Teacher Ajavon Laid to Rest Tomorrow

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The late Ida Burphy Ajavon

The funeral of Mrs. Ida Burphy Ajavon, a renowned Liberian Science teacher, takes place at Trinity Cathedral tomorrow, Saturday, June 30, beginning at nine o’clock a.m.

Mrs. Ajavon died on Sunday, June 3,  at the SOS Hospital in Oldest Congo Town, Monrovia, following a period of illness.

She was in her 87th year.

Recounting her faithful and productive professional teaching career, the Liberian Official Gazette, published by the Foreign Ministry, recalled that following her graduation from the College of West Africa in 1950 and Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University) in 1954, Mrs. Ajavon  commenced her extensive professional career with the private school system,  serving Daniel E. Howard Elementary School and the College of West Africa,  demonstrating a high sense of discipline and professionalism, imparting knowledge and positively impacting society.

Upon her return from the United States in 1966, where she took the MSc degree in Education from the San Francisco State College (now University), Mrs. Ajavon served as Science teacher at the Monrovia Methodist Elementary School, now J.J. Roberts Elementary and High School.  She served as a Science teacher and also interim principal of the Methodist Elementary during her 30 consecutive years of service.

In the late 1990s she took on the role of academic consultant and advisor for ALCA Memorial School, founded by her daughter, Mrs. Ruby Ajavon Harris who predeceased her, and the late Mrs. Emily Wreh.

In 2007 Mrs. Ajavon was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson-Sireaf as a Member of the Civil Service Appeal Board, a position she held until her demise.  On October 6, 2008, on World Teachers Day, President Sirleaf recognized Mrs. Ajavon as an astute educator and example of a good teacher, “encouraging students to work for excellence with discipline and morality.”  The President noted that though short in height, Teacher Ajavon “was tall in scientific thought and practice, inspiring students to examine thoroughly before speaking and acting.”

Ida Burphy Ajavon was, according to the Gazette, a leader of numerous organizations.  She served the Order of Eastern Star as an Honorary Past General Grand Matron, and Worthy Matron for Dorcas Chapter #13.  She was also a member of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten (SMT) and the Household of Ruth.

As a lifelong and active Episcopalian, she served the Order of the Sons and Daughters of the King (OSDK); past president of the Trinity Altar Guild, head of the Diocesan Educational Board, Lay Reader, advisor of the Trinity Women’s Group and former member of the Trinity Senior Choir.  She also served as a member of several school boards, including those of B.W. Harris Episcopal High and Bromley Mission.

Ida Famatta Burphy Ajavon was born on November 23, 1931 unto the union of Edward Ballah Burphy and Madam Lydia Ash Burphy in Monrovia, Montserrado County.

Following Ida Famatta and her best friend Carlos Ayite Ajavon’s graduation from Cuttington College and Divinity School in 1954, the two were joined in Holy Matrimony in Monrovia on August 23, 1956. This union was blessed with several children: William T. Ajavon, Ruby Alma Lydia Aquavi Ajavon Harris, Boima, Saluxe, Myrma S., Cecelia George and Carlos Ayite Ajavon, Jr.  Mr. and Mrs. Ajavon also raised several foster children, including Nathaniel Gibson, Ruth E. George and Williametta Samuels. The Ajavons also raised and nurtured several of their nieces and nephews, including Mrs. Angeline Ajavon Wardsworth.

Mrs. Ida Famatta Ajavon’s parents and daughter Ruby predeceased her.

Survivors include her son Carlos Ayite Ajavon (Cleopatra), daughters Myrna S. Ajavon and Cecelia George (Newton); grandchildren, Alrucia Harris Thomas (Ronald), S. Alfred P. Harris III, Cianna Carly Ajavon, Leona Ajavon, Sadie Ajavon (Vanessa), Famatta Ajavon, Tina Harris, Adolph Ajavon, Ida B. Ajavon and Bai Ajavon.

Survivors also include two great-grandchildren, Ronald Thomas, III and Aavery Thomas Ayite Ajavon; her sisters Sydia Burphy Lauer (Richard), Audrey Burphy Sims (Jonathan), and Jarsey Burphy; brothers Edward B. Burphy, Jr. (Mai) and Ernest Burphy.

The deceased is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Dr. Ayele Ajavon Cox, Mrs. Leona Ajavon Curry and a brother-in-law, Mr. Joseph Ayite Ajavon.

The body of the late Mrs. Ida Burphy Ajavon will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlor today at 2:30 o’clock p.m. and taken to Trinity Cathedral for a night of wake-keeping commencing at 6 o’clock p.m.

Following the funeral mass on Saturday the cortege will immediately depart for the Ajavon Farm in Zeansue, Bong County, where interment will take place.

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