CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, in happier times at the Jamaican Consulate, NYC in 2009. (Hayden Roger Celestin Image/File Photo)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 8, 2017: The body of the Caribbean-born, co-founder of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Lowell Fitzgerald Hawthorne, is set to be laid to rest on December 19, 2017, News Americas has learnt.
According to a posting on Granby’s Funeral Home in White Plains, NY, the Jamaican Patty King, who reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot at his headquarters on Dec. 2, 2017, is set to be laid to rest following a service at the Christian Cultural Center at 12020 Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn, NY on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 from 9 a.m.
Two viewings will also be help – the first on Monday, December 18th, 2017 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Grace Baptist Church at 52 South 6th Avenue in Mt. Vermon, NY and the second prior to his funeral service on Dec. 19th at CCC from 8 – 9 a.m.
Interested persons can send flowers or leave a condolence message for the family here.
Meanwhile, tomorrow, Sat. Dec. 9th, two candle light vigils are planned in remembrance of the man who has essentially made the Jamaican patty a U.S. household name. A vigil is planned for the first Golden Krust location at 1381 East Gunhill Road in the Bronx from 3-8 p.m. while another vigil is planned for The Undercroft at the University of West Indies Mona Campus from 6-8 p.m.
Hawthorne, 57, was born in St. Mary, Jamaica and migrated to the U.S. in 1981. In 1989, he along with his wife, Lorna and four siblings pooled their money together to open the first Golden Krust retail location in Bronx, New York. They later turned the company into a franchisor of Caribbean food and pastries, and today there are over 120 restaurants in nine U.S. states.
He was also an author who recently released the autobiography: ‘The Baker’s Son;’ had appeared on the popular CBS show ‘Undercover Boss,’ and was a philanthropist who supported many Caribbean American causes including scholarships for students of the University of the West Indies through the American Foundation of the UWI, (AFUWI).
His death has stunned many in the Caribbean Diaspora and Jamaica, his native land. Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke tweeted: “The legacy of Lowell Hawthorne will live on. I admire him greatly for bringing our shared love for Jamaican culture to life on a larger scale through food and fellowship.”
Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, called him “one of our most visible member of the Jamaican and Caribbean-American community” while Franz Hall, Jamaica’s Consular General to the Southern USA, called him a “stalwart son of Jamaica.”
Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, said Hawthorne “was always ready to help my office whenever we needed him” and “will be sorely missed.”
Speculation is still rife as to why the man who pulled himself up from the bootstrap to achieve the American Dream would apparently take his own life. Media reports have claimed it was due to back taxes and even a court case from former employees but the NYPD has not made a final determination expect to say he shot himself and left a note – the contents of which have not been revealed publicly.
Hawthorne’s last post was on November 28th on Facebook and Twitter and there was no indication of depression, pain or suicide in it. “I was always in search of the next honest means to make a dollar. Like many transplanted Caribbean nationals, I struggled to work and raise a family. I can only thank God for everything I have achieved, and if my story here can inspire others to rise up and give it a go, then I would have succeeded in doing something meaningful,” he posted.