Mrs. Euphemia Weeks, widow of Dr. Rocheforte Lafayette Weeks, former President of the University of Liberia and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, R.L., died at 1 o’clock a.m. yesterday at the Congo Town home of her daughter, Liberia Telecommunications Authority Chairperson Angelique Weeks, following a brief illness.
Mrs. Euphemia Weeks, mother of eight outstanding children, was in her 90th year.
When on February 6, 2013, she turned 86; Mrs. Weeks’ children held a thanksgiving service for her at the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church, Crozierville, ancestral home of the Weeks family. On that occasion, Mrs. Weeks gave thanks to Almighty God for sparing her life.
The Daily Observer at the time held an exclusive interview with her, which appeared on the front and center-spread pages of the newspaper. The interview was conducted by then Observer Editor Fatoumata Nabie Fofana, who quoted Mrs. Weeks as saying that she appreciated
God because He had shown His goodness and faithfulness to her in the midst of it all. She strongly believed that whatever might have happened to her was God’s design for her life. She appreciated God for the gift of life, she told Fatou, and thanked Him for her children, especially her two daughters, Ophelia (Fifi), who holds a PhD in Neurology and held a full professorship at Florida International University, and Angelique Euphemia, a lawyer like her father and currently Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority.
Before she turned 86, the octogenarian told Fatou that she (Mrs. Weeks) had recently narrowly escaped death when doctors in Monrovia told her that 99 percent of her main blood vessel was closed. They said she would be dead if she had stayed in Liberia a day or two longer.
Her daughter Angelique sacrificially had her mom flown to England, where she achieved full recovery.
Born in Harper, Cape Palmas on February 6, 1927 to the union of Dr. Juris Daubeny Bartholomew Cooper, former Solicitor General of Liberia, and his wife Mrs. Emma Juliet Stewart Cooper, young Euphemia received her early and secondary education in Cape Palmas. She later traveled to Monrovia and her father sent her to the United States to study Secretarial Science at Howard University. She traveled on the same boat in 1949 with Rocheforte L. Weeks, already a graduate of Liberia College (now University of Liberia).
Euphemia was asked by one of her friends to “take care of” her friend Rocheforte on the boat trip to America. Euphemia took such good care of Rocheforte that by the time they reached New York, they were deeply in love, and were married on April 1, 1950 in Washington, D.C.
The following September their first child, Rocheforte, Jr., was born, followed by Fifi (Ophelia) and six other talented children. When Rocheforte, Sr., who had already served as UL President, the first Liberian to hold that position, and Foreign Minister, died in 1986 the couple had been happily married 36 years.
Before she left for studies in the USA in 1949, Euphemia joined the Greenwood Singers, a popular choral group in Monrovia, organized by Jacob Henry Browne, with several other young men. She played musical instruments for the Greenwood Singers.
Mrs. Weeks was born an Episcopalian but later became a Methodist after marrying Rocheforte, a staunch member of Reeves Memorial in Crozierville, where she, too remained a lifelong member until her passing yesterday.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Mrs. Weeks was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Rocheforte L. Weeks, two brothers, Llewellyn and Daubeny Bartholomew Cooper II; and two sisters, Maryland Ophelia Cooper and Latifa Cynthia Cooper Kamara.
Survivors include her eight children, Rocheforte, Jr., an entrepreneur and businessman, Dr. Ophelia (Fifi) Inez Weeks, a Urology professor at Florida International University, now Vice President, University of Liberia, where she grew up from age 7; Julius Louis, a patent specialist;
Vittorio A.J., Comptroller, St. Georges School System, Maryland, USA; Daubeny Alexander Weeks, a mechanical engineer and Consultant, IBI International; Angelique Euphemia Weeks, Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), RL; Milton Alvin Weeks, Executive
Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL); and Ronald Avery Weeks, a chemical engineer and Chief Engineer at Honeywell Solutions, USA; sister Trypetus Daphne Cooper; brothers Gerald Ferguson Burns Cooper, Randolph C.J. Cooper and Seward Montgomery Cooper.