Former national chess champion Della Marie Walcott was laid to rest yesterday as family, friends and well-wishers attended her going home ceremony at the Church of the Nativity in Diego Martin.
The 19-year-old ‘Della’ as she was commonly known, died after slipping into a five-year coma after emergency brain surgery when she was just 14 years old.
The T&T chess prodigy represented with distinction and achieved so much in the sport in her time here on earth as lamented by her parents and peers at the service.
According to her parents Debra and Dominic Walcott, who stood as pillars of strength throughout and it was maintained at the pulpit delivering a heartfelt eulogy reflecting on the life that once was, “Simply put Della was a darling to everyone she crossed paths with. She was a lovely God-fearing spirit.”
A strong message from her father that her purpose was to bring people to God and that she did as the family was constantly showered with prayers from various persons in various forms along the journey of faith.
He said their “faith as small as a mustard seed grew and she is now at peace Della didn’t need a miracle, she was the miracle”.
Beautiful words describing the 2013 CARIFTA junior chess champion, who was a former student of St Joseph College, Port-of-Spain.
Walcott, in her short but successful career, represented T&T at both the regional and international level, winning gold and silver medals at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and Carifte youth Championships from 2010-2019.
She was nominated for the First Citizens Sports Foundation Youth Awards in 2011 and 2013 and was part of the national women’s team that competed at the respective World Chess Olympiad in Turkey in 2012 and Norway in 2014.