Donald, affectionately called “Ajah” was born December 29, 1961 in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica West Indies to parents Tilletha and Ronald Hyde. Donald was the sixth of eight siblings his parents who both preceded him in death. In his early years, he was raised in Farm District in May-Pen, Clarendon. He loved his relatives and friends very much. However, more than anyone and above anything else, Donald deeply loved and was devoted to his family: wife: Shirley, Son: Jermaine, daughter: Monique and his only grandson: Amari whom he was especially fond of. He also had a love of God which led to him started to attend church.
When Donald came to the United States, his journey brought him to New York City where the family settled. He attended Walton High School in the Bronx where he pursued a course in career and technical education specializing in construction and trades. He was also a founding member of the Upsetters Football Club. He loved and was fond of horse racing, soccer and fishing. Although he immigrated to the States, he promised Shirley’s mother and father that he would return to marry their daughter. Donald and Shirley met when the Anderson family moved from Kingston to May Pen. Donald’s exact words as recounted by Shirley and the family were: “As soon as I see her the sun smite me in my forehead and then I heard a voice said ‘that’s my wife’” His words were prophetic as he returned to Jamaica and married Shirley in 1982. Shirley then joined him in the United States later on that same year. Two years later, the couple welcomed their first child Jermaine who was born in 1984 and then they welcomed their second child Monique who was born in 1986. Then in October, 2015 they welcomed their only grandchild Amari.
Donald embodied all the attributes of the quintessential gentleman. He was kind, loving and generous. He was a special person who has positively impacted the lives of all whom he came in contact with. He was a husband, a father, grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, brother-in law, and a friend. Just to cite an anecdote which underscored his altruism and caring ways. His wife, Shirley can recall with fondness one of their early meeting when the Anderson family moved from Kingston to May Pen in 1980. For example, Shirley said that Donald would often take Mass K Greater-cake and Gizzadas and would make gift packages to her along with three dollars. Shirley would smile as that would serve as enough school lunch money for the week. Today although we are in mourning, we can all honor his memory by emulating his good examples of caring, kindness and his willingness to assist others. Those of us who loved him will ache with his passing; especially since it was so untimely and sudden but I am sure Donald would not like for us to be grieving forever.
Donald was truly dedicated to his family and relatives. He had a special bond with his mother Ms. Hyde who preceded him in death just last year May. In fact, at the time of his passing, he was in the midst of planning his mother’s memorial service in Jamaica set for next Month He wanted to lay his mother’s ashes to rest as a normal funeral service was interrupted due to the pandemic. His altruism knows no bounds. He was very kind to all his friends and relatives, including his siblings: Yvonne, Harold, Roslyn, Mavis, Emanuel, Thomas and Owen. Donald was truly proud of his children Jermaine and Monique and the way they have all grown up. He was always very preoccupied with parenting his grandchild Amari and helping his relatives and friends to undertake just about any chores or tasks.
Donald was very active in pursuing his passion, football, horseracing and above all, taking care of his family. Saturday April 17, 2021 he said to his wife Shirley “I will see you later.” In fact, sadly that was the last time the couple saw each other alive, because, a few short hours later she received the worst phone call ever. It was from a staff at the Jacobi Hospital who asked if she was the wife of Donald Hyde. After ascertaining that information, she was urged to report to the hospital immediately as her husband was in the emergency room. Upon her arrival, she was greeted with the sad news of his demise. Donald is survived by his wife Shirley, Children: Jermaine and Monique, Grandson: Amari, his seven siblings: Yvonne, Harold, Roslyn, Mavis, Emanuel, Thomas and Owen, nephews, nieces, cousins, and scores of other relatives and friends.
As we grieve his passing, let us remember that Donald lived a brief yet happy and fulfilled life. We will miss him more as the days lengthen the shadows of his passing. We will miss him in the family circle and most of all in his loving home. May our friendship and faith sustain us in our time of mourning, and may we all take comfort in knowing that there will be a resurrection that God has promised so that one day we can rejoice with him again.
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