Laurence Macdonald Franklyn was born in Gasparillo, Trinidad on June 22, 1943, to Leonora Franklyn and Joseph Checkley. His grandmother exercised her veto power and renamed him ‘Malcolm.” That name stuck from thereon. Malcolm was the second of nine children – Lincoln, Carl, Aubrey, Lennox, Reynold, Lynette, Merle, and Lionel.
Malcolm was educated in Trinidad, where he trained to become a land surveyor. In his spare time, he hung out with the local thespian community, where he fostered relationships that lasted his entire lifetime. Malcolm migrated to the United States in the early 1990s and immediately became an active and well-loved member of the Trinidadian community in Brooklyn, New York. His easy-going nature, his ‘sweet hand,’ his generosity and kindness made everyone who met him feel at ease in his
He was a regular fixture at Caribbean events such as West Indian Labor Day parades, backyard parties, Steelband competitions, and cookouts. He loved strolling around street festivals in the Village in Manhattan, bargain hunting in the flea market, cooking, and all things Trinidadian.
His hands were blessed. He rescued dying and discarded plants, loving them back to fully blossoming life, and he could produce a quick, delicious meal with few
Malcolm experienced a perfect storm in his life when his decisive nature and his love of jazz collided in 2001. He followed his passion to a jazz festival in St Lucia, where he met Suzanne, whom he married after a brief courtship. Together they made their home in Central New Jersey, where he lovingly accepted the role of father to Suzanne’s teenaged daughter Sonya. Years later, he would become the proud and doting Pappy to his first grandchild, Saniya. Malcolm and Saniya bonded over music as he imparted his love for icons such as The Mighty Shadow, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson, making an old-school music fan of the then 4-year-old.
Malcolm was a loyal and generous soul who cared deeply about the families of the people he loved, always leading off conversations with “How de kids goin?”
Malcolm is predeceased by his parents and siblings: Lincoln, Aubrey, Lennox, Reynold, Lynette and Lionel.
He lives on in the hearts of his wife, Suzanne, stepdaughter Sonya, granddaughter, Saniya; brother, Carl, and sister-in-law Brenda; sister, Merle; nieces – Patty-Sue, Lindee-Ann, Quianna, Tamika, Petal, Ayanna, Simone, Jovana, Felicia, Sherry-Ann, Michelle, and nephews – Justin, Michael, Carl Jr, Otis, Dareem, Julio, Jose, and Andy; great-nieces and great-nephews and the John family. He will be deeply missed by his extended family, limin’ pardners, sisters and brothers from other mothers, and his Macy’s family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
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