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Ester Selvesteen Jones was born in San Fernando Trinidad on December 31st1955. She was the daughter of Rhoda and George Jones and the third of their five (5) children. She had six siblings Adina (UK), Alphaeus (UK deceased), Gloria (Trinidad deceased), Levey (USA), Martin (Trinidad) and Aline (Trinidad).
As a child she attended San Fernando Girl AC, then Mon Repos R.C. where she sat common entrance and attended St Stephen College Princess Town. There she spent five (5) years after which she attended ASJA Girls collage to complete her GCE full certificate. She started her work life at DAMUS where she worked from 1976 to 1990 at which time, she took the adventurous step to migrate to Chicago in the United States. She did this at the same time as her lifelong friend Lystra Charles Baptiste, who has been with her through thick and thin. She lived in Chicago for 33 plus years until her death on January 10th 2024. In Chicago she obtained her associate degree at Harold Washington College. She went on to complete her bachelor's degree in Marketing at Illinois Institute of Technology; worked as a baby sitter; worked at the Chicago Transit Authority. Ester also worked at the Avon Shop with Sonia Kalfas, another friend, who along with her husband and children became like family. Ester’s next work adventure was to open an Avon Shop of her own “EJ’s Avon” where she prospered until the downturn in the economy forced its closure. She was in the President’s club in Avon and through Avon she attracted many friends, who were there with her through to the end.
Although Ester did not have any biological children, she was a mother to many, many children. She loved children and in turn they loved her. She was a born nurturer. There was just something about her that children were drawn. In her teenage years she nurtured the next-door neighbor’s children, Jilly Ann, Kathy Ann, Jacqui Ann and Laurette Arthur. She then became a second mother to her nephews, her sister Gloria’s children Kieve, Kieron, Lee Vaughn (deceased) and Quintus who were born before she migrated to Chicago. She was living in Chicago when her niece Liseanne and nephews, Cordel and Kelan were born and though she had a long-distance relationship with her niece and nephews, they all felt her love and appreciation straight up to the time of her death. She was always invested and willing to support them in every stage of their lives. She had a special place in her heart for LeeVaugh who died in 2015, LeeVaughn was the child of her heart and from his birth wherever you found Aunty Ester, you found LeeVaughn. Ester said the only time she ever experienced depression in her life was when LeeVaughn died and it took her six (6) months to be able to come out of that fog of depression. When she came to America, she became the mother to so many more children, you cannot begin to count the sentiments that have been expressed as to how much of a loving and caring person she was. She mothered Jillian and Jordan when their mother passed away from cancer. Ester had a special relationship with Patricia and Obi Asonye and was like a mother to their four children, especially Emeka who was her godson.
Ester was loud, full of love and had a smile that lit up the room. When Ester was in your presence you knew she was there from a mile away. As a result, people were drawn to her. She made lifelong friends wherever she went. In Chicago Ester had her brother Levey as her main support. They lived together for some time until Ester moved out on her own. Every day Ester would call Levey to check up on him. Levey says he will miss her daily calls, although at times he did not answer her when she called. When Levey married Brenda in 2001 Ester gained a sister, who would be there to support her in good times and in bad. Ester spoke to her sister Aline every day, and this started even before there was all this technology to communicate internationally from Trinidad to the USA. These phone calls could last up to an hour and her nephews Cordel and Kelan would see their mother on the phone with Aunty Ester. They could not understand what they could have to say to each other EVERY day. But everyday together Ester and Aline shared their love and their life’s journey. This is a void which will be impossible to replace.
Ester was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in February 2021. She faced this challenge head on never complaining over the last three (3) years, never throwing a pity party. She trusted in God and held onto her faith believing that her God would take her through this journey. As a result, she went to Chemo, making friends at the Mt Sinai Infusion Center where she was seeking treatment. She became friends with the doctors, nurses even the patients. The doctors and nurses all marveled at Ester’s positive attitude throughout her cancer journey. When there was bad news with regards to her medical tests, she was the one comforting the doctors and nurses. Her mantra was “it is what it is” In the face of all her trials she never said why me Lord but maintained her faith and her positive attitude, throughout. If you spoke to her and did not know what she was going through you would never believe that she had been given a terminal diagnosis. Brenda and Levey moved mountains to support Ester before and during her Chemo journey, they were always there for her, providing the necessary help and support.
Ester did not have a negative bone in her body. She was open and honest and told you as it was. If you did not like the truth, you would not like Ester. Ester never stopped believing in herself and that power was infectious. Ester had a certain charisma. If she wore clothes her friends went out and bought the same. If she bought things for her house, she would have to share the link with her friends so they could buy it also. If she cooked a meal, they wanted the recipe. Even when they tried the recipe, it never came out the way Ester’s did because it was missing the special ingredient “ESTER”. She was an adventurous, forward thinker because she had vision. She could see things that people could not. She bought her home in 2012, it was a fixer upper and when she was finished with the renovations her friends said, they could never imagine, that the house could look so good. That was her using her vision. Ester lived a life of love, anyone who encountered her was showered with this love. She showed love, not only by her words but by her actions. She cared for her family and friends expecting nothing in return. She demonstrated her love for God by the love of her fellow men. She was kind and generous. Ester lived a life of kindness goodness and generosity. She was willing to give you the shirt off her back, if she saw you had a need. As she journeyed through life, she made friends and kept them as she went along. Ester kept her faith. She knew without a doubt where she was going. That the peace and joy she gave to so many is now returning back to her.
Ester it’s your turn to rest in peace, we will miss you greatly and we will never forget you. We love you, love you, love you, my Sista.
ESTER SELVESTEEN JONES of #1652 West Jarvis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626, USA, passed away on Wednesday January 10th 2024 at the age of 68.
She will be remembered as the:
Daughter of: The late George and Rhoda Jones of Trinidad
Sister of: Adina (UK), Alphaeus (UK dec), Gloria (Trinidad dec) Levey (USA), Martin (Trinidad) and Aline (Trinidad)
Sister-in-law of: Sandra Stanley (UK), Keith Martin (Trinidad), Carl Mc Lean (Trinidad), Brenda Makowsky (USA).
Aunt of: Bridget, Kenneth, Lorraine, Geoffrey, Valerie
Kieve, Kieron, LeeVaughn (dec) Quintus, Liseanne, Cordel, Kelan, Deandra and many others
Aunt In Law of : Curleen Peters Martin, Christopher Subero, Suzette Adhar
Great Aunt of: Meagan, Kira Lee, Miya, Celeste, Caydel and many others
Relative of: Jones, Ambrose, Ayres, Mc Burnie, Reid families, Kelvin Mohammed Ali, Vance and Sherina Anastacio, Carlton and Katija McCarthy, Nourisha Mohammed Ali, Saladin and Teiji Mohammed Ali, Sheriffa Piesen and Jimmy Mohammed Ali
Friend of: Lystra Charles Baptiste, Camlee Baptiste, Barbara Babb, Vernie Matthew, Joy Attong, Mrs Angela Arthur and family, Sonia Kalfas, Angela Hunt Fluckes, Patricia and Obi, Vivian Omoye Barnes, Chinwe Mojekwu, Cillene Osei, Chi Ojimba, Dale Forbes, Andrew and Harriet, Sharette, Margalita, Charles Poletunow, The DAMUS Family and many more
The family of the late ESTER SELVESTEEN JONES wishes to express their gratitude and sincerest appreciation to everyone who lent support during this time of grief with words of comfort, prayers and help, as we celebrate the life of an exceptional beloved Woman of God.
Visitation from 12:00 PM Saturday, January 13, 2024 until time of service at 2:00 PM at Seguin & Symonds Funeral Home, 858 Sheridan Road, Highwood, IL 60040. Light refreshments will be provided.
Livestream funeral service link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81853541520