In the island of Trinidad, in the year 1936, a star was born. Merle Alexis, better known as “Tanty Merle” was born on May 28th, 1936. She was the third child of her parents Maude and Harold Alexis, now deceased. She had three sisters and one brother, the eldest Agatha Alexis, Dewdrop Alexis-Robinson - now deceased, Nathaniel Alexis - now deceased and Shirley Alexis-Medina - now deceased. As a child, Tanty Merle attended the Forest Reserve EC School, and at the age 15, being the very ambitious person she was, went on to learn sewing. Her fierce independence, fueled her to start her small sewing business, which turned out to be successful in her little village. Being adventurous, she left her parents’ home in the village of Fyzabad and went to live in San Fernando. There she realized that she could do other things, babysitting, being one of them.
Tanty Merle’s pride and joy were her children Andy, Junior, Glorinne, and Desmond. When Tanty Merle decided to strive for a better life for herself and her children, reality soon set in. Tanty Merle then made the painful decision to migrate to the island of St. Croix in 1969, leaving her children behind in Trinidad with her parents. Tanty Merle thrived in St. Croix. She worked in different jobs and always made sure that her children, her parents, even her nieces, and nephews got a piece of St. Croix. She was the live wire where ever she went. Her home was a home for many. Whenever anyone visited her, she did everything possible to make everyone happy. Lights, Camera, Action. That was Tanty Merle.
In those days, St. Croix was the mecca for West Indians - flooded with refineries, which created many jobs. However, after the fall of the economy, many people migrated to different parts of the United States. In the year 1974, Tanty Merle moved on to Baytown Texas. Tanty Merle thrived there as well. Seeing the progress in her life, she decided to sponsor her four children to join her in Baytown. Tanty Merle prided herself on her children. She helped them through their transitions both with school and getting jobs. “Nobody rules Merle Alexis,” that was her motto. Whenever she felt cornered or overwhelmed, she retorted with this saying. She was a strict disciplinarian and always prided herself to be fair and truthful.
In 2012, Tanty Merle decided to come to God. She received Holy Baptism at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Mcnair, by Bishop Sherman Gray. After coming to God, she learned the painful truth about her sickness. Tanty Merle was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer which she battled from that time until Saturday 5th November when she drew her last breath.
Tanty Merle leaves to mourn her children Ivor Alexis, Junior Alexis, Glorinne Alexis-Charles and Desmond Alexis. Her grandchildren Atiba, Patrick, Aquana, Misty Dawn, Triston Jay, Adonna Rashema, and Triston. Her remaining sister Agatha Alexis, her nieces and nephews Daphne, Glynis, Lester, Nigel, Kevin, Colette, and Agene. Great nieces and nephews Roberta, Anika, Gilbert, Candis, Janelle, Marlon, Anthony, Isaiah and many more. She also leaves behind her extended families Auntie Pam, Uncle Clive, a host of many friends who she adored, her church family, and many others. In her life we loved her, and she loved us, but God loves her best. May she rest in eternal peace.