Hundreds of people last Saturday bid farewell to Fatu Gittens-White, former Chairman of the Management Department and Instructor of Management at the University of Liberia, as they thronged the St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road to pay homage to her. She died recently in Monrovia following a brief illness.
The deceased taught for more than three decades at the university and also served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs at the Finance Ministry and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Airport Authority.
The deceased, also a former queen of the university, graduated from there with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1978. She later got a master’s degree in Business Administration, with emphasis in marketing from the University of Bridgeport in the United States of America. In July of 1982, Fatu was united in holy matrimony to Mr. Nathan White. This union was blessed with two sons, Nathan S. White Jr. and Eric White.
Many of those who paid tributes during the nearly three hours service, praised her for her role in the educational system of the country, especially at the University of Liberia. She was hailed for not compromising excellence for mediocrity, and also for being a compassionate, caring, committed, dedicated and determined person. The state referred to her as someone who lived a life well done.
In his funeral discourse, the rector of the church, rev. canon James B. Sellee said the deceased was an active member of the church who participated in activities of the church, adding, “she was an extraordinary woman”.
He said she made her contributions while alive, especially in the field of education. Rev. Sellee said the late Fatu White used “her personal contacts and influence to raise funds for the church.”
On the theme, “Competing To The Finish,” the Episcopal church clergy pointed out that whatever she found to do, she did it with excellence.
He added that she distinguished herself in today’s Liberia where corruption has rocked the educational system. Rev. Canon said the deceased never compromised, as others would do in the field of education.
He said he was happy that despite the wave of corruption in the system, the deceased stood her ground and never compromised on insisting on excellence, adding that she was honest, faithful and did what was right.
Fatu is survived by her mother, Mrs. Mary Z. Sheriff; father, Mr. Christopher Gittens ; her children, Nathan S. White jr., Eric White; her beloved daughter, Asara White and foster daughter, Joan Thomas. Fatu’s other survivors include her siblings, Vida Moore-Mensah (Joseph), Mamawa Sheriff, J Abdul Sheriff Jr., , Bindu Sheriff Dunbar; (Tilman), Yata Sheriff; Weatta Sheriff-Chesson (Marcel); Eliza Pawoo-Joseph; (Alexander), Gertrude Scott and Philip Henry. Also, she leaves to mourn her nieces and nephews Niketta, Courtney, Tilman Jr., Eric, Jasimine, Corry, Myles, Feetee, Blessing, Ashley, and Jordan; many cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives and multiple friends throughout the United States, Liberia and other parts of the world.