May 27, 1962 – April 7, 2020
On Tuesday April 7th 2020, Vinetta Elvina Murray Elanus, loving wife, mother, sister and friend succumbed to ALS and passed away at 57 years old. Vinetta, or Barbara to so many, was born to Griselda Dawson and Llewellyn Murray in May of 1962, in St. Thomas, Jamaica.
Prior to diagnosis in 2014, Vinetta’s brilliant star shone in the various venues her life led her to serve, ultimately flourishing as a CNA, and a hotel/housekeeping staff in Florida.
Vinetta’s greatest acts of service were however in the smile that she met all who crossed her path, and the food she shared at any table. A love of eating ultimately led to a love and mastery of cooking, (or maybe it’s the other way around) and I’m sure many of your memories that include Vinetta will undoubtedly include partaking of excellent food with her.
Vinetta is survived by her loving husband Jean Elanus and their children, Esterline, Micheline, Marie, Jean, Andre and Marsha, sisters and brothers, Zeta, Paulette, Lavern, Melonie, Kathleen, Dimples, Peaches, Derrick, Steadman, Danny, Marcia, Jennifer, Marcia , Caroline , Colleen, granddaughter Solana Vinetta, countless nephews, nieces, cousins and an extensive group of friends and other loved ones.
Vinetta will be memorialized at a yet undetermined date, when we all can gather with minimal risk to ourselves and others. Invitations for a virtual memorial will be sent shortly.
In lieu of flowers, if you are so led , donations can be made by clicking the ALS.org NY CHAPTER Donation link . Money raised by the organization goes to fund research but also supplies patients incredibly expensive equipment and services for free, and honestly, it’s just better than killing flowers.
Saturday, May 23, 2020
May 23, 2020
You were an amazing wife and mother. I'll truly miss your kind, caring and loving spirit. You were my better half. Without hesitation, you became a mother to my children. You cared and treated them like your own. You were always eager to help and lend a hand to anyone in need. You were a hard worker. You did everything and met all challenges with excellence. I'll miss your quick wit and humor. You were funny and could find humor in anything. Despite all the hardships you endured, you always had a positive attitude.
Thank you for being my wife. Thank you for doing life with me. Thank you for helping me take care of my children. Thank you for your endless sacrifices. Thank you for the many laughs. Thank you for all the kind words. Thank you for your love. I love you. I miss Queen Vinetta.
May 23, 2020
Aunty Barbara....With a struggle to remember much of the stuff from my childhood, I must say that one thing that stands out in my mind is the memory of your warm smile. I remember your joviality and how pleasant you always were. Always finding something to laugh about. It was difficult to tell if you were troubled by anything since you always had a smile plastered on you face.
I never saw you for years, but even after such a huge gap and with all the challenges of ALS you kept in touch as much a you were physically able to, yet still maintained that smile.
You are missed and i will always remember your warm personality. SIP Aunty Barbara❤
May 23, 2020
My prayers are with you all knowing that what you are going through God will give you the strength .she is gone to a better place mom I know for u it’s very hard as no mother want to loose any of there children,I know you have a settle peace as you have the hope to see her one day around the throne of God..zeta and Paulette I know you take the passing of your sister very hard what you have to understand she don’t want to see your saddened face in tears but to keep a cheerful spirit as her smile should be always be in your heart don’t loose faith have hope she is gone but not be forgotten I am praying that God will give us the strength that even today you will stand strong knowing that what she would say .and to the rest of family’s I leave with you psalm 121 take courage Love you all be strong as she is gone but not forgotten .what I want you all to do remember her beautiful smile.
May 23, 2020
One of my fondest memories with you was when we were both little girls. I remember someone had bought us some tights which came in many different colors. That day we all had a fashion show: me, you, and Lonnie had tried on all of them. Later on, Miss Gee sent you down by the seaside to buy fish and you came back home with a pretty hairstyle. You told us that you had met a tourist from the U.S. named Ellen Page, and for some reason she found herself very fond of you, just from that one small encounter alone, so she came over and combed your hair and styled it up for you. And I’d like to think that that was a key part of your personality. You drew people in just with your presence alone and made them happy to be around you.
I miss you so much and I will always consider you my twin sister; even though we were born in different years, May 27th is the day that we both share. I remember how fearless you were when we were coming home from a street dance in Morant Bay. We walked three miles together all the way back home at midnight. Right as we were about to go down the road to get home, you told me that you had another party to go to. I remember saying to you, “I’m not going! We need to get back to Granny’s house.” And yet, even though it meant going alone and having to walk along that dark, empty road, you still made your way towards the party.
As I was walking to Granny’s house alone, I was pretty frightened. On my way there, as I reached under the cherry tree, I felt like someone was lifting me up in midair. Anyway, I got to the door, and my tongue felt heavy, and I could not call Granny to open the door for me. At once, Granny appeared at the door and let me into the house. I instantly felt relieved but, to this day, I have no idea how she knew I was at the door. You came home from the party early the next morning, not a care in the world, and slept soundly. And that is how it should be. Goodbye, my sister. I will always cherish simple, little memories like this
May 23, 2020
Family!! Funeral!!! Aunty Barbara ready!!! And her sister lonie, (mommy) when they get back all laughter!!! All I could hear they both come out with the same time!! And A Mi Last Granny!! 😂😂😭😂😂😭 that was one of their cousin crying at her grandma's funeral!! My Aunty even when she was sick she made me laugh so hard ( can't share here) 😂😂❤️ she was special. She made me a promise that someday she would tell me her story 🤞🏼💕but gods got you!! He knows best smiley !!!! We love you. SIP
Melonie Moxam Dennis
May 22, 2020
No one understands us like we do.
No one has shared MEMORIES like us.
No one else knows all of the problems, Joy,and our Secrets we've shared.
Our love is stronger than anything that has or will ever come between us.
You fill my life with smiles and laughter ,
Consolation and understanding.
So much more to say about Barbara my sister we had so much plans 😔 you will forever be in my heart!!!! Walk good sis or I could say smiley!!
May 22, 2020
No one could laugh like Aunty Barbara!
You could spot her smile in a crowd... but her laughter...that was and will remain one of the most delightful memories of her.
I was somewhere between 15 and 17 yrs old. The family had catered for a wedding and we were all packed up in the car, heading back to Duhaney Park. Uncle Lionel was the only adult who could drive among us. Being in a jolly mood from the good event, I pestered him, while pots and pans were being packed in the trunk, to drive that night. Persistence, with a dash of cuteness was key! He finally said yes, but after we get home. I hushed and giddily helped to get us going.
We got back and unpacked the trunk. I was ready for my chaperone... no Uncle Lionel. The driver's door open, the key left in the ignition...still no one.
I waited for all of what must have been 3 minutes, got in the car, turned it on, slammed the door... no adult!
I looked around for someone to celebrate with me. Aunty Barbara's daughter, Marsha (Maryun), eagerly hopped in the passenger's seat. For sure, I was being responsible to not go driving alone. I now had a younger minor driving with me.
We whipped around so many streets and when we saw boys, I drove faster, excited to show off!
I passed the house slowly the first go around. No one. Passed a second time, with more confidence... still no one. The third time, instead of passing the house, I felt ready for the big, open boulevard. I made a left turn to leave our street and heard the loudest call of my name, ever! Safiya!!! It was Aunty Barbara running towards us laughing and bending over. She held unto the window to keep her from falling to the ground in laughter. I knew I was in trouble, but Aunty Barbara's laughter helped me face the music.
Many years later, if there was one thing I could ask the Lord for in life, it would be to face trouble with Aunty Barbara's laughter. It not only soothes the soul, it strengthens the heart.
May 22, 2020
Ms. Elanus, one of my beloved patients.
I will always remember you with your very big, bright, and sweet smile. Every time I come into your room, your smile always brighten up my work shift. You are gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. You surely will be missed. You are now in a better position with God, our Creator.
Please accept my condolences for your family's loss.
Luke 23:43 - And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise".
Mr. Tolentino, RN
May 22, 2020
Never had I thought this day would come. I have spent sleepless nights just thinking about how to say goodbye to someone who has been so dear to me, you were more than a friend, a confidant, a sister, you were like my second mom, my earthly guiding angel. The strength, perseverance and determination you displayed in everything you did has always been a motivation to me. You were the epitome of a strong black woman, I admire your strength and determination so much.
Vinetta, I never got the chance to tell you how much you influenced my life and the many things I learnt just from being around you. I remembered when you were just hospitalized and I went to visit and your husband told me all day they had been talking to you but you wouldn't respond but as soon as you heard I was there you open your eyes and smiled, my heart melted.
I miss you so much Vinetta. Your constant and warm smiles, to see you cooking up a meal, cah mi know yuh love di kitchen bad, to see you watching one of your favorite TV show (unsolved mystery) and you telling me I love too many soap opera, to hear those little witty remarks you often made, especially “mi nuh cum yah pon boat”, how you would constantly talk about your undying love for your children and your beloved dog Jermaine.
Even though it hurts with you being gone, I can see why God would want you home with him because you were truly an angel here on earth.
Rest in perfect peace my unforgettable friend, no more will you be in pain and suffering.
Love and miss you Barbara
May 22, 2020
They say life is not about the amount of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. Aunty I hope you had a little bit of both in your your 57 years of life.
My memories of you are ones where you left your laughter love and humor in my heart. You played the role of a true Aunty as I could do no wrong and was on my side for any childhood mischief, wearing that unforgettable smile.
In your last days, Aunty you weathered your sickness with a quiet strength that truly showed your grace. There were moments when we all cried for you and prayed that somehow god would allow you to walk out of the Hospital . But you did walk again, although not physically, you walked right into our hearts and left your influence.
I know that our family is deeply grieved by the loss of a Phenomenal woman but lets not dwell on her last days and passing as the end or what defined her life. Instead, let us honor her with the experiences shared, things we loved about her and knowledge gained from having her in our lives.
We may have lost Aunty Barbara in bodily form now but I believe that one day we will meet again. “And god shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things have passed away” Rev, 21:4. So until that day I will keep her memory alive in my heart and I ask the rest of the family to do the same.
Keep Vinetta Elvina Murray Elanus Alive.
May 20, 2020
Dearest Barbara - my beloved sister,
Sleep in peace, my darling. The Lord knows best and I believe that is why he has decided to take you in his arms. No more suffering, no more pain.
We spent numerous happy and joyous moments together while you were in Jamaica, and ever since you migrated to the U.S., the boys and I have missed you so much.
I remember how much you enjoyed cooking for us. I miss your delicious meals, especially your flawless baked chicken with rice and gungo peas. The boys and I would always request for you to cook whenever you came by the house. I keep reflecting on the good times we’ve shared; the fun, the laughter and most of all the smiles you would leave us with after visiting.
You always had encouraging words for the boys and life lessons to teach them. You showed them a lot of love and they, being able to sense your genuineness would always be asking for “Aunty Barba”. I remember you always being willing to babysit them for me and how much I didn’t have to worry about anything at all whenever you did. I am and will always be truly grateful to you.
Thank you for being the wonderful sister you were to me. Thank you for being the wonderful Aunt you were to the boys, as you helped me to nurture and care for them ever since they were just babies. Thank you for believing in them and always giving your beautiful words of encouragement.
You will forever be in our hearts. We pray that your soul will find perfect peace.
We will always love you!
From your baby sister, Marlene and your nephews, Rahmoi, Roe-Jae and Davaughn.
May 20, 2020
A mother's love never ceases for the child she bares? It's never easy to loose a loved one and more so a child. It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that I recall the many memories etched in my mind of that beautiful smiling little girl.
I can still recall my daughter playing with her sisters and friends and shouting "yuh out". My heart aches as I remember you a very helpful and kind girl.
You grew up to become a phenomenal woman a great mother of two lovely children, and a loving wife. It was always a happy time when I visited you. I will never forget the times we spent together.
Sleep on my dear daughter, I look forward to the day when there will be no more death.
May her soul rest in peace.
May 20, 2020
Think of the first image that comes to mind when you think of Aunty Baraba; for me it's always her smiling. I remember as a child, watching cartoons that she would stop ever so often to view. She loved those old Merry Melodies cartoons, seemingly enjoying them more than we did, every now and then doing a Woody Wood Pecker imitation.
One day we found a big fish head while cleaning the deep freeze and she cooked up that thing proper. Yeah, she knew her way around the kitchen.
In the end, her dignity and state of joy was most impressive. She did not complain about her circumstance but remained thankful to God and even that plastered with that smile of hers.
I thank God for the hope that we will see each other again.
May 17, 2020
I've heard so many wonderful things about you over the years. The few times we exchanged notes or messages via Yohance, I could tell what a truly warm, loving and dear heart you possess. Thank you for all your care and concern for us.
You will always be remembered by us dearly.
God bless you! Peace be with you!
Karen, Chris & Mayah
May 17, 2020
The person you know as Vinetta Elanus I know as Anti Barbara. She cared for me and my siblings in Jamaica for many years. Anti Barbara was a powerhouse of personality. I remember her pleasant smile and infectious laughter. She was very open and expressed herself freely. There was a simplicity to the way she related to people. You never had to guess if she was pleased with you or unhappy about your behaviour. She made you know how she felt whether you wanted to know or not. This simple honesty is something I value and I want to live up to her example.
In the last few years as Anti Barbara struggled with ALS I got to spend a few hours with her. Every time I saw her, I was impressed by her sharp mind and how she was undaunted in her will to live. I never sensed a hint of defeat or giving up in her. I can only hope to have her fortitude. She was an impressive woman. I will miss her very much.
May 17, 2020
I’m blessed to call you my sister, I also call you friend,
You’ve love unconditionally,and stood through thick and thin
You’ve have my joys and sorrows, my laughter and tears.
You’ve been my inspiration as we grew up through the years.
There’s something God has given us, that’s more than family;
He’s placed a love for you , my sister Barbara Vinnetta Elanus
Deep down in my heart of you my sister ..
You’re right here , deep within my heart .
Love Zeta .
May 16, 2020
Where do I even begin to express the amazingly strong and vibrant woman you were on Earth? It's truly impossible to justifiably do so. You were a person with beautiful layers. I am so honored to have shared some of life with you and what a ride it has been.
I remember when my siblings and I first met you in our small apartment. We could hear you giggling at us from the kitchen cause you've heard us said "She's here!" We had rushed home from school, knowing that you were suppose to be there. We were eager to meet the person that captured our father's heart. We were especially eager to meet the person who fell in love with a man with four teenage kids!
I will always remember you as someone who was always filled with love and laughter. I will miss your huge smile that lit your whole face. I will miss your silliness that made me laugh. I will miss your determination that inspired me to get my driver's license right after you got yours.
You brought the necessary Jamaican flavor into our lives that my Haitian family didn't know we needed. Thank you for introducing us to your culture: the language, food, and music. I will miss your sayings: "See 'em there?" "Whatcha" "Only a mother can love that face." "Don't flatter yourself!" And as much as we made fun of you for it, I will truly miss hearing you spend hours in the kitchen and talking on the phone the whole time. You burned through so many phones!
Thank you for loving us like your own children, thank you for supporting us, providing for us, fighting with and for us, teaching us, inspiring us, encouraging us, keeping our secrets, and showing us how to like the finer things in life on a budget.
I can't imagine life without you. I love you and will always miss you. I take comfort in the fact that you are no longer sick and in pain.
Picture below is of Vinetta and I at Devon's Ice Cream Shop in Kingston, Jamaica on our trip in June 2014.
May 16, 2020
Hi Aunty Barbara , I know I never got to spend enough time with you throughout the years but when I visit you , you make the room explode with happiness and make everyone feel alright with that joyful attitude. I Could never get enough of how determined you were at getting something done when others thought differently and you do all this with a Beautiful smile on your face that will never fade.
I Love and miss you so much Aunty Barbara.
May 15, 2020
I never met u in person but seeing that smile on ur face each time my sis facetime u, u impact my life in a positive way with jus that smile. That "smile" of gratitude, that "smile" of being genuine, that "smile" of being grateful, that "smile" of love, that "smile" of care n that "smile" of being natural💞
May 15, 2020
I will never forget the level of concern, care and love you extended towards those you encounter. The very first time I met you, your pleasantries and smile resonated deep within me and immediately arose an inner peace and love. You are a clear definition of love. Despite all you encountered, you conquered the world with your smile, strength and superb personality. I'm elated to have known you and will never forget how you've impacted my life with the way you lived yours with such grace and compassion. You have embedded that same level of care and love within your children. You'll be surely missed.
May 14, 2020
I loved that you made space for me in your life and from our very first encounter you wanted me to call you mom. Thank you for creating your daughter who became my sister.
You are missed. Always loved. Thank you for being here for such a short time.
May 14, 2020
First and foremost thank you for having me, thank your for bringing me in this world, eversince I gained understand,having an idea of what life is, with you moms, I understood how incomparable a mother's love is. Life wasn't easy one bit for us, but you always had this composure which made everything seemed normal you did not get the chance to live the life you wanted to live when you were growing up, so as result , you made sure your offspring , my Sister and I did not experience the stuff you did. Even though you couldn't provide material wealth for us, the way you invested in our mental wealth was more than enough. For you it was always about progress, you were never comfortable with being average, some times u had this look on your face like "what's the next move",(I wish I knew what you were thinking).looking back at how you treated people, kindness and compassion always over flow. I have never ever seen you treat anyone less than this, always going the extra mile for everyone , you told me everything , all your experiences those which will make any human being a bitter, horrible person , but you mom no, its like all that made you into the best version of you. You Lived with love, laughed and forgave. I will take example. Even when you were in pain you took it with a smile, u never wanted any one around you to feel down because of you , you suppressed your pain to make others around you feel better , a True Hero. there is so much more to say to you rite now, any thing I didn't mention it's probly because you didn't want me to and I should save it until I see you again then I would be able to give you those unlimited hugs and kisses I have been storing up for you from ever since. Mom your memories will live on.
I LOVE YOU,
May 14, 2020
As I sit here trying all my best to hold it together. I’m truly sadden that I didn’t get the chance to talk too you for the longest while. I often think about you, as well as my mother. Always in our thoughts and prayers. Will never forget that smile. It was a pleasure working with you, always smiling and giving it your all no matter what. The humblest person I ever met and at times it didn’t even feel like I was your boss... 😉 no more suffering, no more hurting. I can imagine you in that gorgeous paradise with that huge smile. Fly high my Dear. May you Rest In Peace. ❤️❤️ Love always
May 13, 2020
You would always tell me your my real mother and you always treated me with such motherly love. I remember when you would sit at the back door feeding me with cornmeal porridge spoiling me and indulging my sweet tooth. You would instill morals and values in me that I wasn't capable of understanding at the time but I carry with me each and everyday now that I am older. I will forever value and cherish the memories we shared in the time you were here with me. You've taught me many lessons in life that I will forever hold near and dear to my heart, even during the time you fell ill you always had a smile that brought life and energy to the room. You are the definition of strength and you always motivated me and others to reach for the stars, my dear aunt barbara I miss you and most importantly I love you.
May 13, 2020
I will always remember your smile.
You took care of me when I was little and being a brat. I will never forget how awesome a person you are. The time I spent around you were some of the best years of my childhood.
May 12, 2020
Memories of you my favorite beloved sister Barbara are so much, I am happy I had the privilege to be at your side to do your honours..I miss your Beautiful smile..the little darn stuff you would say to make me laugh out loud, your voice eyes expression was amazing you're smart ..empowering individual you never lose faith or Hope never settle for less you shine brightly like a star..your thoughts were your brain is your power pack tool..I miss making your special menu you're always in my Heart I love you always 🥰💝
May 12, 2020
I’m sorry we didn’t get the chance to meet in person but I felt your love connection from a distance, I’m happy that God gave me the opportunity to become the mother of your beautiful granddaughter “Solana Vinetta Foster”. She is all of you, 😊 we enjoyed the FaceTime video chats and you were always happy to hear from us. I’m happy you got the chance to see Solana’s first day attending school I would sometimes video call you for you to see her playing and having fun at school , I know those are moments you cherish. You never get tired of seeing videos or pictures of her, I would always ensure that I have new pictures sent for you to be apart of her growth. You were so concerned about us and the world know by your action, before we normally end any conversation you would always say “ I love you with my whole heart . “ I love you too sweetheart 😘 We love ❤️ you so much and you will be truly missed 😢SIP Mom.