A prominent Liberian woman, the Mrs. Cynthia Ann Garber, widow of former Attorney General of Liberia, Counselor Joseph W.O. Garber II, was buried in Columbia Memorial Park, Columbia, Maryland, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, following an impressive and well attended funeral at the St. John United Church, situated in the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center at Twin Rivers Road, Columbia, Maryland.
She was in her 95th year when she died on December 28, 2019.
The officiating clergy comprised the Rev. Mary Ka Kanahan, the Rev. Dr. Anne Fredericks Cooper of Trinity Cathedral, Monrovia, the Rev. Gerard Bowen, the worship leader, M.P. Weeks—Mrs. Cynthia Garber’s godson—and accompanist, Ms. Patricia Hammer.
Mrs. Garber was one time an elementary school teacher.
She was married to Counselor Joseph W.O. Garber II on August 6, 1944 and this union was blessed with seven children: Joseph Walmsley Oluworle Garber III, Dr. Josephine Elizabeth Garber Dennis, MD, Mrs. Cynthia Ann Garber Howard, James Walmsley Oluworle, William Oluworle, George Walmsley Oluworle Garber and Dawn Garber Russ.
Mrs. Cynthia Garber’s husband, former Attorney General Joe Garber, predeceased her on April 29, 1968. She later married Mr. Major E. Clemens, a union later dissolved.
Cynthia Ann Garber was born on October 5, 1925 to the union of Mr. Stephen J. Crusoe and Mrs. Catherine H.A. Smith Crusoe of Edina, Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Liberia. She was the granddaughter of former Vice President of Liberia James S. Smith, a descendant of Elijah Johnson and his son, Hilary Richard Wright Johnson, 11th President of Liberia. Her two sisters, Mrs. Evelena Gertrude Crusoe Howard and Mrs. Adeline Crusoe, predeceased her.
Cynthia’s Christian journey began at an early age, when she was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Edina, Grand Bassa County. She later joined the First United Methodist Church of Monrovia. Having been born in a Christian home and raised in the Episcopal Church, Cynthia was throughout her life a committed Christian. She later joined the First United Methodist Church (UMC), Monrovia. She was devoted to the UMC in Liberia and the United States and spent her life in the service of God.
Cynthia commenced her schooling at the Edina Elementary School in Edina, Grand Bassa County. She later moved with her mother to live with her maternal uncle, Mr. James Lafayette Toles on Broad Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia. She attended the Lott Carey Baptist Mission in Brewerville, Montserrado County, Liberia and later Liberia College (now University of Liberia).
Cynthia became an elementary school teacher at the Roman Catholic Mission on Ashmun Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia.
Following her marriage to Cllr. Garber on August 6, 1944 and the birth of their seven children, she devoted all her time to her family.
Her children included a graduate of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), Mr. Joseph Walmsley Oluworle Garber III, and a medical doctor, Dr. Josephine Elizabeth Garber Dennis, wife of Mr. Hilary A. Dennis, a prominent Liberian banker and entrepreneur.
Following the April 12, 1980 coup d’état that destabilized her dear Liberia, Cynthia traveled to London, England and later to the USA, where she resided with her children in Maryland, Tennessee, New York and Arizona. Her life with her family during these years was filled with love and laughter.
Mrs. Garber was a socialite, who devoted her spare time to societal causes. She joined the Order of Eastern Star (OES), the sister organization of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, becoming past worthy matron of the Electa Chapter; vice grand princess of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten (SMT) and past worthy governor of the Household of Ruth, associated with the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. She was chairperson of the President W.V.S. Tubman Achievement Awards and a founding member of Crowd 20 in the USA.
According to her loving family, Cynthia will be remembered for her cheerful personality, kindness, gentleness, humor and words of encouragement—all characteristics of a Christ-centered life.
She is survived by her seven children and their spouses, 24 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.