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Althea Marcial was born on June 14, 1927 in Port of Spain Trinidad, and earned her heavenly wings at 96 years old, on November 8, 2023 in New Jersey.
What does one say about “Tantie” Althea without mentioning her positive energy and sense of humor? For her friends and family, it went deeper than that.
Althea loved learning and was a natural caregiver from an early age. In fact, she raised her three younger siblings. She was a prolific seamstress, and her ensembles were sought out both in Trinidad and when she moved to the United States. She generously made ensembles for her nephews and nieces as well.
Her family home on Piccadilly Street, behind the bridge, was the town meeting point, especially during the Carnival season. Her nephew Anton recalls the Carnival Monday and Tuesday “outings” to the Grand Savannah Stands to watch the many Mas Bands as well as steel bands such as the Tdad ALL STARS. Spending time by her family home as a child also meant going up in the “Alley” to witness among other things, how a kite was made, and the process of grinding glass bottles to spread on the kite’s thread in order to send opponent kites into open space. Anton lovingly remembered Althea coming out to represent the elder Marcial clan in celebration of his college graduation when his parents were unable to leave work.
Althea moved to Brooklyn in the 70’s and put things in place for the rest of her family to join her effectively making North America their new home. Her Brooklyn home continued to be the favorite place for all her friends and family. Her home was a “judgement free” zone and everyone felt loved and appreciated there. Althea was the consummate entrepreneur earning extra cash from sewing, selling Avon, countless mail order businesses, and jewelry sales… all while working full time. She knew how to make ends more than meet so her family had what they needed.
She married Vernon Marcial in Trinidad, and they shared many loving decades together. They were famous for their trips to Atlantic City where they were treated as royalty at the Sands. They shared a love of Turner Classic musicals and music. Her love of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful soap operas continued even when she moved to New Jersey in 2020. From recording them on VCRs back in the day (complaining about the “stripidness” with her friends) to the nightly ritual with Garth, Jasmine and Joey.
Althea was a very spiritual woman and had a deep relationship with her Lord and Savior. Back in Trinidad, she was involved in what her nephew described as “d Unity Prayer Assembly”, in which she was a serious member. On Wednesdays, she would travel to San Juan to meet with friends/family to walk to the Himalaya Club for weekly meetings. This group was a group of spiritually minded people focused on sharing God’s powerful word, with the belief that with him in your daily life, nothing is impossible. Her faith sustained her through good and bad times. She probably could recite all her favorite Psalms backwards and forwards. Her prayers blessed many of her family, friends, and strangers.
Althea, Ma, Tantie, Grandma, and friend will be missed by all who knew and loved her. Her gorgeous green eyes and beautiful spirit will be missed. However, the joy of 96 years of memories will never die.
Althea is survived by her son Garth Marcial, daughter in law Eileen Marcial, sons Gary and Garnet and daughter Claudette Marcial, her sister Rosa Smith, brother Bertram Newton, many grandchildren, great grandchildren and yes…great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends- most notably Ann Durham who NEVER missed a birthday visit.
She is preceded in death by her husband Vernon. 2 sisters Hillary and Claudia.
Her 3 brothers Clem, Lyndon and Jamesy, as well as two sons Lawrence and Anthony. Let us not forget her beloved cats Garland and Lee