The sobs of a family in mourning echoed through the Restoration Ministries church Saturday afternoon at the funeral of 18-year-old Kadeem Ranaco Ifill.
Ifill died on February 26 after a shootout with police in the densely populated community of London Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
Scores of people gathered at the Britton’s Hill church to commemorate the life of the jovial 18-year-old.
The former St George Secondary student who was affectionately called Baw Baw was described as a “real boyish boy” by his aunt Michelle Brathwaite. During her tribute, Brathwaite spoke of Ifill’s love for horse racing, football and riding and fixing bikes. Outgoing and lively, his liking for outdoor activities was to his detriment Brathwaite suggested. She said that a few weeks prior to her nephew’s death she expressed concern about his penchant for liming with his friends.
“I had high hopes for Baw Baw and I would always pray for him to unearth his talents because he was just so good with his hands. Only a few weeks prior to his death I said to Mummy ‘I would really like Baw to get a steady little job to keep him quiet during the day’. I guess I recognized the perils and hated what he liked, being outside liming. Kadeem loved outside, he loved liming and socializing with his friends. A bit too much for my liking but that was his character and it was that side of his character that played a part in his untimely death, unwarranted though it were,” she said in tears.
“This is the worst nightmare of every mother and every family. We cannot comprehend all that has transpired,” Brathwaite stressed.
She fondly recalled that the teenager was talkative, respectful and a genuine individual who cared for his family and friends immensely.
“Many young and even some older persons today do not concern themselves with the welfare of others first and foremost but Baw did,” Brathwaite recalled.
“Baw Baw was a great help and would always be summoned to help with odd jobs around someone’s home,” she added.
Ifill’s aunt went on to share that he was truly the baby of his mother’s children. The teenager would constantly check on his mother and go above and beyond for her when asked.
“His mother fondly remembers him calling her daily during her lunch break at work just to check in and see how she was doing. She also remembers him as the one who could crawl into the bed just to cuddle even as a teenager. He was her last and the baby of her bunch,” Brathwaite revealed.
Officiating pastor David Durant told the tearful family not to wallow in their grief but remember Ifill’s cheerful personality and how much he was loved by not only his family but members of the community.
“Gathering here gives you a time to bring closure, an opportunity to say farewell,” said he said.
Durant also called for an end to the criminal activity in the country. Ifill’s death occurred on the same day that various churches gathered at the Restoration Ministries to pray.
“We want to pray and ask God for intervention and ask God to speak to the hearts of our youths especially those who are angry, those who are frustrated, those who are rejected, those who have been hurt and those who have been abandoned, come to the church of God we have people who are there to help. If you feel like doing something foolish, stop and think – the church doors are open,” he advised. (KK)