Ethellene Adella Amsterdam was born on May 17, 1925 in the village of Free and Easy, West Bank Demerara, Guyana. She was the youngest of thirteen children born to William and Caroline Amsterdam.
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Ethellene attended and completed her formal education at Potosi Congregational School in West Bank Demerara, Guyana.
Auntie Della as she was familiarly called, was raised in humble conditions and worked alongside her parents and siblings on their land by farming for their upkeep.
As a young woman, Aunt Della developed several skills which would later prove very helpful in raising her family. She was a homemaker and had the ability to sew clothing for her children, use her ability to bake and cook to help provide for her family. She was also skilled in producing various types of embroidery that many of her designs were rare, some of which we have never seen replicated.
Aunt Della later met and married Roseman Joseph. Although her life was no fairy tale, she was hardworking and determined to give her family the best life that she possibly could with the resources available to her. Over time, Aunt Della was given the opportunity to migrate to the USA in 1989. She was not the type of person to sit idly and made the decision to seek employment to maintain some degree of independence. This allowed her to feel a sense of self-worth because she then had the ability to take care of herself and as she was accustomed to and help others.
In her role as a mother of ten, Aunt Della in very timely fashion offered words of encouragement to her children, whether it was a stern warning, a card, a telephone call, a letter, a visit etc., just perfectly timed. She was a no nonsense kind of mother.
Aunt Della had an ability to cook that made simple everyday meals seem special. At Christmas, among other things, she baked Guyanese Black Cake that could compare to the best trained bakers and enjoyed by all.
After Aunt Della arrived in the USA, she discovered that she was a diabetic. This condition would affect her life negatively and was responsible for her mobility being severely affected.
When she had the ability, she participated in the worship experience of her Roman Catholic faith. Thankfully, after she was unable to physically attend church services at her place of worship, St. Matthew’s R.C. Church, the Priest and leadership along with the visiting sisters of the Church, made it possible to visit her frequently at home and offered prayers, communion and companionship. For this accommodation, the family is very appreciative. Special thanks to Sis. Florence Patrick and Team. We are eternally grateful.
On the eve of Thanksgiving 2019, Auntie Della was taken to the ER and admitted for approximately one week. She was looking forward to going home and was discharged on December 6, 2019. God called her home on the night of December 8, 2019. She answered the call and departed peacefully. May her sour Rest In Peace!
She was greeted at Heaven’s Door by her children who preceded her in death, Winston, Dulcie, Averil, Claude, William and Alvin along with other family members and friends.
She leaves to mourn her children, Lance, Grafton, Dorette and Roxanne, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, sisters-in law, nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, daughters-in law, son-in law, many other relatives and friends. We do not lose the ones we love; they only go before. We now have an angel in heaven.
Gone but not forgotten! Alive in our hearts!