Mother Nyamah Lake’s Funeral Saturday in Gbarnga

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The funeral of Madam Nyamah Martha Lake, widow of the Rev. J. David Lake and niece of Bong Paramount Chief Gbarcee Kpangbai, is scheduled to take place in the Kpangbai hometown of Duata, Kokoyah District, Bong County, on Saturday May 23.

The body will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlor at nine o’clock a.m. tomorrow, Friday, May 22, and transported to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Gbarnga, Bong County, where wake keeping will be held from six o’clock p.m. to 12 midnight.

Tonight at six to nine o’clock a silent wake will be held at the home of her daughter, Dr. Sodey Lake, immediately behind the MTA Depot in Gardnersville.

The funeral service will commence at nine o’clock a.m., Saturday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Gbarnga.  Interment will follow immediately in Duata, the place of Ma Nyamah’s birth, on the Kokoyah Road near Gbarnga.

Spokes persons of the Lake, Kpangbai and Quanah families disclosed that Mrs. Nyamah Martha Bwayou Lake died peacefully in her sleep at home in Gbarnga at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2015. 

She had not long before had her lunch—potato greens with red oil.  She then took a bath, dressed up beautifully and told her nephew, Oliver Lake, that she was going to take a rest.  She then laid on her bed and slipped into slumber. 

When her nephew came to say goodbye as he was leaving for church, he found her in a very deep sleep, from which it was hard to awaken her.  When he told her niece, Ms. Mary Miller, they rushed her to the nearby Phebe Hospital in Suakoko  where she was  announced dead on arrival.

Dressing up beautifully was not the only preparation Ma Nyamah made before she took her departure.  A granddaughter, Mrs. Sianeh Sawyer Bedell, told the Daily Observer that about a week before her grandmother passed, she told her niece, Ms. Miller, that she was taking off all her jewelry—her beads, earrings and chain.  Mary asked her, “So Grandma you now want to join the Adventist Church?”   Ma Nyama replied, “No, I’m not.  I do not want to go to God with these things on me, because I did not come with them on me.  I don’t want God to ask me questions such as, ‘I did not send you to earth with these things on you; so why are you returning to me with them?’”

Then that same week her daughter, Sodey, who works at the Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, passing through Gbarnga, suggested that her mother come along with her to Monrovia.  The Oldma replied, “Death is death.  Whether you die in Monrovia or in Gbarnga, it’s the same death.”

Dr. Sodey Lake was still in Monrovia when, on the very next Sunday, she received the news of her mother’s passing. 

Ma Nyamah was born on July 27, 1927 in Duata, Bong County.  She was the niece of the eminent Paramount Chief Gbarcee Kpangbai of the Jorquelle Chiefdom, who later became a Member of the House of Representatives.

Nyama befriended and married Paramount Chief Kpangbai’s secretary, Mr. J. David Lake.  To this union, which took place in Gbarnga in 1939, nine children—seven daughters and two sons—were born. 

Ma Nyamah took care of her husband, Rev. Lake, their nine biological children and over 20 foster children, at their home in Suakoko.  Mr. Lake, who served for many years as an agricultural technician at the Government Farm in Suakoko (now the Central Agricultural Research Institute – CARI), later became a Lutheran pastor.  For many years he headed the parish at the Lutheran-built Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, and other Lutheran churches. 

Ma Nyamah Lake had a very long time to care for her beloved husband, Pastor Lake.  When he died in 2011 in Monrovia at the advanced age of 103, they had been married 72 years.  

Their daughter, Mrs. Magaret Lake Young, predeceased her parents. 

Ma Nyamah Martha Bwayou Lake leaves to mourn her loss Mrs. Joan Lake Nathan, Mrs. Rosemarie Cummings, Dr. Sodey Comfort Lake, Ms. Dee Zoe Lake, Dardhe M. Lake, Ms. Julia Somoe Lake, Ms. Korto Georgia Lake and J. David Lake, Jr.; a younger sister, Gbarngo Quanah; nephew Oliver Lake and niece Mary Miller; several foster children; and many other relatives and friends.

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