Our beloved Reita Louise Malcolm was born in Jamaica, Montego Bay, Saint James Parish, in Granville March 27, 1941, to parents, Rupert Follet and Elma-Jean Brown. Reita had three incredible sisters, Lucille, Edna and Iris Follet and her only brother Dennis Brown. She was raised primarily by her loving grandmother, Margarette Brown as her father served in the British military, while her sisters remained in Cuba for most of her childhood.
Reita was courted by Aubrey Joslyn Malcolm in the same St. James Parish where they grew up together, fell in love, and began their journey together as husband and wife. Reita and Aubrey were sponsored to the U.S. by her loving sisters Edna and Iris Follet to migrate from Jamaica to Massachusetts, where they raised five children of which, four of whom (Barbara, Merna, Carlfred and Michael), were born in Jamaica prior to their sojourn to the U.S., Alexia was born after they established roots in Boston Massachusetts where they created their loving home. Reita worked as a private home health aide and housekeeper in Cambridge Massachusetts for years prior to switching careers to become a Camera Technician for the Polaroid Corporation in Waltham Massachusetts. Reita’s main focus in life was serving God first, creating a strong and honorable family and working hard to nurture and care for those in need. She was a true matriarch and great example of benevolence and unconditional love.
Reita loved spending time with her family, and as a family we took trips to Canada, Florida, various places in Boston, beaches, and family gatherings. Mama loved to shop; she had an expensive eye for things. She was also an incredible cook, known for her porridge (cornmeal and hominy corn), mackerel and banana, rice and peas, and fish flitters. Every Sunday after cooking a big batch of food, she would share it out in containers and put our names on it for pick-up. She was a talented seamstress but due to raising her family she was not able to enjoy it as much as she would have liked.
Reita had a green thumb. In the summertime she enjoyed tending to her yard, which was full of plants (mint & callaloo) and an assortment of flowers (lilies, roses, tulips, etc.) she loved her plants and flowers, and they loved her back. But don’t be fooled by her sweet gentle side, there was no greater disciplinarian than the woman with the iron Dutch-Pot, and fearless attitude. If you crossed her, there were worries to be had. She was stern and very proud of who she was. Reita strongly believed that outward appearance and behavior are just as critical as your inward spirit and quality. She was unmatched in her grace and style and had plenty of sass. (Just ask Daddy, he’ll tell you about it!!)
Reita was first and foremost a Christian, a woman of God. In 1982, Reita was baptized into Christ at the Church of Christ in Roxbury. She never looked back. She was a faithful member of the Church of Christ in Abington, Massachusetts where she served on the Couples’, Buildings and Grounds, Fellowship, Seniors and Women’s Ministries. She lived a good life, and thanked God for every moment of that life. She had no regrets about her path, even when diagnosed with CHF (congestive heart failure), which would restrain her physically, preventing her from doing many of the things in life that she loved to do, yet her spirit, hope and faith would increase daily as she placed her trust in God. “I’m prepared to see Christ”, was her motto, and she held to God’s unchanging hand to the very end. Reita Louise Malcolm, surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren, and friends, passed away on Friday May 26, 2023, as the Lord called her home.
She leaves to mourn her passing and celebrate her life: her husband Aubrey Malcolm of 63 years, her five children Barbara, Merna (Daniel), Carlfred (Abigail), Michael and Alexia; twenty grandchildren: Rodney, Patrick (Toya), Roderick, Palmer (Melissa), Shaunette, Shauntelle (Paul), Duwayne, Areitah, Aubrey, Saisha, Jazmyn, Aneila, Natalia, Michael Jr., Mikel, Amario, Carlfred II & fiancée Leydi, Malik, Makyla, Mehki; eighteen great-grandchildren: Ashanti, Destiny, Ayala, Shakira, Elijah, Aniyah, Amirah, Angelina, Isaiah, Demetris, Aiden, Brooklyn, Kingston, Aubrey Jr., Journee, Christian, Gianna, Grayson; one great-great grandchild: Solemn; her best friend from childhood Aldyth Prescott and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends in Jamaica, Florida, Canada, Boston and New York.
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