Edwin J. Dunbar Dies

The late Edwin J. Dunbar

…Civil Engineer, son of George Dunbar

Mr. Edwin J Dunbar, son of the legendary Liberian father and agriculturist, George Dunbar, died on May 8, 2019 in Texas, United States of America. He was in his 85th year.

A 1954 graduate of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Edwin Dunbar was one of the first group of students that President W.V.S. Tubman sent to Indiana Polytech to study Civil Engineering. He successfully qualified, returned home and commenced work with Raymond Concrete Pile, the American company that built the Free Port of Monrovia and many other paved roads in the Liberian capital.

Edwin later joined the Department of Public Works and Utilities (Ministry of Public works), and was assigned to supervise the construction of the streets in Harper, Cape Palmas. He later, during the Tolbert administration, became deputy minister of Action for Development and Progress. Following the April 12, 1980 coup d’état that overthrew the Tolbert government, Edwin returned with his family to the United States and settled in Dallas, Texas, where he remained professionally engaged until his death last week.

Edwin J. Dunbar was born on September 24, 1934 to the union of Mr. George Dunbar and his wife, Madam Gborlomehn Flomo Dunbar of Palala, Bong County. Among Edwin’s siblings by the same mother were Mrs. Milly Dunbar Baker, a poultry husbandry expert and wife of the late former president of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), Dr. Christian E. Baker; Richard Dunbar, who trained in Machinery at BWI (Class of ‘58); and Mrs. Sophie Dunbar Boayue.

Sophie, like so many of George Dunbar’s daughters, was educated at the St. Theresa’s Convent, where she graduated in 1959. Known as “Red Sophie” because of her very light complexion like most George Dunbar’s children, Sophie, named for the late ice cream entrepreneur Sophie Dunbar, proprietress of Sophie’s Ice Cream, was distinguished from another Sophie at St. Theresa’s, brown skinned in complexion, but called “Black Sophie,” daughter of Counselor Stephen Dunbar and sister of Counselor Stephen (Bill) Dunbar.

Like many of George Dunbar’s sons, Edwin attended the BWI, where he studied Architectural Drafting and other technical subjects, before earning a scholarship to study Civil Engineering at Indiana Polytech.

Following his graduation from Indiana Polytech, Edwin returned home with his wife, Mrs. Roxie Elaine Martin Dunbar. This marriage that lasted for over 58 years, until she predeceased him.

Among Edwin’s 27 classmates at BWI were his buddy and fellow civil engineer, Gabriel Johnson Tucker, who also studied at Indiana Polytech; John Payne Tucker, older brother of Gabriel, James Zota Dennis, Elfric K. Porte, James Mitchell, Milton Birch, Thomas Kumehn, Amanda Gray, George Wright, Amos Korto, Esther Johnson, Samuel D. Johnson, Amanda Gray, John Kerlea, Lincoln Taylor, Hilary Taylor, Julius Oguntee, Isaac Collins, Reverend Mark J. Richards, Frederick Nyekahn, Buster Grimes and Elfric Koikoi Porte, who generously provided the Daily Observer with most of these names.

The BWI Class of ’54 produced three civil engineers—Edwin Dunbar, Gabriel Johnson Tucker, former Public Works Minister, and Isaac Collins, who spent most of his professional life working for the Firestone Plantations Company.

Mr. Edwin Dunbar is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Aletha Korto Dunbar Hoff, Dr. Winnie Dunbar-Davies and Mildred Elaine (Millie) Dunbar, sons Edwin J. Dunbar, Jr., William Garfield Dunbar, Judge Roosevelt Scheapolor Dunbar of Liberia, Pastor Calvin Dunbar of the Bahamas, Abraham Lincoln Dunbar, Irving Augustus Levi Dunbar (Duke) and a host of grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews.

According to family sources, wake keeping over the remains of Mr. Edwin Dunbar will take place on Friday, May 31 in Dallas Texas, and the funeral in the same city on Saturday, June 1, 2019.


  1. RIP Mr. Dunbar. But why is it that the Observer’s writers always talk about “complexion”, “skin tone”, or “hue” in their writings about certain folks? What’s the importance of that?


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