Edward George Byfield, better known as “Jumbo”, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx surrounded by his family. He was 71 years old. Edward was born on June 11th, 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica to Myrtle Allen and Charles Byfield. Edward attended Trench Town Primary school in Kingston, Jamaica, which he graduated the eighth grade. Edward had seven (7) children: Two (2) daughters from his relationship with Dorothy Frasier, then five (5) more children with his wife of 28 years, Joan Byfield.
Edward got his first job at the age of 12 following graduation. It was at this time he learned the trade of shoe-making and this became his first entrepreneurial business. He opened his first shoe-making store in 1970 in Kingston where he made shoes for the community and manufactured shoes wholesale for department stores like Georgie Girl, Van del (England), and Bata Shoes (Canada). He ran this business for 10 years.
He then transitioned into the culinary arts to support his family when the shoe-making industry was exported to China. He opened his first restaurant “Jumbo’s Fried Chicken” in 1978 and it took Kingston by storm. He was passionate about serving and feeding people, he had the touch of a great cook. He was well known for it even here in America. He eventually moved to the United States in 1984 and migrated his family to join him in 1992. Harlem, NY is where his family took root and between 1988 and 2012 he had multiple restaurants in NY and CA.
He didn’t just make shoes and cook food, he also took to other talents like music production and horse-training. (TRY-A-THING).
He was a true entertainer at heart. He touched many lives and stood as a father figure for many young men. He is succeeded by his loving wife Joan and 7 children (Carla, Simone, George, Fitzroy, Sharnette, Georgia and Maurice), 14 grandchildren, 4 great-children, 3 brothers, 1 sister, many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.