The funeral of Mrs. Marie E. Dupigny-Leigh Parker, former vice president of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), is due to take place this Saturday, June 21 at 10 o’clock a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Ashmun Street, Monrovia.
Mrs. Parker died on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Maryland, United States of America, after a brief illness. She was in her 70th year.
On Wednesday, June 18, the body of Mrs. Parker will arrive at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County via SN Brussels and be deposited at the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlors.
Following the funeral, the body will be interred at the Kaizer Memorial Lawn Cemetery in the Township of Virginia, Montserrado County.
Mrs. Marie E. Dupigny-Leigh Parker led a distinguished public service beginning in 1971 when she returned from foreign studies and President William R. Tolbert, Jr. appointed her Director of Industry at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Transportation. She later served as Managing Director, Liberia Development Corporation (LDC). It was upon her recommendation that the LDC was separated into independent Agencies by an Act of Legislature. The Agencies included the National Investment Commission (NIC), the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Free Zone and the Concession Bureau.
Madam Dupigny-Leigh Parker served on the board of directors for several institutions, including the Liberia Bank for
Development and Investment (LBDI), Liberia Investment Corporation (LIC) and the National Port Authority (NPA).
She once served as vice president for academic affairs at the Leigh Sherman Community College, founded by her elder sister,
Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman. Mrs. Parker was a founding member of the Mano River Women Peace Net Work (MRWPNW), which involved the women of Sierra Leone, La Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia; treasurer, Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS); and economist, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS.
She was also a founding member of the Literary Club of Liberia. She served as director of human resources, Wilkins Systems, Inc, Tacoma Park, Maryland, USA, executive vice president, Duppy Enterprises, Columbia, Maryland; and consultant to the African American Import and Export Company.
Marie Esther Dupigny-Leigh was joined in holy matrimony with Mr. Lester Richard Parker at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia on May 30, 1970. The marriage was blessed with three children, Lester R. Parker, Jr., Marie Parker-Harvey and Edith Y. Parker-Johnson. Her husband of 21 years predeceased her.
An active member of First Church, she was once honored as the church’s mother of the year. Marie was also a member of Order of Eastern Star, where she rose to general grand matron, the order’s highest position.
Mrs. Marie Esther Dupigny-Leigh Parker was born in Monrovia on July 11, 1945 to the union of Mr. T.W. Dupigny-Leigh and Nancy Kebbah-Leigh. Mr. Dupigny-Leigh was a distinguished statesman, having served as the first Chief of Protocol of Liberia and Member of the House of Representatives, R.L.
Marie Esther commenced her education and graduated with honors at St. Teresa’s Convent in Monrovia. She later took the Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. It was there that she met her life companion, Lester R. Parker.
Following her graduation, Marie returned to her beloved country, Liberia, where she began her long, distinguished public service.
It was following the 1980 coup d’etat, in which her brother-in-law P. Clarence Parker II, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), was killed and her husband Lester, Acting Mayor of the City of Monrovia, was jailed and brutally mistreated, that Lester and his family migrated to the United States. There he died in 1991.
Mrs. Marie E. Parker is survived by her children, Lester R. Parker, Jr., Marie Parker Harvey (Varian), and Edith Y. Parker-Johnson (Richard); grandchildren, Richard Johnson, Melissa Johnson and Eli Harvey; her siblings, Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman, Enoh Cash, Theresa Essien, Nancy Davis Kiadii (Henry), Annie V. Otto; in-laws, Mrs. Marie Parker Cassell (Nelson), Mrs. Clavenda Bright-Parker, Bernice Parker, Luritz Parker, Paula Dupigny-Leigh, Aunts Teetee Gbassagee, Mai B. Roberts, Helene Roberts, and many other relatives.