Lecia Fredericks, who worked at the Dr Abdurahman day hospital for many years, has been remembered as a “bright shining star” by the many who loved, respected, and worked with her.
Ms Fredericks, a health promoter who worked at the hospital for 32 years, died last week. She was 59.
Provincial Health Department spokeswoman Monique Johnstone said Ms Fredericks had been very passionate about her community and colleagues.
She was chairwoman of the Public Servants Association of South Africa in the Western Cape, and a Federation of Unions of South Africa representative.
“She had a love for catering and event planning and took health education to the streets of Athlone. Her friendly, loving and forgiving nature were infectious to all who knew her,” Ms Johnstone said.
Ms Fredericks, of Bonteheuwel, died on Wednesday June 3. Her colleagues found her unresponsive at her desk.
Those who knew her said the community had lost someone who had put others before herself.
Her manager, Sister Florence Burger, said: “We salute her dedication to the department for all these years and will deeply miss her friendly smile, kind words of encouragement, loving, caring, compassionate and forgiving heart.”
Jo-Anne Wilson, manager at Build a Better Society (BABS) in Kewtown, worked with Ms Fredericks since 1997 and described her as “a bright shining star in the community”.
Ms Fredericks had been a leader and a dear friend and had known exactly what her community needed, she said, adding that she would miss her vibrant personality, her laughter and ready smile.
“She always saw to people’s needs, and the community always came first to her. This is a huge loss to us. Last Monday, she came to me and we had a chat for two hours about life and random things and her plans for more health interventions in the community. It was strange, and it didn’t make sense but now it does. That was the last time I saw her. God gives people many talents and she used hers to help her community. Her love for people was at the forefront of her being and she will be dearly missed.”
Athlone police station’s spokeswoman, Sergeant Zita Norman, who worked with Ms Fredericks on health-awareness campaigns, said she would remember her compassion for others.
“I remember very fondly the chair exercise she taught me at one event so even when you think you’re sitting and you can’t exercise you can and you actually feel your heart pumping. She was a good person with a heart of gold. The community was her life, she always went the extra mile for others- young and old.”
Athlone ward councillor Rashid Adams said Ms Hendricks had made regular house calls to the elderly, delivering medication if they could not collect it.
“Athlone has really lost an angel. She always had kind words to say to others and treated each person that walked into the clinic with the utmost respect. She organised the testing stations and screenings for Covid-19 in the area and was always an asset to the community,” he said.