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Hyacinth

Hyacinth I Kirton

d. January 4, 2024

Port St. Lucie

Hyacinth Irene Kirton was born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She was the third of ten children born to Eileen and James Kirton.

When she was just a toddler, Hyacinth emigrated to Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles. As a child, she spoke 3 languages fluently: English, Papiamento and Dutch, with Dutch being the main language. She also learned French and Spanish at school and had a good command of those languages as well. 

Whenever the family gathered at the table for a meal, other languages were forbidden, as her father only spoke English so everyone had to speak English at the table as well. If anyone ever slipped up, one glance from Daddy Bobby would rectify the situation. As an older sibling, Hyacinth quickly honed her caregiving skills. She washed clothes and got the little ones ready for school. By the time she was nine, she was cooking and baking for the family. 

Hyacinth learned from the best as her mother was an award-winning cook and baker, who sold prized pastries in their family store to help make ends meet. Later, Hyacinth briefly followed in her mother’s footsteps as she had a short-lived internet business selling Caribbean Rum Cakes!

In her youth, Hyacinth attended Catholic school during the week and Mass every Saturday and Sunday. As an ambitious child, she would walk for miles and miles, selling raffle tickets door to door, to earnestly raise funds for the church. Despite her dedication, the local children teased her, calling her a “heathen” because she was an Anglican, while all of the students in her class were Catholic. As a teenager, Hyacinth and her family returned to St. Vincent. She completed her secondary education in English, which wasn’t her primary tongue at the time. 

After graduation, she became a civil servant and translated several legal documents for the court. After dedicating three years to civil service in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, flew across the pond to England to study nursing. Her heart danced with excitement at the idea of becoming a multilingual wizard, and she began to study Italian as well. Hyacinth had envisioned living in Spain and France, absorbing cultures and mastering languages, and even went as far as securing employment as an au pair in Spain. Cautionary whispers from her father and the chief nursing officer clipped her wings, and she ultimately gave up on her dream. 

Post-graduation from Nursing School in England, she strutted her scrubs as an Operating Room nurse for a spell. Hyacinth was not content with one corner of the United Kingdom and decided to go back to school, this time in Scotland, where she studied midwifery.  She  worked for eighteen months in a New York hospital, but later returned to England where she then studied Health Visiting. 

She had her own clinic, “The Child's Health Clinic”, where she worked in the community and taught health education in the schools. Eventually, she settled in the United States, closer to her parents whom she honored by caring for them, as they slowly lost the ability to best care for themselves. For the last 25 years of her nursing career she worked with children in the Pediatrics Ward as well as within the Neonatal and Pediatric ICUs in Brooklyn, New York. 

Hyacinth raised her only child, Rosamund, in Brooklyn. She was a strict and loving mother who was consistently involved in her daughter’s education and was an active volunteer in the schools, beginning in Kindergarten. She was such an involved parent that when her daughter graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, she was recognized with an award at the graduation ceremony for her years of devoted and dedicated service!

In the late 90’s Hyacinth was reunited with her first love. Hyacinth and Peter left St. Vincent and the Grenadines at different times to further their education and broaden their horizons in different countries. They lost touch with each other, and lived separate lives. Decades later, they were reunited and wasted little time - ultimately tying the knot in New York City in 1997 and moving to Port St Lucie in 2003.

The two of them were quite active and fit retirees! They’d typically rise before the sun for an early morning neighborhood walk, and oftentimes they’d be sitting in their vehicle waiting for the gym to open at 5am! A little later in the day they could often be found working as an Office Angel at the church, or even volunteering at Bayshore Elementary where Hyacinth once received the award of “Volunteer of the Year” for her work as a “Grandparent” for helping young students with their reading. 

At Nativity, Hyacinth truly enjoyed being a lay reader and was pleased to have been able to continue to do so virtually after she was no longer able to attend services in person. 

Another passion of hers was floral arranging, a skill she honed in retirement and she was always happy to share tips and techniques with new members of the Flower Guild, which she led for several years. Hyacinth also helped with the “Happy Hookers” and was constantly crocheting at home to donate hats, blankets and more to those less fortunate than us. 

Just 4 short months ago, in September of 2023, Hyacinth’s husband Peter went to be with the Lord. Hyacinth was such a devoted wife and mother, she often put the needs of her loved ones before her own. Sadly, by the time the recurrence of the cancer was confirmed, traditional treatment was no longer viable and Hospice was the only option. Hyacinth entered “Hospice in Place” in December, and after a painful and challenging fight, she passed peacefully at home on January 4, 2024. In the wake of Hyacinth's passing, her spirit lives on through the love and memories shared by those who were fortunate enough to be a part of her life's tapestry. 

Hyacinth is survived by her daughter, Rosamund, who undoubtedly inherits her mother's warmth, strength, and the indomitable spirit that defined her. She also leaves behind a squad of siblings—Noel, Vernon, Ronald, and Suzette—who, like a constellation of stars, each contributed their unique shine to the family galaxy. Together, they form a celestial bond that neither time nor distance can ever sever. In the vast orbit of Hyacinth's legacy, a constellation of nieces and nephews twinkle with shared stories, laughter, and lessons learned. Her impact reaches beyond the family tree, extending branches to embrace a forest of friends, colleagues, and kindred spirits. 

To know Hyacinth was to be touched by her grace, humor, and unwavering generosity. In honoring her memory, we find comfort in the collective embrace of the love she planted and nurtured throughout her remarkable journey.

A memorial service will be held to Honor Hyacinth at the Church of the Nativity 1151 SW Del Rio Blvd Port St. Lucie, FL on February 3, 2024 starting at 2PM. Following the memorial service the family will hold a memorial butterfly release. 

Below is the link for live streaming the service it will be available at 1:40PM EST on February 3, 2024.

https://www.youtube.com/live/eb87vS9WD1g?si=5G0-u3BcMlSp7oFX

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