Monique Monroe, a longtime resident of Jamaica Plain, died peacefully in her home on Jan. 22, 2014, following a short battle with cancer. Monique will be much missed by family members, friends, neighbors and generations of “Mema’s Babies” who were nurtured in her family daycare.
In many ways, Monique was larger than life, from her 6-foot-4-inch stature to her commanding voice and no-nonsense demeanor. She was a generous, caring soul, with a great sense of humor, a woman who nurtured those around her, be they daycare charges, neighbors, friends, firefighters, postal workers, stranded marathoners or neighborhood dogs.
She had a knack for creating special occasions for others. When a friend from Maine, organizing a group outing to Boston for a day, asked Monique about a good place for lunch, Monique arranged for a limo to fetch the ladies from North Station and bring them to her house. She served them a gourmet lunch while her daycare charges had their midday nap.
Monique loved cooking and eating good food. She hosted scores of parties, barbecues and other gatherings over the years. Other passions included travel, gardening, horseback riding, music, movies and sitting by the fire in her favorite retreat in Bethel, Maine, listening to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Holidays and birthdays were celebrated with great flair. Halloween and Christmas in particular were approached with the philosophy, “If it doesn’t move, decorate it!”
Monique had a gift for connecting with people, and invariably seemed to know the life stories of those around her, whether casual acquaintances or longtime friends. Even in her last days, she made the effort to know the names and faces of those caring for her.
A memorial service and celebration of Monique’s life is planned for Sun., March 23, 2 p.m., at the First Church Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain. In lieu of flowers, donations in Monique’s name may be made to Horizons for Homeless Children, Associated Early Care and Education or a charity of one’s choice.