Born on 11 January 1929, in Trinidad, Dolly Baptiste was the 2nd child of Anthony & Doris Baptiste (both deceased). She had 2 brothers: Anthony (deceased) and Albert, and 1 sister, Dulcita. A natural mother, Dolly is credited with raising Dulcita and Albert who always lovingly refer to her as their “Mother”.
Dolly had a love for learning: she was an avid reader and practiced speaking Spanish with a little girl in her neighborhood. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that her life’s path would lead her to become a teacher of Spanish, a role that she held for over 50 years of her life. She began teaching at her secondary school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Convent in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and did so for 33 years. Today she is remembered by her students as being wonderful, inspirational, kind, funny, strict but loving, adventurous and caring. Her students were like her own daughters.
Dolly met and married Lloyd Melville Moore in 1953 and they had 8 children. After immigrating to the US, she continued teaching with the NYC Board of Ed. She was well-loved by her colleagues and made lifelong friendships.
When Dolly realized that she was beginning to forget, she decided to write down pertinent aspects, dates and occasions in her life. What follows below is in her own words. A devout Catholic who loved the Lord, Dolly attended Mass and received the sacraments as often as she was able and taught her children to do the same. It is no surprise that Dolly began this exercise with a prayer:
“Dear Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, and my mother, I implore You to take my cause in hand and grant me success...
My name is Dolly Muriel Moore, née Baptiste. I married Lloyd Melville Moore on the 2nd of August 1953, when I was 24. We had 7 children: Francis, born 10 October 1955; Suzanne, born 26 October 1958; Peter, born 1 July 1960, a twin (his partner, Paul, was stillborn); Ronald, born 6 February 1962; David, born 24 September 1963; Patricia, born 24 March 1965; and Catherine, born 26 September 1966. I have 5 grandsons, but no granddaughters. I taught Spanish in Trinidad and studied at the University of the West Indies, in St. Augustine, where I earned my Masters degree in Spanish. When I lived in Trinidad, I was a competent mother, teacher, driver of a Volkswagen mini bus, a student at university. I shopped and cooked special meals, liked so much by my children that they ate them up in one day! I loved my life, I loved my family and I loved my students. I then moved to NY where I continued my life in much the same way. My elderly mother, Doris, moved to NY with us and I took care of her until her death at age 95. Now, in my declining years, I still love my life but can no longer cover all the bases as I used to. I have given the responsibility of my affairs to my daughter, Suzanne, who is competent and dependable. I trust her implicitly!”
Those of us left behind know that Dolly will continue to pray for us with a mother’s heart. She lives in us today and in all of our tomorrows. Rest in peace, Dolly.