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Celebration of Life
Veronica G. Chandler
Fondly also known as Tiny/Vero
Birth May 8, 1945 Sunset 10/23/2023
Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad
Daughter of Hilda & Philip Kendall (both deceased) Wife of Elijah Chandler (deceased)
Mother of Rachel, Jason, Kimberly, & Andre. Grandmother Tristan, Cheyenne, Savianna, Khyree, Brandon, Nashawn, Tyler, Emily, Olivia, Njye, Andre Jr., Sabriyah, & Adin.
Sister to Nobert (deceased), Winston, Philip (deceased), Roslyn, Lorraine, Claudette, Yvette (deceased), and Judy. Beloved aunt, cousin, and friend to many
Veronica was baptized/christened in the Anglican Church, St. James, Trinidad and attended church every Sunday and Sunday school, up until confirmation. After She attended primary school at St. Agnes Anglican school as well as her other 8 siblings. Veronica matriculated at Moulton Hall High School, Port of Spain, Trinidad. In her mid to late teens, Vero entered the workforce at Maidenform, located in Maraval, Trinidad.
In her spare time, Vero volunteered with the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, In this capacity, young women were introduced to basic medical training. Veronica took pride in her uniform as a ‘brigadista’, especially in her marching in the annual Queen’s Birthday Parade, at the Queen’s Park Savannah and Memorial Day Parade.
In 1966, Veronica migrated to the U.S. from Trinidad to attend cosmetology school in Harlem. She lived in Brooklyn, and shewelcomed her 1st daughter Rachel. Soon thereafter she moved to Long Island in the early 70’s. As she worked as a housekeeper, is where she met her husband Elijah. She always said he was hooked once he ate her home cooking. In June 1975, they were married and in September they welcomed their 1st child Jason. The family settled in Hempstead, NY until a house fire and the family’s car was also destroyed in the fire. The family temporarily located with her in-laws for 1 year, the in-laws lived in Westbury, NY. During the year she woke early to dress Jason (5 months) and Rachel age 6 to catch the bus to transport Rachel to school on time each morning. Veronica knew it was a temporary situation and she did not want Rachel to change schools. Veronica found a residence for her family on Clinton Street Hempstead, NY. After two years she was able to sure an apartment on M.L.K. Dr. Hempstead, NY. The family resided on M.L.K. Dr for over 20 years.
In 1978 she gave birth to Kimberly and 5 years later to youngestAndre. Vero became a home health aide after completing a program and held two jobs balancing cleaning homes and being a home health aide. On her small salary she was able to constantly provide food, shelter, and clothing for her 4 children. Veronica often cooked a hot meal each day, purchased clothing for her children using lay away or sale but never allowing her children to wear used clothing. During the harsh winter months,she would wait at the local bus to transport herself to work and arriving home tired with a bag of groceries. When she arrived home her fingers, feet were numb, and with socks wet and ice cold. She wore winter boots with a hole in the boots, and she continued to provide her family. Veronica gave her children money for school trips, picture day, snacks from the local store, and lunch as a result she counted pennies to obtain the bus for work. Veronica would hold to a bus transfer from the day before and hopes the bus driver wouldn’t notice for her to get to workto use as payment.
As a mother, Vero was self-sacrificing, rarely purchasing clothing for herself, rarely going to the hairdresser, never leaving her children to be cared by anyone unless she was working. There is a memory when the button fell off her pants and she used a string to hold the pants together, she would say Rachel, “Mammy have to get to work so I need this string because you guys need to have food in the house.”
In 1995 & 1996 she welcomed her two grandchildren Tristan and Cheyenne. She showed Tristan and Cheyenne the same love she showed her 4 children. Veronica showed her love to her children by cooking, she often cooked a special meal upon request from her children and grandchildren. In memory, she often awoke early in the morning, talking to the Lord. She would hand wash clothing and prepare children for school. It was challenging as a single mom but she always put her children first by handwashing a special purple outfit, hanging the outfit out to dry, and rising early to iron the outfit in time for school on that day, she would accept phones no matter the time to talk to her children to give advice, she would send funds to her childrenwhen she knew her adult children was in financial stress. I can recall she is calling me for over 35 years to say, “Rachel did you check the stove to make sure it’s off, did you check the windows and door to make sure it was lock.”
It was important to Veronica that she made her children aware of importance of GOD and church. Veronica christened each child, she sent children to church, vacation bible study, and gave knowledge from the bible. Veronica had a strong spiritual life and she encourage her children to pray.
Veronica never forgot her family in Trinidad, she can be seen looking for a sale to purchase items to fill a barrel to send to Trinidad for the holidays. There was one sister who prepared to be married in Trinidad and I spent time assisting Vero to crack two dozen eggs to send out in a cooler to take to Trinidad for my grandmother to make the wedding cake. Vero hosted many holidays dinner for her children and extended family. Veronicawelcomed many relatives who stayed for long, short, or medium periods of time. Vero could cook up a storm and one could often see and/or smell pelau; callaloo and crab; sweet bread, butter bread, pone, sorrell, mauby; ponche de crème, etc. She did not demand cash payment but she did expect some expression of gratitude.
Veronica also allowed strangers to stay at the home by the request of her children. If we told Vero that someone neededhelp and had nowhere to stay, she said, okay. Veronica would provide food, a place to sleep, and treat the person as if there were one of her children or family without hesitation.
Vero and children became integrated in the neighborhood on M.K. L. Dr., and she would always give a helping hand to her neighbors. She cared for neighbors’ children when their mother was in the hospital, she cooked for weddings, repass, or any other occasion and she was willing to give advice to the youth in the neighborhood.
Vero had several enjoyments in life, she loved to cook, she felt joy and pride when others ate and enjoyed her cooking. She would say they licked their fingers or chops after her meal. She always saved container for family and friends to take her home cooking. Sit and remember the curry chicken, curry crab, oxtails, or mac & cheese.
Veronica loved to shop, she used coupons, and she was thrilled to obtain a bargain, a sale. If I called and told her I purchased a dress, and it was over $30.00. She commented, “Rachel, I think you got ripped off. They have change for you.” Veronica menus always comprised by what is on sale at the supermarket, she loved the can can sale at ShopRite. She looked forward to what she called a “dog crashing sale.” I remember asking her as a teenager if it’s a dog crashing sale why there are no dogs at the store.
Veronica knew how to make anyone laugh, and her laughter was infectious. She was witty and she had a spicy personality. She kept abreast of local new, politics, and celebrity news. Vero can be heard singing sounds from Barry White, Lou Rawls, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and words from her favorite hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
In 2002, the family relocated to Florida until she departed from this world.
Veronica was the epitome of selflessness, which was sometimes taken for granted and often, misunderstood. Vero had a giving heart, friendly spirit and only rarely did she display anger, toward siblings or acquaintances. Veronica stated her life goal was to become a mother and she was proud of being a mother and grandmother. Her children were her life and is the reason for her living.