The Government of Liberia, family, and well-wishers on Saturday, October 20, held a solemn state funeral for the late Commissioner General of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Cllr. Lemuel E. A. Reeves, Sr., in Monrovia.
At the state funeral, held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church on Broad Street, Monrovia mourners from all walks of life paid their last respects in a befitting farewell to this great son of the land.
In attendance were President George Manneh Weah and First Lady Clar Weah; Speaker Bhofal Chambers; Representative Munnah Pelham-Youngblood; Finance Minister Samuel Tweah; Defense Minister Ziankahn; Public Works Minister Mobutu Nyenpan; Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill.
Also at the service were Justice Minister and Attorney-General, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean as well as magistrates and justices of both the lower and supreme courts, members of the Liberia National Bar Association, the Liberia National Police; the Ancient and Noble Order of the Knight of St. John International Sacred Heart Commandery #366 and many of the organizations where Cllr. Reeves had rendered service.
The Very Rev. Father Alphonso Mombo, administrator of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, said Cllr. Reeves lived an acceptable life, a life that people can learn from to serve their country.
“We gather here today not to praise him but to learn from his life that in our position we can be a servant to our family, community, etc. But, I want to believe that our brother did his possible best to seek the interest of the state and this is why this church is packed to capacity; because one way or the other he touched the lives of somebody.
“Though he may not have touched your life or you will see him as one bad man but somebody here sitting knows exactly what he did for them. And therefore, we see him not as an angel but as a man acceptable to society, who dedicated his life to service to the state,” Father Mombo said.
Father Mombo also described the Cllr. Reeves as a team player, where he consulted with others and did not do it all by himself.
He said Cllr. Reeves always listened to the views of other people and in so doing he has left a mark that “we can learn from that whenever we find ourselves in public service we should know that we belong to the state.”
In several tributes, several distinguished Liberians said the country had lost a respected public servant, an eminent jurist, and a distinguished patriot.
“The legal profession has lost one of its finest members, one who served his country with distinction, and who made important contributions to our nation’s jurisprudence and development. Well known for his discipline, honesty, and integrity, he was an outstanding servant of the Liberian people and of the public interest,” the Government said in a tribute.
The immediate family of Cllr. Reeves, on Saturday, paid a special tribute to him, describing him as a true father. “Daddy, may you rest in perfect peace knowing the depth of our love for you and gratitude for the tremendous role you played in each of our lives,” said daughter, Christal Dionne Reeves.
Ms. Reeves said her father was truly a man of honor with good and exemplary patriotic qualities. “I have lost a father and a big influence in my life.’’
Cllr. Reeves passed away a few minutes to 10:00 pm at the Fidelity Clinic in Sinkor on Sunday, September 30, 2018. He was born in Monrovia on October 19, 1956. He attended elementary school at the Monrovia Demonstration School on Clay Street, and graduated from the University of Liberia, obtaining a Sociology degree and later a Law Degree in 2005.
He also attended a Police Academy in Romania, where he got detailed police leadership training. Besides his time at the Liberia Immigration Service, Cllr. Reeves also served as Director of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Liberia National Police and worked for the Carter Center for a period of time.
“Commissioner Reeves’ death is a great loss to the Liberian security sector,” a former colleague of the fallen commissioner said. He served the Liberian security sector for many years and made a great impact in improving the Liberian Security Sector.
He left behind four children and was a member of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Catholic Church on Broad Street.