When death comes close beside us and bids us follow, we will not be remembered for
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the size of our bank accounts, the kind of car we drove, how big our house was, nor
the price tag of our clothing. We will be remembered because we made a difference in
Avis Battiste was born on January 8, 1942, to proud parents Arthur and Mavis
Patterson in the parish of St. Andrew, Jamaica. She was the younger of two children.
Her older brother, Denzel Patterson, pre-deceased her in 2004. She obtained her
rudimentary education at Gordon Town Elementary school in St. Andrew. As a young
lady, she desired to be a seamstress and did it with perfection. Sewing was a skill that
would accompany her throughout her entire life. She made or altered many of her
children’s clothes, as well as her many church dresses.
In Jamaica, 1958, she married Whitburn Bloomfield. That union produced two
children: Carol and Leonard Bloomfield. In 1962, she migrated to England to join her
husband in seeking a better life for their family. During this time, they had three more
children: Pauline, Simon, and Gregory Bloomfield. The union ended in divorce, but a
few years later, she met Dumah Battiste at the Birmingham Airport while returning
from a trip to Jamaica. They later married and their union produced two children:
Jackie and Oliver Battiste.
In 1982, Avis and her extended family migrated to the United States. Avis soon decided
that it was time to unite the rest of her family and she petitioned for Carol, Leonard,
and her mother to join her in Florida.
Avis always had an inner urge for doing what was right in the sight of God. Avis and
Dumah became born again Christians, were baptized in Jesus name, and received the
Holy Ghost. Together, they set out to answer the call to help build various churches
throughout Florida and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Sundays, you could
rely on the couple for a road trip, traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Belle Glade to
assist with church services. Avis was a member of the Banner of Love church in Fort
Lauderdale, where she and Dumah served until the time of his passing in 2005. Later,
Avis found her new church home at Christian Life Center, Fort Lauderdale, where she
could be easily spotted across the sanctuary on any given Sunday in one of her fancy
church hats. Avis would not let her failing health stop her from doing God’s work. At
Christian Life Center, she served in the nursing home ministry and became part of a
special “Life Group,” which gave her the opportunity to connect more personally with
other church members, whom she came to love and cherish.
Avis was a strong, independent, and hard-working woman and had an infectious smile
that could light up the room. She had numerous jobs in her life, but the continuous
thread throughout them all was that they were always in a helping or nursing capacity.
She obviously loved caring for others.
Avis passed away peaceably in her bed on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Left to cherish
her memories are: her three daughters, four sons, 14 grandchildren, 11 great-
grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives, extended family
members, and friends. May her light perpetually shine through those whose lives she
touched with her love, her ministry, and her prayers.