‘My Husband Was a Servant’

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At the official signing of the Book of Condolence of the late Ambassador Rudolph von Ballmoos yesterday, his widow, Mrs. Angie von Ballmoos, described him as a servant and a leader, saying she misses him. She said her late husband served the nation to the end.

“I am a protégée of my husband’s service to the nation,” she acknowledged.

She praised President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for taking “good care” of her husband while he was ill.

President Sirleaf led her Cabinet in signing the Book of Condolence, followed by the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. B. Elias Shoniyin.

Minister Shoniyin praised the late Ambassador for his dedicated service and many years of “enormous contributions to the nation.”

“Ambassador von Ballmoos served in many capacities during his diplomatic career. He served extensively in Accra, Ghana, during the period of conflict spanning about nine years before he was assigned to the Court of Saint James, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland,” the Acting Minister said.

He revealed that his personal interactions with the late Ambassador began when he served in the position of Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation in early 2006.

Said the Acting Minister, his direct interactions with Ambassador von Ballmoos led to what he described as “tangibles” for the nation.

“When he took up assignment in the United Kingdom, our engagements deepened because at that time, I was the Deputy Minister for International and Economic Integration and the volume of cooperation between Liberia and the United Kingdom certainly increased under his representation,” Acting Minister Shoniyin added.

He stated that since the Ambassador died in active service, it would be the responsibility of the government to ensure him an appropriate funeral.

“His death leaves a very huge gap in the foreign service. Finding another person to replace him will obviously take some time,” Acting Minister Shoniyin stated.

Maryland County Senator Dan Morais was also full of praises for the late Ambassador. “This was somebody who was very service-oriented whether it was 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. when one landed in London. Whatever time you landed, you would find him and he would seek to ensure that you are served before he departed. That was the kind of service he brought to the diplomatic field,” said Morais.

Ambassador von Ballmoos’ remains arrived in the country on Sunday, January 3. His brother, Mr. DeWitt von Ballmoos, head of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCROP), was among other family members who escorted the Ambassador’s remains back home from London.

The remains of Ambassador von Ballmoos will be conveyed under military escort on Saturday, January 9 from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home in Sinkor to the First United Methodist Church on Ashmun Street where funeral rites will be held. He will be laid to rest at the Kaizer Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.

Mr. Rudolf von Ballmoos on his demise was serving as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, The Vatican and the Sovereign Military Hospitalier Order of Malta. Prior to that assignment, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana.

The Liberian Embassy in the UK opened a Book of Condolence at the Chancery from 11:00 to 15:00 on Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22, 2015.

Ambassador Rudolf P. von Ballmoos died at the Epsom General Hospital in Surrey, London, on Thursday, December 19. He was 56.

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