Liberia: Mother Elizabeth Flowers Gibson Dies

Mother of seven highly educated sons, including architect Alex Massey, former BWI Principal

The funeral of Mother Elizabeth Flowers Gibson, mother of seven highly educated sons, will take place on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at the Geda African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brewerville. The service is scheduled to begin at 11 o'clock a.m.

Mother Elizabeth Flowers Gibson's sons included the eldest, Dr. Boakai Twe, who went to the United States, earned a PhD and became a university professor, and Mr. Alex Massey, a leading Liberian architect (MSc) and former Principal of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI).

Ma Elizabeth died on November 29, 2019 while en route to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. She was in her 92nd year.

Elizabeth was born in Brewerville on August 24, 1928 to the union of Mr. Isaac Flowers and Ms. Mae Shaw Roberts. Elizabeth spent her formative years in Brewerville, where she grew up in a household with six siblings. She also lived briefly in Harrisburg with a cousin of her father, Mr. Henry Stewart. There she attended the Mount Coffee Mission School and later returned to Brewerville where she entered the Lott Carey Baptist Mission, as well as the town's public school.

The eldest of her mother's children, she spent part of her teenage years caring for her siblings, William Wilson, Arona Moore Marshall, Elenora Moore Hazel, Moses Harris, Marie Harris Alieu and Grazella Flowers Ricks.

Elizabeth also grew up with her paternal other sisters, Lenora Zinnah Holcomb, Thelma January, Catherine Morris and Grazella Flowers Ricks.

As a young single mother, Elizabeth, decided to leave Brewerville for Monrovia to seek employment in order to educate her then two young sons, Boakai Twe and Alex Massey. Boakai went on to take a PhD in America, and Alex Massey, a graduate of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), later took the Master's in Architecture and became one of Liberia's leading architects and Principal of BWI.

Mother Elizabeth later met, befriended and married Mr. Charles J.L. Gibson of Sinoe County, and the union was blessed with four sons--Harold Snoh, Charles, Jr., Albert Dehkonte and Francis.

A seventh young fellow whom Ma Elizabeth also touched was Mr. Gibson's nephew, Charles L. Gibson, the seventh of their seven boys to earn a Master's degree.

Raising seven boys while holding down a job as a telephone operator at the Ministry of Education, a job she held for 25 years, was no easy task for the young mother, Elizabeth. Her husband was busy elsewhere with their gift shops which they ran in Brewerville and Yekepa, Nimba County. But Elizabeth was determined to give her best shot in disciplining and educating her boys. She raised them to become independent and responsible men and tried to expose them to good role models.

The brief biography, which the family produced, said that perhaps the most important quality Elizabeth instilled in her boys was having faith in God. "Trust God for everything," she constantly admonished them. She also taught them to value family life and to be supportive of church and community activities.

Elizabeth Flowers Gibson was a lifelong member of the A.M.E. Church. She served on several Boards and auxiliaries, including the Annual Conference, the Sunday School Convention and the Women Missionary Society.

During the Liberian civil war her sons, especially the eldest two, Boakai and Alex, came to Monrovia to find their mother and took her to the United States, where she lived in peace and comfort for a number of years, attending her many grandchildren. She later returned home to her beloved Brewerville.

It is significant that this woman produced seven highly educated sons. In that noble endeavor, she followed the footsteps of the parents of many Brewervillians, including those of Edwin J. Barclay, a young Brewervillian who went on to become one of Liberia's finest Presidents.

Mrs. Elizabeth Flowers Gibson is survived by her sons Boakai (Debbie), Alexander (Gwen), Charles (Audrey), Francis (Princess) and Alfred (Enid); her-in-law Diane (Harold); her grandchildren Gmasnoh, Emman, Dakonnah, Thomas, Mahdi, Fatima, Ramona, Fonati, Nateenah, Darryl, Avrell, Cayden, Olive and Tonia; and her three sisters, Marie, Thelma and Grazella and many other relatives and friends.

The body of Mother Elizabeth Flowers Gibson will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlor on Tuesday December 17, 2019 at three o'clock p.m. and taken to the Geda A.M.E. Church in Brewerville, where a three-hour wake keeping will be held, beginning at six o'clock p.m.

The funeral will commence at the same church at 11 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, followed immediately by interment in the City of Brewerville Cemetery.

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