Last Monday I wrote about Agnes Sewer who introduced my mother to Ethlyn Hall because she was concerned about Mom running wild and not having enough feminine influences. To correct the situation, Miss Agnes introduced Mom to Miss Ethlyn, who lived at Peter Bay, just over the hill from Trunk Bay. That introduction which happened when Mom was around twelve, lead to life-long friendship.
Ethlyn was born on St. John in 1916 while the Virgin Islands were still under Danish rule. At the age of 23 she went to New York where she learned haberdashery, met and married her husband and had three of four children. Eventually she and her family returned to St. John where she proved to be a successful business woman, running a guest house and serving as President of the Business and Professional Women of St. John. She was also active in the Historical Society and the Elaine Sprauve Library Association.
I call this picture The Age of Wisdom.
Ethlyn was the mother of my friend Victor Hall, who died last year and whom I wrote about here.
Here comes the synchronistic part, the part that lets us know the Universe is involved. And I hope, dear gentle readers you won't think this morbid. Ethlyn Hall died while I was in the islands in May. She was just shy of 96 years old. She died the week before my sister Erva and I put our mother's ashes out to sea. The following week Erva and I had the pleasure of being able to attend Ethlyn's funeral.
It was really quite special because after the lovely service at the Lutheran Church in Cruz Bay, she was interred at Cinnamon Bay on National Park land at an old family plot. The tombs are above ground because the ground in mostly solid rock and nearly impossible to dig through. There are now, with Ethlyn, three generations of her family buried there. Her tomb is obviously the white one to the left. It is a shaded, cool, and peaceful place to be laid to rest. Those smooth-barked trees at the upper right are bay tree, from which the body splash, bay rum is made. The leaves of the trees litter the ground and as you walk, their delightful aroma fills the air. Erva and I laid small branches of bay leaves on her casket.
My cousin, Rafe Boulon, who is Chief of Resource for the St. John National Park, was a pall barer. He's in the middle on the right. You can see how shaded the area is.
And this is Rafe, carrying a wreathe.
Ethlyn was well loved and will be long remembered. And I'm glad I was there with Erva, to represent my mother, her childhood friend.