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A  L I F E  W E L L  L I V E D

Lynette Noelle Peters

Remembering our dear sister Lynette.

A life well lived in faithful service to Jehovah. 

"You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands."
-Job 14:15

Biography

      Lynette Noelle Peters
(1941-2023)

A Life Well Lived

Lynette Noelle Peters was born on December 29th, 1941 in what was then British Guiana (now Guyana), a tropical English-speaking country in South America. She was the eldest of 10 children born to James and Lydia Peters (both deceased). She is survived by: Her siblings Hermine, Joyce, James (Jimmy), William (Billy), Joseph, Rose, Charles, Raymond and Winston: her brother-in-law Richard, and sisters-in law June, Rosemary, Flora and Lorraine.   

She was the aunt of: Joann, Roxanne, Gillian, Kemtis, Andre, Larissa, Kizzy, Wally, Karen, Alvin, Keith, Yohanne, Koretta, Charlene, Tamara and Charcelle. Great Aunt of: Keyshawn, Isis, Cassie and 16 others.

When Lynette was 11 years old, her mother met Jehovah’s Witnesses and began studying the Bible with 2 missionaries. She would often relate how she observed the joy that the missionaries radiated, delighting in preaching and teaching tirelessly. Their example kindled a desire in young Lynette to set missionary service as a goal.  Four years later, at the age of 15, she dedicated her life to Jehovah, got baptized, and entered the full-time pioneer ministry upon completion of high school.

The course of her life would take an exciting turn when, in 1969, she received the thrilling invitation to attend The Watchtower Bible School of Gilead in Brooklyn, New York. One of 54 students from 21 countries, Lynette graduated from the 48th Class of Gilead and received her assignment: Sierra Leone. The challenges of a single missionary sister in a new land were many, but Lynette was undaunted. From working hard to master the local Krio language, she would come to learn the culture and develop a deep love for the people, aiding many to learn the Truth and take their stand for pure worship. She said it best in her Life Story published in the 2007 Watchtower, “I quickly gained mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends, and my assignment became my home”. Lynette did not just adapt to new hew home, she embraced it, the land, its people and their culture. (For the full story please Click Here.)

Civil war broke out in Sierra Leone in 1997, forcing Lynette and her fellow missionaries to flee a rapidly deteriorating and tense situation, to Guinea. They returned 1 year later to Sierra Leone only to flee seven months later as the war erupted again. Lynette and her longtime roommate, Cheryl Ferguson, would eventually remain in Guinea, after 27 memorable and satisfying years in Sierra Leone. She would always treasure her years there, the people who became her family and the physical beauty of the land.

The missionary work was perfect for her. It provided countless opportunities to meet and help people and form precious bonds. Teaching people about Jehovah and his promise of a paradise earth with no poverty or disease was central to her ministry. She had this endlessly curious mind, always listening, observing, and learning. She wanted to get to know people and would keep in touch with many, often writing little sincere notes of encouragement to many. Her keen sense of history and current events deepened her understanding of the African continent and her empathy and appreciation for its people.

 

As the years passed, she saw the children and grandchildren of those she had met when she arrived in Sierra Leone and Guinea. To many she had now become Maman Lynette, a much beloved part of their lives, a constant and stabilizing presence. So many of the sisters and friends knew they could always lean on Maman for advice, encouragement and sound scriptural counsel. Without a doubt, Africa had become home and there is where her heart felt most complete. The African Brotherhood had become her people and she had become theirs. As an example, here is what Godwin and Selimat Gbale immediately said on hearing of her death:

 

“We will definitely miss Maman, her wonderful qualities e.g., her unfailing love, patient, hospitality, endurance, generosity, self-sacrificing spirit and her spirituality is Worthy of imitation. We will see her very very soon (Job 14:7-8,13-15).”

 

Now, those who knew Lynette, knew that she loved life. And it was often the simple things in life that meant the most to her.  If Lynette loved a particular song, she would politely ask for it to be played again and again much to the amusement of her siblings.  She loved a simple meal with a family member or a friend, or a conversation with a Christian Brother, Sister or Child. She remembered people and their circumstances and struggles. Her many poignant notes reminded their recipients of how much she cared. Her siblings over the years came to know so many of her friends because she never ceased speaking about them, or delighting in opening up her phone to show pictures of the people, missionaries and local friends, who were such a big part of her life.  She truly loved her Brothers and Sisters.

 

Many of us who spent time with Lynette know that she always focused on the positive and refused to complain, even when faced with civil war, material constraints or a severe health struggle. She calmly accepted reality and saw things through the lens of God’s Word and His purpose.  

Someone once remarked that Lynette refused to grow old, even as the years went by. I think it is because she remained young at heart – connecting to all ages, enjoying a good show, a good song and forever retaining that curious mind that never tired of listening and learning.  Now, it was well known that she loved to dress tastefully and elegantly. Her siblings often smiled at the time it would take her to put herself together for an event. Her brother Charles fondly described her as a “fashionista” and a “bargain hunter”. If you could muster the courage to accompany her shopping, you would have to be prepared to walk endlessly for many hours as she examined an item, put things back, go from store to store, only to return to the first one she started at. On each trip to New York or Atlanta to visit with her family, Lynette would prepare for her return to Africa by getting items for an expectant mother, a soon to be bride, a little child, and for those of little means.  Giving to those in need was something that meant so much to her.

Her humility was one of her defining qualities.  You would never know she was a missionary unless that subject was raised.

Flora, one of her sisters in law, reminisced about the advice and guidance she could lean on Lynette for. She reflected, “not only was her counsel wise, practical and scriptural, but I could always be assured of her discretion and confidentiality”.

In October 2020, in the height of the Covid pandemic, Lynette came to the United States for what should have been a brief visit. She would never return to Africa. While in New York, she received the diagnosis of cancer. She faced it just as she had faced all of life’s challenges – with resolve, fearlessness and quiet acceptance, never a complaint. When asked if she was sleeping at nights, she replied with her signature calmness “I don’t have an issue with that. I sleep”. That underscored the priceless inner peace that she always possessed.

One evening in January 2023, after she had already been experiencing the debilitating effects of cancer, her adopted Brother,Daleep (whom she fondly referred to as Peters # 12) asked her if she was scared. Lynette replied “No. If this had happened when I was much younger, I might have felt differently. But I have lived my life and done what I really wanted to do…. Its ok if I have to sleep and wake up with Mother P (the affectionate title that her deceased Mother had earned). Once again, it was crystal clear how strong and brave a servant of Jehovah she was. Her love, trust and faith in Him, and His promise of a resurrection, were unquestionable and unwavering.

Her comments at Christian Meetings, whether in person or on zoom, were valued tremendously. Despite the crippling effects of chemotherapy, her voice and mental clarity remained strong and a source of inspiration to many.

On October 20th, 2023 around 5:40 AM, Lynette went to sleep in death at the Long Island Jewish Hospital.

For the countless persons who have met and come to know her, today may bring a tear to the eyes. But, it is quickly replaced with a smile… because Her’s was a life truly worth celebrating.

 

As a young girl, she dreamt of becoming a missionary and she lived that dream. Doing so completely, loyally, and humbly. No regrets. She was Peaceful. Obedient. A true friend. Fashionable. A lady of class and quiet dignity. 

 

Her story is one to reflect on…One to inspire……. And one to cherish….

How thrilled we are to have had her as a special part of our lives. And very soon, we will have her again.  

Without a doubt we can confidently say:  Sister Lynette…Maman Lynette…... yours indeed, was “A Life ….well lived.”

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