It was a difficult goodbye today for the relatives and friends of 43-year-old Rupert Patrick Stoute who was brutally killed two weeks ago.
Pain, grief, sadness and tears showed on the faces of the hundreds who gathered at the Kingdom of Life Assembly Inch Marlow, Christ Church, for a lively service to mark the life of the man who did not allow his deafness to stop him from living a full life and having friends all over the world.
His brother Terri Stoute who shed the occasional tears had to be comforted. At one point, Terri buried his head in the lap of his grieving 75-year-old father Rupert Stoute, who also struggled to hide his tears.
Stoute’s 67-year-old mother tried to remain strong as her son’s casket rested just inches away at the front of the church.
Members of the deaf community, who accounted for a large section of the congregation, were also clearly hurting over the loss of their dear friend.
Stoute was beaten to death at the entrance of the Fairchild Street bus terminal while trying to protect a female friend who was also deaf. The incident took place around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday July 6.
Mardelle Lucas who read the eulogy spoke about how much the deceased loved life, family, and giving hugs and kisses.
Lucas said Stoute was neither deaf nor dumb, since he saw himself as complete as any other person.
She said he very seldom signed except when he was with his peers and was able to recognize that the phone was ringing although persons in the same room may not have heard it.
“His inabilities did not limit his potential or possibilities or his communication skills. Patrick had three or four cellphones, three televisions, tablets, radios, fire sticks, you name it, Patrick had it.
“He used many social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, and Messenger. If you can think of it, he probably used it. So his circle of friends was endless,” Lucas said.
“Patrick touched and warmed the hearts of so many persons. One couple, tourists to the island, met Patrick over 25 years ago. They heard about his passing and found a way to get to his parents’ house because of how Patrick treated them when he worked at the hotel where they were guests,” she added.
A moving sermon was delivered by Pastor Selwyn Brathwaite who spoke out about the crime situation on the island, which he said was creating tension and uneasiness for residents.
However, the Pastor noted that he does not believe there was a clear-cut solution to eliminate this “national crisis”.
“What I do know is the scripture makes it clear that the Government is responsible for driving terror in the hearts of evil doers.
“The legal system is supposed to drive fear in those who are morally reprehensible. The Government is supposed to send a strong signal to society that this will not be tolerated,” Pastor Brathwaite said.
Kemar Antoine Greene of Isolation Road, Belleplaine, St Andrew has been charged in connection with Patrick’s death. He was remanded to HMP Dodds to reappear in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court on August 6.
Stoute was laid to rest at the Christ Church Parish Church cemetery.