Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Joseph Boakai ‘Class Of 1959”, Others Attend Former High School Teacher’s Funeral

 By Samuel G. Dweh |Freelance Development Journalist |+231  (0)886618906/776583266/samuelosophy@yahoo.com/samuelosophy1@gmail.com |


Teacher Jessie Wah King with her 99th birthday cake at her home.

Funeral program setting: Bread of Life Church of the Seventh – Day Adventist Faith, located along Smythe Road, in the Old Road Community (under Electoral District #10) in Monrovia. She was a member of this Christian Denomination of Worship.

The date was Monday, August 10, 2020.

She was born in Lexington, Sinoe County, in the South-Eastern part of Liberia, on May 25, 1919.

In a white casket with golden handles, veteran education Jessie Wah King was clad in a white garment, of lace material. There was only one bodily (external) change with this academic role model lying in this wooden frame: A darker complexion—from the ‘lighter’ skin color I had known from December 9, 2017 to May 30, 2020 (our last meeting) My first meeting with “veteran”—the ‘professional tag’ I had always called her by—was to feature her in the first edition of my educational newspaper named “Edu-Diary” published on December 15, 2017. She appeared on the front page. Notes from the exclusive interview I, with a media colleague, Alfred L.M. Gezaye, conducted with her, occupy pages 6,7 and 8 of Edu-Diary.

At the head side of the casket bearing the mortal remains of Mrs. Jessie Wah King was a set of former students of the College of West Africa (CWA)—a High School where she had taught English, Literature, Music and Religious Education between the 1950s and the 1970s. CWA is on record as Liberia’s oldest High School.

In the hall of the Funeral program (Monday, August 10, 2020) The ‘representative’ CWA’s Graduating Class of 1959. From left: Mrs. Rose Mends-Cole Sherman, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Mr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, and Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai. Mrs. Dwaboyea Evelyn S. Kandai is behind Mr. Boakai

Members of this former students’ set were: Rose Mends-Cole Sherman (an Educator on literacy programs through Radio and various visual means); Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh; Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf (former President of Liberia); Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai (former Vice President of Liberia); and Dr. Dwaboyea Evelyn S. Kandakai (former Minister of Education of Liberia) The personal former students, in this representative “Graduating Class of 1959”, of the deceased educator are: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (then named Ellen Johnson—10th grade class); Joseph Nyumah Boakai (same name—7th grade class); and Dwaboyea Evelyn S. Kandakai (then named Dwaboyea Evelyn White—8th grade class)

Public Viewing segment of Funeral program: Veteran Educator ‘resting’ in a ‘transient house’ during her funeral ceremony (Monday, August 10, 2020)

This five-person set represented CWA’s alumni, laid wreath on behalf all members of the 1959’s graduating group, and sang CWA’s Ode.

All Tributes—from various organizations she was member of—were about her outstanding academic teaching performance, her rugged disciplinary actions (at home and in the classroom), her over-flowing generosity, her unwavering faith in her Creator (often exhibited with her actions), among several other virtues.

“Mama could clean any mess,” declared Jessie Wah King’s daughter, Patience King, on her mother’s no-nonsense disciplinary nature, during the Family’s Remarks segment of the funeral ceremony. “She had a bell to remind us, her children, about each person’s responsibility on house work.”

The former music teacher at CWA was also a gifted musician.

“In the Bread of Life Church, Mama Jessie Wah King’s favorite song was, ‘I will Make It Somehow’,” said Sister Edith R. Glascow, leader of Bread of Life Church’s Women’s Department.

The Women’s paid tribute with the song, followed by other musical homage from other choral groups. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s National Headquarter also paid musical homage.

Reading from her educational profile in the National Gazette of Liberia, the George Manneh Weah-led Government of Liberia, represented by Ambassador Jervis Witherspoon, described Mrs. Jessie Wah King as a “patriot, educator, humanitarian…”

As its highest honor to the fallen veteran educator, the Government announced flying of the Nation’s Flag at half mast throughout the Country from Tuesday (August 11)


Mrs. Jessie Wah King’s educational successes and longevity of life came from her “fear for God,” declared Bishop Gemane Getteh, District Pastor, Central Monrovia District, South-West Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, during his Sermon of the funeral service.

The title of his Sermon was Life’s Bottomline, with Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 as Text.

He said the “fear for God” in Mrs. King guided and enabled her in being selfless in all her nation-building works—from the classroom to the House of God.

“Today, we don’ see this fear for God in most of the people in leadership positions, people who have been entrusted with the public’s collective property,” he declared in a emotion-laden tone.

The funeral service in honor of veteran educator Jessie Wah King climaxed with the congregation’s view of her mortal remains in the casket.

She was buried at the Kaiser Cemetery in Brewerville, outside of Liberia’s Capital

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