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"SOK" 2003 Obituary


SOKOLOSKI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-17 published
Dither Joyce DALEY
By Diane SOKOLOSKI, Monday, November 17, 2003 - Page A14
Wife, sister, mother, auntie, grandmother, friend. Born September 21, 1936, in St.Catharine, Jamaica. Died August 21, in Pickering, Ontario, of colon cancer, aged 66.
Grand Central Station is the nickname of a special house that seemed to have a hundred people whirling through at any given time. Dither DALEY was the matriarch of this Grand Central Station.
In 1955, during a Youth for Christ Rally in Morant Bay, Jamaica, Dither McCALLA drew closer to gospel music that was flowing out of some loudspeakers. Her parents always told her that when she has the Lord to rely on, life will be so much richer. Desmond DALEY was playing that music, and Dither got his attention that day -- and forevermore. They were married and eventually had seven children together (including twins).
In those days, Grand Central Station was a zinc-roofed bungalow in Morant Bay with mischievous cows roaming the fields. Dither raised her kids so they could be successful in school and take their places in the world.
An Evangelical Gospel Hall in Kingston was their home away from home, and the DALEYs had one bench all to themselves. Every Sunday as their micro-bus wound its way along Jamaica's twisting roads, the singing DALEY voices could be heard floating out toward the Caribbean Sea.
The Grand Central Station kitchen was the place to be, with the smells of mangoes, coconuts and ackee and saltfish in the air. The DALEY kids remember their mother singing all the time, in response to their demands for attention: "I'm coming, the Lord says I'm coming..."
Dither was never one to ask for help even when she needed it. Once she announced, "I swallowed a chicken bone." Dither worked the bone down and went on with her chores! Even with Grand Central Station being packed to the rafters with the DALEYs, Dither and Desmond found the time and patience to help four sets of foster children through some tough times. Dither made sure Grand Central Station was the kind of house that could absorb lots of people and make everyone want to stay. With the help of sponsors, the nine DALEYs, all on the same visa, made it to Canada in 1972 in the middle of a bone-chilling winter. Once in Toronto, Dither and Desmond worked hard inside and outside the home to provide for their family, and during that time the kids grew up and produced 18 grandchildren. Some of the original foster children still keep in touch and the generations gravitate to wherever Dither and Desmond make home base.
On January 1, with sparks flying, the multicultural DALEYs come from far and wide to greet the new year, celebrate life and pray. It is at these crazy feasting times that Grand Central Station is just the way Dither liked it -- bursting at the seams with God's love, family and Friends.
In 2002, Dither was diagnosed with colon cancer and she made a brave attempt to fight the disease with organic food and natural supplements, rather than breaking her body down with chemotherapy.
For more than 25 years, Dither and Desmond went to a little church in Scarborough called Bridlegrove Bible Chapel. Precious excerpts from Dither's journal were read at the her funeral there. Dither treated every day as a new chance to praise God and give thanks for the acts of kindness bestowed upon her by the people in her life.
Diane SOKOLOSKI is a friend of Dither DALEY.

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