar cane, pigeon pea, sorrel not to mention her flower beds. Jean was a master of throwing ingredients together, very rarely measuring a teaspoon of this or a cup of that but you could rest assure that the outcome would have you licking your fingers and asking for more… as she always said “what don’t kill you will certainly fatten you” and her sister Josephine can tell you about the rock in the cake pan. While her side- kick Linda and the rest of her geriatric travelling partners could share countless stories of the twenty something cruises and getaways that they have gone on.
As warm as the Jamaican sunshine, that was the heart of Jean Cole. She had a heart that did not stop giving. Jean has left her imprint on so many hearts, from young to old and each person was inspired and left with a personal, lasting impression of this beautiful spirit. Jean was a fighter, she persevered and endured but she was ready to go home and after several months of illness with pancreatic cancer God saw it best to take her into his safety and on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 11:31 pm the Lord called his angel home.
Jean leaves behind her only daughter Carmen (Pumpkin head), grandson Nicholas (Nickman); sisters Hyacinth, Fay, Josephine, Marie and Angela, brothers Ralph, John, Wickee and Gary ( Sharon, Rose and Robin); four brothers-in law, two sisters-in-law, thirty nieces and nephews, twenty grand-nieces and nephews, a host of other daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandchildren that she has adopted over her life time, cousins and friends, too many to mention.
Jean (Spencer) Cole loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, full of life and well-loved you will be missed.