Her Excellency Josette Christine Michael was laid to rest following a funeral Mass at the Holy Family Cathedral yesterday, November 10.
The longtime Ambassador, who died on October 30, was accorded an official funeral by the Cabinet.
As is traditional, Governor-General Sir Rodney Williams delivered the First Reading, while Acting Prime Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin read the Second.
However, upstaging both was Grammy-Award winner Gramps Morgan, who performed his hit “People Like You” in tribute to Ambassador Michael, backed by several of Antigua and Barbuda’s finest female singers.
Paying tribute, as well, was her granddaughter Marissa, who said that Michael, an independent free-thinker, had taught her that a woman can run a house without a man.
Meanwhile, Dr. Errol Cort, a family friend and Michael’s longstanding attorney, said that, to the world, she had been a mother; but to her three children, she had been the world.
MP Asot Michael, the Ambassador’s only son, delivered the eulogy in which he lauded his mother’s devotion to her husband and extended family; her business acumen, having run a highly successful department store; her generosity to good causes, to her church, and to the Antigua Labour Party; and her legendary skills as a hostess to local, regional and international dignitaries.
“She gave to all, irrespective of their walk in life,” said Michael of his mother
“She always had time for and was ready and willing to assist those less fortunate in life…. She helped in whatever way she could, and she did it without publicity. Her generosity simply knew no bounds. …
“She was humble, ordinary, forthright and kind,” he said.
Among the mourners were several Cabinet Members and Parliamentarians; former Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer; United Progressive Party Political Leader Harold Lovell; Chairperson D.Gisele Isaac; and Candidates Pearl Quinn-Williams, Alister Thomas and Anthiny Smith, Jr.
– “It was a beautiful send-off,” Isaac says of the funeral. “And I was happy to be able to pay my last respects. She was always very kind and warm to me. Very human. May her soul continue to sleep in peace.”
Michael, a native of Guadeloupe, had lived in Antigua since 1962, and passed at the age of 81 years.