Today’s news:

Guyanese−born mother devoted to helping others

At age 19, Ghanwattie Boodram left Guyana, where she worked as a schoolteacher, for Queens to get a degree in another profession that required her to devote her time to others: nursing. That was 21 years ago.

Relatives of the 40−year−old Floral Park woman, who died when her 260th Street home exploded Friday night after a glass leak, said her love of helping people extended beyond her job.

“She liked to take care of people,” said Shreenarine Harbajan, Boodram’s uncle. “She was a people person.”

Family members said whenever they got sick, Boodram would visit and check their blood pressure.

When Boodram first moved to Queens, she lived in Woodside with her aunt, Jessie Udai. While in Woodside, Boodram got her nursing degree at LaGuardia Community College.

About 10 years after moving to Queens, she married Dindial Boodram, who was not home at the time of the explosion, and settled in Floral Park.

The suburban Queens neighborhood was attractive to Ghanwattie because it was located in the highest−performing school district and it reminded her of Berbice, her rural hometown in Guyana.

“Who wouldn’t want to come to School District 26?” Udai said, noting that Ghanwattie also picked Floral Park because “it was a quiet area and she liked peaceful surroundings.”

But her inclination to help others did not mean Ghanwattie neglected herself, relatives said.

“She loved Lord & Taylor in Manhasset,” Udai said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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