Victoria Agatha Senior was born to Edith Louisa Dixon and Charles Nathaniel Senior on December 18, 1923 at Prospect District, St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica, West Indies. She was raised by her grandparents who lived across the road from each other, making it easy to travel from one house to the other. She attended early schooling and church in the same building; Giddy Hall All-Age School and Giddy Hall Presbyterian Church. She later attended Tutorial College in Kingston, Jamaica’s capitol.
Victoria migrated to the United States, arriving by float plane in New York Harbor in 1944. In 1946 she married John Henry Vassall, who was also from St. Elizabeth. They were married for 62 years until his passing on July 1, 2008. Together “Mama and Dada” raised seven children: Cheryl Melanie, John Henry II, Robert Everett, Virgilia A, Edythe Anne, Lilleith Annette, and Merlene Alicia.
While raising her youngest four children, Victoria worked for 16 years for the NYC Board of Education as a teacher’s aide at Public School 282 in Brooklyn, and attended Medgar Evers College. In 1982 she moved with her husband John to Decatur, Georgia, where she worked in the Head Start program for four years before retiring. They returned to Brooklyn in 2003.
Victoria had a love of words and often wrote short stories of her life experiences. In one, titled “Our Family Forest,” she tried to explain to her sister how they were related to a particular cousin. The story was as complicated as standing among trees with overlapping branches and tangled roots, trying to figure out where one tree ended and the next one began.
Victoria loved nature and reading books about Jamaica and Black American leaders. She attended the St. Louis Senior Center where she played bingo almost daily. She enjoyed watching soap operas and television game shows, solving crossword puzzles, and playing Scrabble (her favorite board game).
Victoria leaves to mourn her passing four siblings: Ruby, Jean, Fione, and Clive; seven children, five grandchildren: Omar, Victoria, Vivian, Vanessa, and Aminyo; and one great-granddaughter, Genesis.
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