Former Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Former Minister of Commerce & Industry, Former Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Former Pastor, Eliza Turner Memorial AME Church, RL.
The death is announced of Mr. John Weseh McClain, which sad event occurred at his home in Kennesaw, Georgia, United States of America on September 2, 2020. His loving wife of over 41 years, Mrs. Susie Knuckles McClain, was at his bedside when he bowed to his eternal summons. He was in his 83rd year.
A brilliant student all his life, beginning with the College of West Africa (CWA), Monrovia, where he graduated dux of his class in 1955, Weseh entered Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where was graduated summa cum laude in 1960 and received the President’s Second Mile Award, the university’s highest (elected) student distinction.
Among Weseh’s 12 classmates at CWA were Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who later became President of Liberia, Emile Woods, who became a medical doctor, Willie Jones, civil engineer and Dunstan McCaulay, electrical engineer.
Following Morgan State, Weseh enrolled at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he took the Master of Arts degree in Economics in 1966. Weseh later returned to Harvard and graduated with a Master’s degree in Divinity in 1994.
He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and also became a Master Mason of the Mount Horeb Lodge #32, both of Boston, MA.
Returning to Liberia, Weseh McClain was appointed to several positions in the Liberian government, including Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs and Minister of Commerce & Industry. He was later employed as a Senior Economist at the African Development Bank (ADB) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
John Weseh Henry McClain was born in Monrovia on April 7, 1938, the first son to the union Mr. Edward B. McClain, Sr. of Grandcess, Grand Kru County and his wife, Mrs. Florence Aurelia Tolbert McClain of Bensonville, Montserrado County, the eldest sister of the Tolberts (Frank, William R., Jr., Elfrieda and Steve).
The McClain family was blessed with many talented children, including the eldest sister, Aurelia, who became Liberia’s first female accountant, several who took Doctorate degrees in Medicine, Psychiatry, Chemical Engineering, Education and Agriculture. Two among the children are Harvard graduates—Weseh and his younger sister, Dr. Vashti McClain Burrowes, who took the PhD in Education at Harvard.
John Weseh McClain was predeceased by his parents, Mr. Edward Benjamin McClain, Sr. and Mrs. Florence Aurelia McClain; his brothers, Samuel B. McClain, Bokah McClain, Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr. and Phillip Garway McClain; his sisters, Frances Kokorh McClain, Mrs. Genevieve McClain Yhap, Rebecca Kokorh McClain and Jeanette McClain.
A memorial service over the remains of Reverend John Weseh Henry McClain will be held in Georgia, USA.
The body will later be flown to Monrovia, Liberia for the funeral service at the church of his birth, the Eliza Turner Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road.
Mr. Weseh McClain is survived by his widow, Mrs. Susie Knuckles McClain; his sons, John Weseh Henry McClain III, Theodore E.D. McClain, Daniel Worjorloh McClain and Devin Weafueh McClain (Whitney); his daughters, Joyce Etmonia Shelton (Byll), Florence Aurelia McClain (Chinco), and Massa Stataria McClain; his grandchildren: Brandon (Ruby), Edward, Sean, Kenneth, Spencer, Ayani, Amaria, Kidani, Dakari and Devin Olivia; great grandchildren: Naima and Arie; his brothers, Lester G., Sr., Dr. Randolph A.K.W., Rev. Dr. Charles Nyankoon (Alice), Louie Togba and Samuel Ellis Robinson McClain, Sr. (Oretha); sisters, Mrs. Emily Mclain Benjamin, Dr. Florence Gbeye McClain Daramola, Mrs. Charlotte McClain Dean, Mrs. Vashti McClain Burrowes (Earl), and sister-in-law, Mrs. Gwendolyn Pierre McClain.
Also left to mourn Weseh’s loss are many close and ardent nieces, nephews, cousins, grand nieces, grand nephews, in-laws, friends, church family members, his Circle Club family, his CWA Class of ’55, and acquaintances both in Liberia and abroad.
Funeral arrangements in Liberia will be announced later.