Joseph Samson Dauphin, an offspring of the estimable late Cédieu Dauphin and Claire Cédieu, came to this world, in the village of Duvallon (Dessalines, Haiti) on the 24 of February 1943, a Wednesday. The darling of many older brothers and sisters, he grew up in an environment where cardinal virtues such as love, generosity, altruism were taught and practiced on any given day. Sam was a good student for he has never departed from these values from the time, as a young lad, he was sent to Gonaïves to begin his schooling to the moment he took he last breath, on April 13, in Elizabeth, NJ.
Gonaives! What an adventure! Imagine you are five/six years old and away from your loving family and forced to begin your schooling in a language, foreign to you and your housemates. Whom do you turn to for help? The young Samson, despite all, strived in that hostile surrounding until Cédieu and Claire decided to offer him better opportunities in Port-au-Prince. In the Capital he joined a large circle of cousins and started his secondary education. Sam was loved and respected by teachers and fellow students. Homework, classwork and house chores were always meticulously done. Like most young boys his age, he enjoyed playing soccer (football as soccer is known in Haiti). Most afternoons, he could be found on the field near his house running after a soccer ball. However his school assignments always took precedence over that game.
In 1970, in search of better life opportunities, Joseph emigrated from Haiti to the United States and relocated in Elizabeth, NJ. Acclimation is not easy, as most immigrants from the Tropics will attest. In that respect Sam has paid his dues: numerous bouts with fever, frequent cold spells, job insecurity while trying to master the language of the land. He was never a quitter and at his own pace, but with tenacity, gradually, he transformed himself into an independent entrepreneur. In association with Hennesy Taxi, he travelled the streets of Union and the surrounding counties until 2008. 2008! a cursed year. No catastrophic car accidents. No repeated traffic violations leading to driver’s license suspension. But, suddenly, Tonton Sam became a disable because of a vicious cancer affecting his lungs and vocal cords.
Throughout that ordeal lasting ten years, his beloved wife of forty years, Marie Jeanette St. Cȏme Dauphin, kept faith and worked relentlessly to make him as comfortable as can be. She has not lost hope until the last minute, thinking a miracle was always possible. If love could cure someone bewitched with cancer Samson would not be lifeless today. Marie Jo, Marquise and Jacksonny were at his side when he departed from our world. A really pathetic moment to witness when Marie Jo and the kids wept and knelt for a prayer in the belief he could hear them and come back to life.
Those of us who were close to Joseph can attest about his suffering. Not that we learned it from his mouth. Sam was not a man to complain. He accepted the cancer as a curse and fought hard for ten years to keep it at bay. However the science of his oncologist cousin, Dr. Serge Dauphin, and all the love and attention of the family members was not a match for this insidious disease.
Two Fridays ago, the sun set on him much to the chagrin in his large family circle. And here we are paying the last respect to our beloved Tonton Sam. In addition to Pappy Cédieu and Mommy Claire, he was preceded in the underworld by numerous brothers and sisters: Dauphin Jr, Sebastien, Mercedès, Immacula, Constantin, Johnny, Remersil, Vierge, Percie. He is survived by his wife: Marie Jeanette St. Cȏme Dauphin; son: Jacksonny; daughter: Marquise, and five brothers and sisters: Marguerite, Raphael, Ericine, Saintereze, Lamartine. The dozens of nieces and nephews in Haiti and the USA are too numerous to be listed here.
Tonton Sam will be laid to rest at Petit Bérard Cemetery alongside his beloved dad Cédieu on the fifth of May, 2018.