One of Liberia’s patriots, renowned diplomat and a career soldier, Ambassador Stephen Jaitoh Koffa, Sr., who died early this year in the United States of America following a brief illness, has been buried with several Liberians abroad and back home expressing their grief over the loss of this patriotic Liberian.
Ambassador Koffa, the father of Liberty Party Chairman, Attorney J. Fonati Koffa was buried at the All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Germantown, Maryland, the United States with thousands paying their last respect to this Liberian hero.
This Liberian great hero was also remembered by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a dedicated soldier whose advanced western military education distilled in him bravery and gallantry and endowed him with a distinguished character and impeccable integrity/
Born on January 28, 1930 in Jekwikpo Sasstown, Grand Kru County unto the union of Mr. Amos Kragba Koffa and Mrs. Alice Kragba Koffa, he embraced the values of Christianity at a tender age.
“Jaitoh”, as he was affectionately call began his primary education at the St. Paul Catholic School, Sasstown and later Graduated from our Lady of Fatima high School in Cape Palmas, Maryland County.
Upon his graduation, from the Cape Palmas High School, he immediately moved to Monrovia and where he began his public service career in 1954 as a second lieutenant in the then frontier force of Liberia, now armed forces of Liberia (AFL). Thereafter, he travelled to the United States of America in 1960 to attend in georgia and enrolled in the advanced infantry officer program. After graduating from fort banning with honors, he returned to Liberia and was promoted to the rank of captain.
Being a braved soldier, Ambassador Koffa was among the Liberia army contingent that formed part of the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in the Congo, Zaire, now the democratic republic of Congo (DRC).
In 1964, Ambassador Koffa returned to the US to attend the General Staff College in Fort leaves worth, Kansas for advanced military training, and upon graduation, he was promoted to the rank of major, and assigned as a battalion commander.
In 1969, the late Ambassador Koffa was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and assigned as commandant of the Tubman Military Academy in Todee. From September 1, 1970 to September 3, 1979, the deceased was promoted to colonel and served as assistant chief of staff, G3 for organization, planning, training and operation of the armed forces of Liberia. On September 5, 1979, the deceased was again promoted to the rank of major general, deputy chief of staff, a position he held until the April 12, 1980 coup that ousted late president William R. Tolbert from power.
In 1982, late Ambassador Koffa was appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Japan, the Far East with concurrent accreditations to Indonesia Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore where he served with distinction until 1994.
Where on active duty, the deceased also represented his country at many international conferences and seminars including the extraordinary session of the organization of African unity (OAU) Ministerial meeting in Lagos, Nigeria in December 1970. From July 9-22 1978, he attended the international peace academy seminar covering the “developments of peace keeping in the field” and diplomatic and legal developments in peace keeping” in Vienna, Austria.
On April 25, 1972 late president Tolbert conferred upon him one of the highest distinctions of Liberia “ the order of the star of Africa” with the grade of ‘grand Commander” (GCSA).
On February 11, 2008, president Ellen John sirleaf also conferred upon him the “distinguished service order” (DSO) for his gallantry in protecting his native land Liberia.
Late ambassador Stephen J. Koffa, Sr. married former Margaret Mona Karpea on march 12, 1960 after two years of covership. The union was blessed with ten children of which, five were with his loving and devoted wife, Margaret. Two of his children, Emmanuel Koffa and Beatrice Tranneh Koffa predeceased him. In the home going of ambassador Koffa, the family has lost a dependable pillar of strength and support; his comrades have lost a sincere and reliable companion and the government of Liberia, a dedicated public servant.
He leaves to mourn his loss his beloved widow of 59 years, Mr. Margaret Mona Karpeh – Koffa, children: Vivian P. Anderson, Sanadeh Evgenia Koffa, Stephen Jaltoh Koffa, Jr. Jonathan Fonati and Dama Koffa, Stepheneta Koffa Benjamin, Lawrence Detconti and sheronda koffa, Dave and Juliana Dixon (Sienynekow), Nathaniel and penny Clarke, grandchildren: Prince Lorenzo Anderson, Jr., (Daughter, Faith Seyonah), Jamaar Boima Andeson, Mhabhushah Jamaar Koffa, Brandon Corweh Kesselly, Lawren Michelle Koffa, Marjan Mona Koffa, Nicholas Beaxton Dennis, Jonda Janet Koffa Sabrina Nataaniah Clarke, James Etienne Benjamin, Jared Edward Benjamin McCanzey Bade Koffa, Zaboyl Yekeson Koffa, Andrew Malachi Dixon and Jaiden :Elisha Dixon, Nephews, James Togba Saricor, Sr. and David Tumu Koffa and a host of other relatives and friends in Liberia, United States of America and the far east. READ MORE CLICK THIS LINK FGOR MORE PHOTOS