In the morning hours of September, 17, 2020, Marie-Claire Jacqueline Bléus Joseph, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and trusted friend passed away peacefully in her sleep alongside her doting husband of 47 years in their home in Brooklyn, NY.
Jacqueline was born to Antoine Bléus and Justine Valmé in Port-au-Prince, Haïti. She showed signs of her engaging spirit at a young age. Her love of cooking started as a young girl as she negotiated payment in ingredients for completing chores from her grandmother and neighbors so that she could cook meals for her siblings and friends. She grew up steps from the National Palace and completed her primary education at Madame Pelecier and Republique Venezuela. It was during this time that she and her sister, Ghislaine, gained notoriety for their singing talent and were selected to perform a duet at a Christmas Concert hosted by President Paul Magloire. She completed her secondary education at Lycée de Jeune Filles and spent many carefree days at Champs de Mars, the public park in the heart of Port-au-Prince. She also worked briefly during this part of her life as a cashier at the family-owned Valmé Pharmacie. She attended Costcomat Culinary Institute where she explored her passion for food preparation, studied classic French cuisine, learned pastry arts, and mastered Haitian delicacies. She achieved top honors and was recognized for finishing first in her class. After she completed her culinary education, she started her first professional role working as an accounting clerk at Régie du Tabacs et Allumettes, a Haitian regulatory agency that oversaw the tobacco trade and matchstick production in the country.
Jacqueline made the decision to join her sister in Brooklyn, NY and emigrate to the United States in November 1967. After working as a sous chef for private clients across the New York Tri-State Area, she decided to pursue a career in the medical field. She obtained her post-secondary license as a Clinical Laboratory Technician from Manhattan Medical Assistants School and completed her internship at Lefferts General Hospital. It was during this internship that she met Wesner Joseph and they were later married on October 2, 1972. This long lasting union produced two children whom she adored and lovingly raised. After the birth of her first child, Jacqueline made the conscious decision to throw herself completely into the role of stay-at-home mother and homemaker. She fully embraced the role and took pride in being the epitome of constant care, unconditional love, and an ever present source of support. She was well-known for her flair for fashion and skills with a sewing machine. In fact, she not only designed and made her own clothes, but clothes for her children and furnishings for the family’s home. Everyone who knew her was captivated by her sparkling personality, feisty spirit, quick wit, full bodied laugh, admired her love of music, dance, home decor, fashion, and enjoyed her cooking. She spent her later years enjoying travels with her family and caring for her beloved grandchildren.
Jacqueline is survived by her husband Wesner Joseph, Sr., her daughter Erinkate Joseph Peart, her son Wesner Joseph, Jr., her son-in-law Mario Peart, her sisters Anite Hérard, Ghislaine Bléus Celestin, her brother Wilbert Bléus, her four grandchildren Justine & Jeremie Peart and Analia & Chase Joseph, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Justine Valmé and Antoine Bléus, her grandmother, Louisina Labat Gabriel Valmé, who raised her and her siblings, her brother, Claude Bléus, and her sister Marie Lourdes Paul.
Jacqueline’s life motto is the title to one of her favorite Haitian konpa songs, “Jwi Lavi” by Michel Martelly (aka Sweet Micky) which means “Enjoy Life”. She passionately relished every facet of life and we will continue to do the same in her honor.
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