Adline Agatha Coley affectionately known as Ms. Tunny, Grandma, Aunty Tunny, Mama and sister Coley, was born on September 16, 1914 in Union, Balaclava, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica West Indies. She was first born to her mother, the late Louisa Chambers and the second of four girls born to her father, the late William Coley. Her sisters Gertrude Atkinson (Essie) and Edith Barnaby pre-deceased her.
Adline had no formal education as she was pulled out of school early to assist her parents. In order to support herself and children she became a self-taught midwife (Nana) delivering hundreds of babies in the Union, Content, Mt. Pleasant and Balaclava areas of St. Elizabeth.
As soon as she received the call of a mother in labor she would put aside whatever she was doing to travel miles to help that mother. She would visit that newborn up to two weeks after birth, to ensure mother and baby were healthy. When she wasn’t delivering babies, she washed and ironed clothes for a living, and farmed crops of yam, corn, peas and potatoes. Her garden flourished, but before she started her days work she would kneel in the field and pray.
Sister Coley lived a God-fearing life and received the call to Adventism at an early age. She embraced it for herself, her two daughters, her grandchildren who lived with her, family members, friends and whomever crossed her path. Every morning at 5:30AM whether you were sick, lame or lazy we had to meet at her bedside for morning worship.
Mama was a deaconess in the Balaclava Seventh Day Adventist Church, who many times single-handedly prepared the church for sabbath services. Her communion tablecloths and towels would be so incredibly white when presented, as she would leave them in the sun for days wetting and turning them to remove any and every stain.
In 1974, Ms. Tunny came to America to join her daughter Cynthia and five of her grandchildren. She soon found a place within the North Bronx SDA family. She was an ardent, dedicated member who looked forward to every sabbath with joy. She took part in the choir, plays and loved to recite poems. All who came in contact with her testified to the exemplary life she led as a mother, grandmother, friend and servant of God. She inspired the young and old and she was kind and strong. She was a woman of virtue and character who left lasting impressions on everyone she met. She instilled the love of God in her family and was a true witness for Jesus.
Grandma went peacefully on October 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm in The Plaza, at 100 W. Kingsbridge Road; where she spent the last 15 years of her life. Left to mourn are her two daughters, Murzel Persaud and Cynthia Boyd, ten grandchildren: Loy, Sandra, Maxine, Harvey, Huntley, Richard, Michael, Leon, Annette and Marilyn. One sister: Ruby Duncan, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, Niya Jameson, nieces, nephews, cousins, her church family and the dedicated staff of The Plaza, Saltzman 7. God saw the pain and called her home.
Thank you, God for giving her to us for one hundred and four (104) years.