Hundreds of Jamaicans and friends turned out at a church in Decatour, Georgia, on January 5, to celebrate the lives of Ainsworth and Jacqueline Mallett and son Drew, the Georgia-based Jamaican family, who perished in a traffic accident on December 27.
Formerly of Stone Mountain, Georgia, the Malletts owned and operated the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill franchise, a popular gathering place for the Caribbean-American community in and around Lithonia.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, sent a message expressing sorrow at their passing. “Words alone are clearly never adequate in situations like this,” he said, while telling the surviving 18 year-old daughter, Nicole, and family and mourners that, “even in the midst of your grieving, may their memory and exemplary service continue to inspire you all to live with meaning and purpose.”
“It is our fervent hope that especially in the immediate days and months ahead you will draw comfort from the warmth of family, friendship, and community at this most trying time, encouraged by the wonderful memory of the departed ones whose lives you are now celebrating,” the Ambassador added.
Ambassador Vasciannie’s message was read by Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Georgia, Mr. Vin Martin. Among other dignitaries in attendance were US Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), President and CEO of Golden Krust, Noel Hawthorne and DeKalb County Commissioner, Larry Johnson.
In her eulogy, Nicole told the congregation that her family “were fun people and I will miss them for the rest of my life. But I can’t sit and dwell on the fact that they are gone. Instead, it is best that we remember them for the fun people they were.”
The accident occurred while Mr. Mallett and his family were driving back to Georgia after visiting his ailing mother in a Connecticut Hospital over the Christmas holidays.