The death is announced of Mrs. Mary Eliza Cooper Horton, widow of Dr. A. Romeo Horton, former Minister of Commerce and Industry and founder of the Bank of Liberia, the first Liberian-owned bank.
According to daughter Nuna Horton, Mrs. Horton passed away quietly and peacefully on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at the Fidelity Health Care Clinic at 20th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, following a brief illness. She was in her 92nd year.
Following her graduation from the College of West Africa (CWA) in 1947, Mary Eliza was in 1952 awarded a scholarship along with four others to travel to the United States of America to study Court Reporting and Secretarial Science. One of the four awarded this scholarship was her longtime friend, Ms. Muriel Best. They matriculated to the Blackwell College in Maryland. Upon their completion, they returned home and Mary Eliza briefly worked with the Ministry of Justice during the tenure of the Attorney General C. Abayomi Cassell, doing Court Reporting.
In 1954, Mary Eliza was transferred to the Executive Mansion, where she served as one of the four Executive Secretaries to President William V.S. Tubman. She worked in this capacity for 10 consecutive years, from 1954 to 1964, along with the other Executive Secretaries, Walter Moore, Phillip Brumskine and Mai Padmore.
On November 11, 1956, she was joined in Holy Matrimony with Dr. Alexander Romeo Horton, founder of the Bank of Liberia and Secretary of Commerce and Industry during the Tubman administration. This union lasted for 49 unbroken years until his death in December of 2005.
Mary Eliza was a born Episcopalian but later joined her husband’s church, St. Simon Baptist, and remained there until her passing.
She left the Executive Mansion in 1966 to work for the National Housing Authority under the tenure of the Late Hon. Frank O. Roberts as Personnel Director & Administrative Assistant until 1972. During her last year she also worked under the tenure of Mrs. Edith Harris.
In her social affiliations, Mrs. Horton was a member of the International Women’s
Club, Ducor Palace Hotel, 1970; and Order of Eastern Star, Tharah Chapter No. 14, Bomi Hills. In church activities, she was a Deaconess St Simon Baptist
On July 19, 2013 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Conferred the Distinction of Dame Grand Commander in Humane Order of African Redemption.
Mrs. Mary Eliza Cooper Horton was born in Harper City, Cape Palmas, Maryland County on February 29, 1928 to the union of Mr. Henry Jenkins Roosevelt Cooper and Mrs. Lucinda Anne Smythe Cooper. At the young age of nine, Mary Eliza came to Monrovia to live with her mother until her mother’s sudden passing in 1941 when Mary Eliza was thirteen (13) years old. She then returned to Harper City and attended Cape Palmas Junior High School while living with her father and graduated in 1943.
Her father, Henry Jenkins Roosevelt Cooper, shared a very close relationship with the newly elected President of Liberia, William V.S. Tubman, and was to be appointed Attorney General. Unfortunately, when Mary Eliza was fifteen, she lost her father, who died suddenly on December 14, 1943, while preparing for President Tubman’s Inauguration, scheduled for January 1944 in Monrovia. After her father’s death she relocated to Monrovia to live with her maternal grandmother and also her name sake, the Late Mrs. Mary Eliza Pritchard on Carey Street, Crown Hill, Monrovia. Mary Eliza entered the College of West Africa (C.W.A.) and graduated from high school in 1947.
Mrs. Mary Eliza Cooper Horton was predeceased by her husband the Late Dr. Alexander Romeo Horton, grandson Romeo Stefan Horton, her brothers Edwin, Jenkins, Roosevelt, Boston, Eugene, Francis & Eldrich, her sisters Eugenia Cooper Gardiner and Magdelene Cooper Johnson, her sister-in-law Alice Danlette and her brother-in-law Stephen Augustus Pettigrew Horton.
She is survived by her aunt, Annie Cooper Marquis, her sisters Angelique Cooper Jones (Dr. Jacob A. Jones) and Lucinda Cooper Anderson, cousins James H.R. Cooper Sr. (Evita) and Melita Cummings, brother-in-law Francis L. M. Horton, Sr. (Augusta), her brothers’ surviving widows: Luisa (Jenkins), Eleanor (Francis) & Marjorie (Eugene), her brother-in –law’s surviving widow Valerie (Stephen), her children Danlette Nuna, Kaima Taylor (Robert), Maureen Mason, Shephard (Kelly), Renee (Louis), Romelle Alexine, John Youboty (Margaret), John Horton (Martha) & Noel Tehoungue (Bentoe), her grand-children, great grand-children, cousins, nieces, nephews, Godsons: Amb. Timothy E. Thomas and Lester Parker III, God daughters: Rita Thompson, Trypetus Cooper Padmore, Dr. Lisa Angeline Cooper, Sharon Tubman Green and Juliet E. Cooper Allen along with many close relatives, friends and associates.
Removal of the Body from the Anderson Funeral Home @ 5:00 p.m., Friday, September 6, 2019
Wake Keeping 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., St. Simon Baptist Church, Horton Avenue, Capitol By Pass Monrovia
Funeral Service on Saturday, September 7, 2019 @ 9:00 a.m., St. Simon Baptist Church, Horton Avenue
Interment will take place at Horton Farm, in Totota, Bong County.