By J. Allen Doe, Jr.
Editor’s Note: We are pleased to share with our readers the life sketch of one of Liberia’s very first computer systems engineers, who selflessly taught and mentored many others in this field of expertise. J. Allen Doe, Sr. answered to his eternal summons on Saturday, August 14, 2021 after a brief illness. He was laid to rest on Saturday, September 11, 2021 in Montserrado County, Liberia.
Mr. Doe was born on January 7, 1959 to Mr. Benjamin Sleh Somo Doe and Mrs. Sarah Doely Doe in Karweaken, Whepo, now Rivergee County. Mr. J. Allen Doe Sr. is one of 8 children. Three of whom predeceased him.
In his early life, schooling was not a priority for many parents at the time, but Mr. Benjamin Doe saw education as the way forward for his children. Thus Mr. J Allen Doe Sr. began his education at the karekan elementary school at the age of 10 years old in 1969 along with his other siblings.
Due to his ingenuity, Allen Doe Sr. wasted no time in elementary school, he attained double promotion twice and reached grade six in less than 4 years in 1972. That same year, he was one of the last batch of students to sit the six grade national exams before it was abolished at that level.
In 1973, Allen Doe Sr. enrolled at Blepol Junior High where he studied from six grade to ninth grade. He was an outstanding student throughout and graduated from the ninth grade in 1975 as top of his class of about 60 students both in the national exams and the school curriculum and as such served as the valedictorian for his class in 1975.
The late J. Allen Doe Sr. in 1976 enrolled at the prestigious Bishop Judith Catholic School in Zedru, Grand Gedeh County. He attained his full high school Certification at this very acclaimed catholic institution from 1976 to 1978. When he obtained his high school diploma and certificate with high distinction.
J. Allen Doe, Sr., throughout his educational sojourn, was always number one. He was indeed an outstanding student, especially in mathematics and the sciences. He never scored below 90% throughout his schooling days. Many times he would differ with his math teachers for the right answers and in the end he would prevail. Such was his cleverness, a genius, that he was one of the most popular students at the time.
In December 1978, Papa graduated from secondary school. The same year, he and his brother, Mr. Matthew Doe, travelled to Monrovia in search of higher education and a better life from the village.
Allen was a very determined individual. He sat several entrance exams, the University of Liberia, KRTTI, ELMA, etc., all of which he passed. He would later enroll at the University of Liberia.
In 1979 to 1980, he served as TA to the instructor at the UL due to his profound knowledge in mathematics. J. Allen Doe Sr. was not a complacent person; he was on the move, frequently searching for better opportunities in life.
In February 1980, Papa was employed by a German industrialist named Mr. Fred Odindorf to work as a computer key puncher, (those were the days of early computer systems in Liberia). At the (CSB) Computer Services Bureau it was called, located at the time at the side of the famous Chase Manhattan Bank later succeeded by Meridian Bank.
Again, he rapidly rose, In the space of one year, J. Allen Doe Sr. had risen to become supervisor for the entire flat of more than 100 employees. At CSB he produced computerized daily reports for various banks including Chase, Citibank, and Travdelco.
Due to his astute and dedicated work ethic and diligence, J. Allen Doe, Sr. became a Manager at CSB, second only to Mr. Oridorf.
Between 1984 to 1986, Mr. Doe’s influence grew in the company, giving him access to some of Liberia’s renowned businessmen and political leaders such as J. Rudolf Grimes, former Liberian Minister of Foreign Affairs under the late President Tubman, Achibald Bernard Sr. etc.
Mr. Doe also served as a computer consultant at offices of the then People’s Redemption Council on Capitol Hill from 1986 to 1987. While at CSB, Allen also performed consultant services for numerous companies and corporations including Firestone, LAC and Libtelco.
His knowledge of computer usage wss unmatched. He was one of few Liberians who was licensed by Microsoft as a systems engineer. Allen did not sit on these achievements. In early 1990, when the war subsided, he opened a computer Teaching Institute, he called Computer Mac International, where hundreds of Liberians had their first glimpse of a computer and so many computer technicians were trained there. Some of them are now working in high places here in Liberia and other parts of the world, including Mr. Matthew Kemu, and Attoh Somada. Another outstanding student of his is Mr. Johnson Chealleh, IT Manager at WFP and Ministry of Agriculture, respectively. So, again, Allen Doe Sr. impacted society in a very positive way.
In 2000, after the war severely impacted the smooth running of the computer school on Randall Street upstairs from above, Mr. Doe joined the Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC) as IT superintendent. He would go on to serve in this role for another 21 years until his demise on August 14, 2021.
While at LAC, he helped establish the LAC Staff Association, an organization among staff to assist each other for their mutual benefit. This organization is still in existence today.
JAD, the real Guy, the Boss, are some of the names he’s affectionately known by on the plantation by staff, drivers, security and just everyone.
Mr. Doe was married to Mrs. Charlesetta Draper Doe. His wife for over 30 years. Her children Mr. Julius Chuckie Hoff, Mr. Hupert Robbie Hoff and Mr. Danny Ariel Hoff all call him Daddy just as he was to us his biological children, Mrs. Precious Nudeh Doe-Shaffa of the United States of America and J Allen Doe Jr. of Liberia.
Grandkids include Mr. Charles Raye Hoff, Ms. Milan Shaffa, Ms. Maya Shaffa, Mr. Calvin Hoff and Mr. Javon Aiden Doe.
My father was not perfect as no one really is, but he was, nothing short of remarkable.
The true definition of a father. He educated us well, guided me and succeeded in molding me to the professional I am today.
He was my mentor and hero.
Papa, I will miss you!! For the rest of my existence on this earth. I will miss you!!
Go now and rest in the bosom of Abraham and May your soul rest in perfect peace just as you lived.