Residents along the main road leading from Fendall through Bentol city to Crozierville stood agape late Saturday morning when a fleet of vehicles, the longest some of these people have seen in their lives, passed through their areas and finally landed at the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church in the latter town.
With these vehicles pouring into the township of Crozierville, it was becoming evident that the township might just be hosting its largest crowd in years. The church was at its capacity with two canopies erected in the church’s compound where the events inside the church edifice were screened.
Indeed, Liberians in their numbers (many from the governmental circle) paid their last respects to Eupheme Geraldine Cooper Weeks, a woman of substance whose exemplary life was highlighted in earlier editions of the Daily Observer and other newspapers. She died in her 90th year.
Even a host of birds, hovering above their nests in the trees near the church bell, sang endless melodies until she was interred. Such congregation of man and nature is truly rare; perhaps as rare as Mrs. Eupheme Geraldine Cooper Weeks herself, whose many years of exemplary service to the UMC could not possibly be contained in the all the tributes that had been paid her so far.
Rev. Jervis Witherspoon, who gave the funeral discourse, described her as a virtuous woman. “Pheme,” as she was affectionately called, “was very modest in her ways,” he said.
He spoke from Proverbs 31:10, 28. The first verse asks the noble question, “a virtuous wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” He further elaborated on the characteristics that such a worthy woman possesses. And because of these, he said, the second verse indicates how such a woman is praised by her children and her husband.
Also elaborating from Proverbs 31:30, which states, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD she shall be praised;” the preacher noted that the kind of beauty that lasts is the beauty that reflects an inward heart of submission and a love for God and His people.
He said death is a natural process, the result of the fall of mankind, but noted that “Pheme had wisdom, was gentle and submitted herself to the will of God.”
He said Pheme was a blessed woman because though the Bible predicts three scores and ten as the lifespan of an individual, with another ten years if the person is blessed by God, Pheme was fortunate to have gone four scores and ten.
She was married to the illustrious UL President Rocheforte Weeks, who was responsible for the tertiary education of thousands of students. His wife supported him in all this, and made sure that he was prepared each day for work.
Rev. Witherspoon also spoke about how Pheme meticulously and sacrificially took care of her children’s primary and secondary education. By this she had laid their academic and professional foundations, which successes are clearly seen in the current administration, where most of them hold top positions. “It is no secret that the Weeks’ and the McClains are the most influential families of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration,” he said.
“We pray that all Liberian mothers will follow Mrs. Pheme Weeks’ sterling example by attaching importance to education of their children,” the preacher said.
Meanwhile, Pheme is survived by eight biological children, and a host of other children. Her children include Angelique Eupheme Weeks, a lawyer like her father, Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA); and Milton Weeks, the second youngest son, is Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. Ophelia Inez (Fifi,) the first sister, who earned a Ph.D in Neurology and became full professor at Florida International University, and is now Vice President of Science and Technology at the University of Liberia. Fifi was only seven when
President W.V.S. Tubman appointed her father, Rocheforte Sr., as UL President at the young age of 35.
The eldest of the Weeks children, Rocheforte Jr., from the 1970s and 1980s ran a highly successful electrical company, importing and distributing electrical equipment and supplies. This viable business was, however, destroyed during the war.