They all perished
By LISA S. KING
Freeport News Reporter
Observing the emotional distress of Biminites who had to board a Chalk's Airline flight to Miami yesterday to identify the bodies of relatives who perished in Monday's fatal crash, Bimini Chief Councillor Natasha Bullard-Rolle said it will take a higher power to pull them through.
Mrs. Rolle said many of them expressed the sadness of having to get on a plane taking them the same route their relatives perished in.
An official list of passengers from Chalk's Ocean Airways confirm that the 11 Biminites killed were: Genieve Ellis; Salome Rolle; Barto Dean, his wife Sabrena Dean and their infant daughter, Sabrea; Jacquelyn Stusrt and her daughter Niesha Fox; Don Smith and his grandson Jervis Stuart; Sophia Sherman and her daughter Bethany Sherman.
The other passengers were: Jacqueline Danquillecourt, Sergio Danquillecourt, Eric Johanes, Lawrence Johanes, Marlin Nochtigal, Richard Rutecky, Carolyn Burke, Pilot Michelle Marks and Co-pilot Paul Desantos.
"This tragedy has affected the lives of everybody here in this community," Mrs. Rolle said. "It if is not a blood relative, it is a good friend. The feeling throughout the entire community is very gloomy and sombre."
Speaking about the crash victims, Mrs. Rolle said many of them were very interesting people who all contributed to the community in their unique way.
She said Genieve Ellis was in her mid 60s and had recently retired after working nearly three decades as a janitress in the school. She described Ms. Ellis as a quiet lady who was very dutiful to her family.
Her sister Salome Rolle was also a janitress who worked at the South Bimini Airport. Ms. Salome Rolle was very active in the Holy Name Catholic Church. The women were reported to have been vacationing in Miami, where they attended their niece's wedding. They are also the sisters of Monsignor Simeon Roberts and Bahamasair pilot Gus Roberts.
Mrs. Rolle said Barto Dean and his wife Sabrena were a young couple in their early thirties. Their four-month infant Sabrea was her goddaughter. Sabrena, she said, was a beautiful baby who looked wonderful on the day she was christened at St. Stephen's Church in October.
Sabrena worked at BaTelCo and her husband Barto at Browns Hardware and Supplies. Barto was known as a very loyal and hardworking employee. Mrs. Rolle said he was very humble and would always have a smile on his face.
She said the couple was inseparable and have left behind two daughters, Tyrina Brennen, 14, and Bartovia, who is eight years old.
"Those girls were their pride and joy," Mrs. Rolle said.
Jacquelyn Stuart, she said, had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary on Sunday. A well-known straw vendor, she perished along with her teenage daughter Niesha Fox, who was a recent graduate of the Bimini All-Age School. The 17-year-old graduated as the valedictorian and was making preparations to go to college in January.
Jacquelyn leaves behind two other daughters: Nyajah, 16, and a young baby. She also has a son, Nycarcian, who is five. Sadly, she is also the aunt of Sabrena Dean.
Mrs. Rolle said their relationship was very close and she was known by many residents as the backbone of their family.
Don Smith, she said, was her godfather. He was the most loving man she has ever known. Originally from West End, she said he came to Bimini about 40 years ago.
Mr. Smith was the dock master at the Bimini Bay Game Fishing Club, a profession which gave him the opportunity to meet and befriend thousands of tourist.
"He would constantly brag about his children and grandchildren," she said. "He was humble and respectful of people and their feelings. In all my years that I have known my godfather, I have never heard him raise his voice to anyone."
She said he was loved and respected by many people in the boating community and was also a barber who had certain clients that refused to let anyone cut their hair but him.
Mrs. Rolle said she was a great admirer of her friend Sophia Sherman. The 39-year-old was a teacher at Gateway Christian Academy. Her two-year-old daughter Bethany perished along with her. Mrs. Rolle described little Bethany as an energetic and smart little woman who would always bear a big smile for her.
Mrs. Sherman leaves behind two sons, Kendry who is nine years old and Damian who is 11. Mrs. Rolle described Sophia as a loving mother who was a very spiritual individual that loved living the word of God.
"If there was one person I could imagine would be crying out to God it would be Sophia," she said. "She was always glorifying God."
Carolyn Burke was a resident of Bimini who owned an arts and crafts store and taught pottery to little children. She was an American who fell in love with Bimini and after retiring from teaching in North Carolina she moved to the island. She was known for her generosity in donating books and computers to the schools and was a volunteer at the Bimini Library.
Mrs. Rolle said her heart goes out to the children who are left behind to mourn for their parents. What makes it so sad she said, is that many of them were waiting in anticipation of the new clothes and gifts that were coming for them in time for the Christmas holiday. Now they will have to sit and wait for their bodies to come home.
"For this community to have to go through all of this, I don't know how we will make it, but I know that there is a higher power that can take us through," Mrs. Rolle said.
Barto and Sabrena Dean
© 2005 The Freeport News