Viola L. Saunders

September 16, 1937July 9, 2018


Viola Leona “Janet” nee Glasgow Saunders, was born on the 16th of September, 1937 to parents Claudia Glasgow and Ephraim Agard in the village of Queenstown, Essequibo Coast. She was the eldest daughter and the first born of nine: Wilbert, Clifton, Jerrick, Derrick, Cleveland, Arnold, Rosy, and Jenny. Viola completed her school leaving at St Bart’s in Queenstown Village. At age 19, Viola became a young mother, giving birth to her first child, son Barrington in February of 1956. Five Months before his birth she showed just how strong she can be as the Caribbean faced one of the most treacherous hurricanes on record. Its name was Hurricane Janet. Her strength and resilience through this storm is where she was given her, call name, “JANET.” This name stayed and carried on with her until her death. Many people to this day have always assumed that it was her birth name and not a given name.

As a child Viola was very active and she participated in many extracurricular activities, such as athletics, dominoes, rounders, and cooking. Cooking was her favorite. To support her family financially she sold produce at the Parrika Stelling. Around the year 1966 she met Assistant Superintendent of Police John Saunders. She was employed by him as a “Helper,” as John would call it. John, had a philosophy that no one should be considered a servant or maid, but as a helper. Her role was to manage his household and children, Derrick, Orin, Terry, Cheryl, and Debbie. While working for Mr. Saunders, Viola and her three children Barrington, Linden, and Vivorn lived with them. Viola’s second set of children followed during this time they are: Mawuto, Zola, Noni Sharon, and Claudia Felicia.

Viola was a simple woman, who made an indelible mark on her community in the village of Queenstown, Essequibo. She was proud of the village, her community and humble upbringings. As she saw opportunities for social and economic upliftment for herself, she made it her duty to bring along others, especially young women in her community. This made a direct influence and contribution not only in their lives but also in the overall development of her village.

In 1982 John, 68 married Viola, 45 at the Universal Church of Scientific Truth in Georgetown, Guyana. In 1985, she migrated to Brooklyn, NY to live with her husband. She sought out employment and was trained and hired as a Home Health Provider, until she retired in 2000. In 2003, Viola moved to Columbus, Ohio to live with her daughter Felicia and her husband Alhagie. She would travel back and forth to Guyana to be with her husband. Who had retired, and migrated back to Guyana, and was living in Dingwall Farm, Correntyne. John and Viola shared their lives together for 39 years until his death in April of 2005. She never remarried. When Felicia and her family moved to Lilburn, GA in July of 2013, Viola continued to live with them until her passing at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale of a cardiac arrest, on July 9th 2018.

True to her nature she was kind and supportive to everyone she met, non-judgmental and never to hold malice. One of Viola’s greatest assets was her sense of humor. She loved laughter and having a good time and was always ready to entertain and have fun time with it.

Viola is survived by her children: Barrington, Vivorn, Linden, Mawuto, Noni Sharon, and Claudia Felicia. Zola preceded her mom in death. Grandchildren: Samouri, Kesha, Stephanie, Dian, Shakem, Kadeem, Aminah, Hannah, Khasim, Alexis, Denzel, Connor and Fatuomatta. Great Grandchildren: Denzel Jr., Serenity, Christopher, Alveena, Gevina, Geniva, and Gevian. Viola leaves two brothers to mourn her Arnold and Cleveland Glasgow, countless family members, as well as her near and dear friends. She will be missed.


Viola L. Saunders

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