Agriculturist, former Assistant Minister, MOA
Mr. Arnu C. Diggs, a leading Liberian agriculturist and former Assistant Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, R.L., died December 27, 2019 at the Fidelity Hospital, following a brief illness. He was 86.
A brilliant student throughout his academic career, Arnu, along with his eldest brother, Ambassador Lafayette Diggs, attended the College of West Africa (CWA) and later the two brothers entered St. John’s Episcopal High School, where both graduated. Arnu later matriculated to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and later entered Langston University in Oklahoma, where he made highest grades in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Husbandry. He later entered Ohio State University, where he took the Master’s degree in Agriculture.
Before returning home, Mr. Diggs met and befriended young and beautiful Ms. Amanda Simpson, younger daughter of Liberian Ambassador to Washington, D.C., former Vice President of Liberia Clarence Lorenzo Simpson, Sr. On July 16 that same year, Arnu and Amanda were married in the US capital. The union was blessed with four children, two girls and two boys. The children were Arnu, Jr., Mrs. Arnette Jupiter, Mrs. Kamah Johnson and Emmett Diggs. There is a third brother, David Diggs.
Upon his return home, Arnu commenced work at the Government Farm in Suacoco, Bong County, which is now the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI). He was later appointed Assistant Minister of Agriculture.
Arnu Diggs also worked at one point with LAMCO in Yekepa, where he successfully grew very large water melons and other fruits and vegetables as well as very large pigs.
In later years he opened his own farm in Virginia, Montserrado County, Liberia, where he successfully grew fruits, vegetables and livestock.
Arnu Diggs was born on November 11, 1933 to the union of Mr. Joseph Diggs and his wife Mrs. Annie Harmon Diggs, daughter of the legendary legal practitioner, Counsellor Lafayette (Faith) Harmon, also the father of Ambassador Emmett Harmon and Senator Joshua Harmon.
The Diggses hailed from Hartford, Grand Bassa County.
Mrs. Annie Diggs brought forth three sons for Mr. Diggs: Ambassador Lafayette Diggs, the eldest, Arnue and Dr. Joseph Diggs, MD, Liberia’s first professional radiologist. Joe was born posthumously, for while his mother was expecting him her husband, Mr. Joseph Diggs, died by drowning in Grand Bassa’s St. John’s River, along with the father of Mr. Taylor Major and the other Major children. The two were en route to Monrovia following a trip down the Liberian coast. Mr. Major hailed from Sinoe, where all his children, Taylor, etc., were born.
Mrs. Annie Diggs, mother of Lafayette, Arnue and Joe, went on to produce two more outstanding sons, Mr. Milt Greaves, by Mr. Edward W. Greaves, former Commissioner of Revenues, R.L., and Mr. Edward L. (Eddie) Dunn, Sr., a prominent Bassonian businessman.
Ma Annie Harmon Diggs went on to bring forth a daughter, Ms. Joyce Mendscole, whose father was Mr. Jacob Mendscole of Monrovia. Joyce became a prominent Liberian lawyer, who has worked for several years with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Her last prominent position was Head of UNHCR in Windhoek, Namibia.
Milt became a leading Liberian broadcaster, who went on to harness his experience in broadcasting by becoming president of one of the leading American broadcasting systems, National Public Radio and Television, based in Tennessee, USA.
As for Eddie, he became a noted Liberian entrepreneur, successfully running a night club in the 1980s, Lips, a pertroleum business and later a car rental company as well as a successful travel agency, which he turned over to his dear wife, Mrs. Elaine Dunn, to run. Late last year, unfortunately, Elaine died suddenly.
Both Mr. Willie Greaves and Mr. Edward L. Dunn were also of Grand Bassa County.
Survivors include Mr. Arnu Diggs’ widow, Mrs. Joye Wilson Diggs; daughters, Mrs. Cynthia Reddix, Mrs. Arnette Jupiter (Michael) and Mrs. Kamah Jonhson (Bart); sons, Arnu, Jr. (Cerue), Emmett (Gricelda) and David Diggs (Cynthia); brothers, Ambassador Lafayette Diggs, Dr. Joseph Diggs, MD, Milton Greaves and Edward L. Dunn, Jr.; sister, Counsellor Joyce Mendscole; 12 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren; an aunt, Mrs. Catherine Ketter; and many other relatives.
The body will be removed from the Stryker Funeral Home on Tuesday January 21, 2020, at 9 o’clock a.m. and taken to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 10th Street, Monrovia. The funeral service is scheduled to commence at 10 a.m.
Interment will take place at Kaiser Memorial Cemetery in Brewerville.