‘Heaven Boasts of Elaine Dunn’s Service to People, Church and Community’

Casket bearing the mortal remains of the late Mother Elaine T. Dunn at the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street in Monrovia.

— Dr. Herman Browne Tells the Congregation and Bereaved Family.

The Rev. Dr. Herman B. Browne, president of Cuttington University (CU), last Wednesday described the late mother Elaine Theodora Dunn as a woman who served people, the church, the community and country with a great passion. “She has lived a life that Heaven can boast of,” he declared.

Delivering the funeral sermon at the Trinity Cathedral funeral of Mother Elaine Dunn, Dr. Browne said, “When one serves with great passion, as Mother Dunn has done, one can be assured of great rewards in heaven. I want to assure you that Heaven boasts of the life Mother Dunn lived,” he averred.

During her life, Mother Dunn was noted to be someone who drew closer   to people that needed her most in terms of getting the necessary advice needed to resolve issues in the personal, church, community national levels, the preacher added.

The Episcopal Church of Liberia, said Dr. Browne, who is also former dean of Trinity Cathedral, will remember her for her instrumental, assiduous, dedicated and selfless service rendered to the church and humanity in her distinguished role as eminent Lay Reader of the St. Stephen Episcopal Church of Liberia and as president of the Advisory Council of the Episcopal Church Women of Liberia, respectively.

Rev. Dr. Browne, who preached the homily for the late Mother Elaine T Dunn, described her as a great woman.

He also described her as a mentor who impacted the church, family members and the community.  This is a great legacy for which she will be greatly remembered.

Addressing the over-crowded Trinity Cathedral, where nearly a thousand persons came to pay their last respects to Mother Elaine Dunn, Dr. Browne described Mother Dunn as “a great leader.” Whenever you have a great leader, that leader leads and the weaker vessel is uplifted to perform to the best of its ability, he declared.

The funeral service brought together many current and former government officials, Episcopal, Baptist and other  clergymen, family members, including the widower, former Ambassador Eddie Dunn, the couple’s three children, some grandchildren and other close relatives, including brothers and sisters of the couple, many of whom flew in from abroad for the funeral, and a host of friends sympathizers.

Pastor Joselyn Pushie Dunn Watson, younger daughter of the deceased, who ministers in churches in South Africa, said over the years her mother was called ‘mommy’ because of the special motherly personality she possessed.   Mother Elaine Dunn, said Pushie, loved and cared for people, was always willing to be part of resolving people’s problems.

Mother Dunn was not just a mother, Pushie recalled. When someone encountered her, it was as though that person had met a special person. Everything she did came from the heart and this included her services to her own family, friends and other individuals, the church and the community. She served as a mentor and a role model for many.

The late Mother Elaine T. Dunn, who died suddenly in Monrovia on November 4, 2019 at the age of 72, was described by the Liberian Official Gazette as a dedicated woman and a public servant.

According the Gazette, published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and signed by President George Manneh Weah and Acting Foreign Minister Henry B. Fahnbulleh,  the late Dunn was born on August 11, 1948, at the maternity center (known formerly as the old Baptist hospital), Monrovia, unto the union of Mr William B. Fernandez and Mrs Laura A. Fernandez.

She was the second of six children. Her parents and two of her siblings; William A. Fernandez and Lorraine Fernandez, predeceased her. At a tender age, young Elaine embraced the Christian faith and became a devout member of the Episcopal denomination, baptized at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Monrovia and she, her husband and family  worshiped at the St. Stephen Episcopal Church in Sinkor, where she faithfully served as a Lay Reader, reading the Scripture and helping to serve the Holy Eucharist.

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) pay last respects to the late Mrs. Dunn at the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street, in Monrovia.

The deceased traveled with her parents in 1952 to Haiti, where her father, Mr Fernandez, was posted to the Liberian Embassy near Port-au-Prince, serving as a secondary secretary. It was at that time the Elaine Dunn enrolled at the American International School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In 1956 Mr. Fernandez was transferred to the Liberian Embassy in Paris, France as the first secretary.  There Elaine attended the American International School in Paris.

In January 1958, she enrolled at a  boarding school in England named the Collegiate  School (TCS) near Bristol, England.

After completing her GCE, Elaine entered the Marlborough Gate Secretarial College in London, where she underwent secretarial training and graduated with honors.

Thereafter, in 1969, she returned to Liberia with her fiancée, Edward L. Dunn, Jr. (Eddie) and on August 22, 1970, they were joined in holy matrimony at the Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Broad Street, Monrovia. This union was blessed with three children.

The late Mrs. Elaine Theodora Dunn

She later commenced work with the Morgan, Grimes and Harmon Law Firm as secretary. In 1971, she underwent a competitive recruitment process at the Bank of Liberia, an affiliate of Chemical Bank, New York,  and occupied the capacity of executive secretary to the Executive President of the Bank, a position she held until the closure of the bank as a consequence of the April 12, 1980, military coup.

Dr. Romeo Horton, who had been appointed by President William R. Tolbert Jr, to establish and head the ECOWAS Fund in Lomé, Togo, recruited Mrs. Elaine Dunn to join the Liberian delegation as secretary and French translator.

Upon the establishment of the National Constitution Commission (NCC), under the chairmanship of Dr. Amos C. Sawyer in 1981, the Mrs. Elaine Dunn was hired as the Executive Secretary to the Commission.

In that position she was charged with the responsibility of organizing meetings, developing and compiling the minutes during all deliberations of the eminent commissioners, which she did in her own handwriting, becoming the custodian of all the major points, which subsequently went into that historical document, the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

After the mandate of the Commission expired, Elaine, based on her proficient and dedicated service to the NCC, was in 1982 recommended to serve as an administrative assistant at  the Ministry of Justice, under the leadership of Justice Minister Cllr. Winston A. Tubman.

Elaine was the second offspring of Mr William B. Fernandez and his wife Mrs Laura A. Fernandez. The first was William A. Fernandez, the third, Lauraine, the fourth, Yvette, the fifth, Gabriel and the last, Louisa Fernandez. She was the wife of the former Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia, Ambassador Edward L. Dunn, Jr.

In 2003 her husband, Edward L. Dunn, Jr., affectionately called Eddie Dunn, established the United World Travel Services (UWTS), which he later turned over to her when Eddie was appointed Chief of Protocol, R.L. by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Elaine ran UWTS successfully until her death.

Reporter at Liberian Observer Corporation formerly, the Daily Observer ELWA Junction, Paynesville Monrovia Liberia Mr. Simeon S. Wiakanty is a senior student studying Mass Communication and Chinese at the University of Liberia. He is also a student at the Confucius Institute of the University of Liberia. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @amb_kanty Whatsapp: +231886140817


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