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March 13, 2023
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Aleitha Drayton was born to Walter and Louisa Drayton in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in the West Indies. Aleitha was the middle child of Walter and Louisa’s 13 children. Though Aleitha never mentioned the schools she attended, she did speak fondly of a teacher that she admired, Ms. Barr. A seamstress by trade, Aleitha made and fixed clothing as a means of providing for her children. Aleitha lost her sight while in her 40’s after suffering from severe headaches for many months. She said when the headaches finally went away, so did her sight. Knowing she would no longer be able to make a living as a seamstress, Aleitha decided to move to the United States to learn more about her headaches and her lost vision.
Aleitha spent a few months in the hospital in New York as they worked to determine the cause of her headaches and lost vision. No reason or resolution was ever determined. Though disappointed that she would never see again, Aleitha’s drive and determination to enjoy life, kept her moving forward. Aleitha moved to Indianapolis, Indiana from Trinidad in the 1970’s to be near her only living daughter, Jacqueline. Her youngest son, Horace, helped Aleitha to become a permanent resident of the United States when he joined the United States Army. Aleitha began working on the assembly line at Services for the Blind, where she packed fuse boxes and assembled various car parts. She worked for Services for the Blind for 10 years to ensure she would be able to collect social security.
Aleitha’s grandchildren meant the world to her. She raised some of her grandchildren and helped to raise some of her great-grandchildren. Aleitha was lovingly known by everyone as “Ma”. Ma was also known for giving her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even some extended family members nicknames. Mothers placed their children in her arms, and she affectionately would choose a fitting nickname. From that moment on, that infant, child, and adult would forever be known to her by that nickname and that person would always let her know, as they entered her space, that “insert nickname” was coming in to greet her.
Aleitha was very strong and selfless, believing in family above all else, She was a Christian woman, who took her role as matriarch very seriously. Like it or not, everyone received a “piece of her mind” whenever she felt like they needed such. Her strong wit, sharp tongue, infectious laughter, love for calypso and dancing, and her unconditional love, will be greatly missed.
Aleitha Drayton departed this earthly life March 13, 2023. She is survived by four of her five children, Courtney Hewitt, Calvin Hewitt, Jacqueline (Drayton) Preddie, and Horace Drayton, and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Aleitha was preceded in death by her parents; all of her siblings; her infant daughter, Jeannette, and a host of family members and dear friends who lived in Trinidad.