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, Sun. Dec. 3, 2017: Caribbean Diaspora leaders were last night reacting with stunned disbelief as news of the tragic suicide of Jamaican patty king, Lowell F. Hawthorne, quickly made its way across social media circles.
“Sad, Very Sad,” Irwine G. Clare, Sr., O.D., a top Caribbean Diaspora leader, posted on Facebook to the shocking news that Hawthorne had shot himself in the head inside the Park Ave. building near E. 173rd St. in Claremont in the Bronx about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
“What is this I’m hearing about Lowell Hawthorne my friend from Golden Krust? No sah…unbelievable,” tweeted Rodney Campbell while Eva Wilson/SocaMom added: “Visionary businessman, Lowell Hawthorne, founder of @GoldenKrustBkry, will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with his family. #RIP.”
The question of why is still under investigation but many were also weighing in on depression and personal pain that is sometimes hidden by even the most successful people.
“Not every smile is a smile. U see me smiling but u don’t t know my pain. RIP Lowell Hawthorne,” Jamaican Dale Getfield of People’s Choice Furniture posted on Facebook while Herman Hall, founder of EVERYBODY’S MAGAZINE added: “I am in total shock and disbelief to learn of the death of Golden Krust founder Lowell Hawthorne and the way he died. We were colleagues and he always respected me and supported EVERYBODY’S MAGAZINE and our cultural productions.”
“Saddened to learn of Mr. Lowell Hawthorne’s death,” added Horace Daly, “He was one of our great leaders in the Diaspora. I salute you Sir! Only God Can Judge You” while South Florida publicist Yvette Nicol Harris added: “Condolences the Hawthorne family. You never know what a person might be going through. Depression especially during the holidays is real,” added South Florida publicist Yvette Nicol Harris.
Even Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness weighed in, posting: “My condolences to the friends, family and employees of Jamaica-born Lowell Hawthorne, CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill.”
On the Golden Krust Facebook page, many took to posting condolences even as Eardna Nrubreddew posted: “Rip Mr Hawthorne. u were a great person….only u and the Lord really knows y u did it.”
On Twitter, Francine Derby tweeted: “Rest in peace, Lowell Hawthorne. You were a great businessman and you helped to bring Jamaican cuisine to the Diaspora. I’m sorry for whatever hardship you were enduring.”
Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store on E. Gun Hill Rd. in 1989 and built the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill into the largest franchisor of Caribbean baked products in the U.S. His last post was on November 28th on Facebook and Twitter as he posted: “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.”