Granny Luces was a Goliath: Family, friends remember veteran runner at funeral – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

People gather to view photographs of the late long-distance runner Lynette ‘Granny’  Luces, at her funeral, on Thursday at the Mt D’Or Seventh Day Adventist Church. - ROGER JACOB
People gather to view photographs of the late long-distance runner Lynette ‘Granny’ Luces, at her funeral, on Thursday at the Mt D’Or Seventh Day Adventist Church. – ROGER JACOB

LYNETTE “GRANNY” Luces was remembered as the female Goliath and a legend by former colleague and friend Curtis Cox during the funeral of the beloved long-distance runner at the Mt D’Or Seventh Adventist Church on Thursday.

Luces, an avid long-distance runner, was 93. She had a stroke in October, and died at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex on February 18.

Luces was popularly known for participating and completing long-distance races throughout TT and the world. She got involved in the sport in her mid-fifties, making her marathon debut in 1984. Luces received the Hummingbird Medal Gold in 2013.

Cox, in an emotional tribute, remembered 1986, when he ran his first half-marathon in his homeland of Tobago. Leading up to the event, people told him to look out for Granny Luces.

Cox, who called Luces the “female Goliath,” said, “I placed 23rd, but the crowd was just waiting for one person – Granny.”

Marathon runner Curtis Cox is seen during the funeral of the late Lynette ‘Granny’ Luces on Thursday, at the Mt D’Or Seventh Day Adventist Church, Mt D’Or. – ROGER JACOB

He used Luces’s participation as motivation, because someone told him, leading up to the race, “Granny is going to beat you.”

Cox said Luces was so popular that you had to make an appointment to speak to her after races. Luces in turn always admired Cox for his exploits in long-distance running and always wanted him to win the TT International Marathon. Cox said she was elated when he finally got over that hurdle in 2005.

Cox, who also referred to Luces as “Legend Luces” during his tribute, said he was grateful to share the road with her.

He told her family, “Thanks for letting your matriarch spend all those hours with us on the road enjoying the adrenaline of distance running.”

Luces, the mother of 11, received tributes from many during the service, including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In the eulogy, her granddaughter Abbinah Donatien and great-granddaughter Ashakie Hagley took everyone through Luces’s life, including the early days when she would run quickly to the nearby shop to buy items for her mother.

Hagley and Donatien remembered her spirituality and the value she put on education. They spoke about her love for young people and said she also urged them to be obedient and to participate in positive activities.

Luces’s grandchildren also remembered the calypso performed by De Alberto that paid tribute to her. The lyrics include, “I fraid Granny, I fraid Granny, I fraid Granny pass me on the highway.”

The song continues, “Granny Luces, Granny Luces, Granny Luces is the best.”

The memories did not end there, as her grandchildren Juliana Legaire and Sheldon Lucess also spoke. Legaire said her grandmother was vibrant and a woman of the people, and added that her “legacy will never be forgotten.”

Sheldon spoke about the discipline his grandmother taught him and how she always cared for her family.

Among those who attended the funeral were Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe and Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.