- 79 years old
- Date of birth: Apr 9, 1937
- Place of birth:
- Date of passing: Jun 27, 2016
- Place of passing:
|Let the memory of Aunty Eirene stay with us forever.|
The Mbongo and Martin families are greatly saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Eirene Mbongo on June 27, 2016, in Limbe, Cameroon.
* Wake-keeping services will be held at the Martin Family Residence, situated at 25 Makangai Street, Downbeach, Limbe on Friday, August 19 from 8 pm to 12 midnight;
* She will lie in state on Saturday, August 20 from 8 am to 11 am at the Martin Family Residence. The funeral service will take place promptly at noon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Down Beach. It will be followed by a reception at Down Beach.
* She will be laid to rest beside her husband after a private burial ceremony in Buea at the Mbongo family home.
* A US Memorial/Thanksgiving service will be held on Saturday, August 20 from 3-5 pm at The Church of God of Prophecy, 8477 US NC Hwy 52, Morven NC
We thank you for your thoughts and prayers,
The Mbongo and Martin Families
Eirene Evenye Mbongo nee Martin was born on 9th of April 1937 in the South West region of Cameroon. She was the fourth of ten children born to Hannah Nene Enanga Martin nee Steane, and Ernest Kofele Martin, both well-known educators. The former Miss Martin began school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in early 1940’s. At the time she was living with her aunt, Mrs. Comfort Manga Bell nee Kofele. She returned to Cameroon where she attended the Buea Government School. Since secondary school education for girls was limited in the then Southern Cameroon, Miss Martin travelled back to Nigeria to attend the Teacher Training College in Ikeja, Lagos.
Upon graduation she returned to Limbe and was employed at Saker Baptist College as its first House Mother when the institution opened its doors in 1962.
In 1966, she married Mr. Fritz Isoke Mbongo, a former stores manager for the United Africa Company who had just returned from studying architecture in Takoradi, Ghana. The couple was very happily married for 15 months that they spent in the staff quarters at Saker Baptist College. After Mr. Mbongo’s untimely death in 1968, Mrs. Mbongo remained a devoted widow and part of the Mbongo family for the rest of her life.
Her teaching career was briefly interrupted when she enrolled in the North American Baptist College in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) in the early 70s. When she returned to Cameroon, she again served at Saker Baptist College, this time as a Religious Knowledge and Literature teacher. She also taught at Government Girls' Technical College and finally at the Cameroon Baptist Convention's Baptist High School when it was still known as Baptist Boys' Secondary School - BBSS. She was widely known as a softly spoken, competent teacher who was well loved by her students.
Eirene was a long time resident of Down Beach, Limbe where she was an entrepreneur, founding and directing the Kofele Luma Academy, a fully accredited higher education institution that has turned out hundreds of graduates since its inception. Besides teaching, she was involved in women’s work in the church, the Cameroon Baptist Women’s Convention, the Girl Guides, and in spreading adult education in home improvement, cookery and sewing.
Growing up, Eirene was slim, a tiny girl and ended up being known by her sisters and cousins as "Tin’gal." Later on her nephews and nieces would call her fondly, Aunty Liling/Lileen. She is survived by her five sisters and one brother, her very many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins, in-laws, friends, and her church and school family.
We invite you to leave tributes, share stories, view our photo and video galleries. Please refrain from downloading the various media you find on this site as they are personal, intimate copies. Thank you!
"Dear Auntie Eirene,
The void you have left in our hearts will never be filled. Thank you for all the years of love, laughter, sharing, kindness and that smile!!!!
Till we meet again."
"Aunty Tin'gal, Even as I stared at this memorial site throughout the night, and spoke with Aunty Dr at 3am about the wake and final few hours before you came back to 'down house' for the last time, I still could not bring myself to say goodbye. But seeing pictures of your home going and finally reality hits. If only I had known that the telephone call I made to wish Aunty Dr a happy birthday on Sunday June 26th was the last time I would speak to you! I thank God that I had several opportunities to say 'thank you Aunty' for all that you did for me, and the family. The ever so gentle, caring, kind, generous, loving and funny Aunty, mother, friend and mentor that you were. You were always around whether it was in Victoria, Yaounde and I remember the few days we had in Garoua together. I have very fond memories of you and the impact you had at various stages in my life.
You stood by Mummy when Daddy died, you held her hand all the way. You were there when she fell ill and stood by us when she too went. You took charge of decorating that sitting room with such attentiveness. You were there with us through out the night making sure it was special for when she was laid in state. Oh Aunty!
Then I was back 5 years later to bury Dada Jane and there you were again... You have been a friend, sister and confidant to Dada Latre' -your 'age group' as you called each other; now she is devastated and lost; your passing was so sudden.
I hear your gentle voice, your laughter as I write. I still feel the warm embrace you gave me when we arrived home that Thursday evening, 4 days after Mummy passed away back in 1995, and your words of encouragement and your support. I would call you if I hadn't been able to reach Dada Latre for some time and there she would be; with her 'age group'. Even when I called just to see how you were, you would reassure me that Dada was fine and that she was right there with you. Thank you Aunty for looking out for Dada Latre'.
Now you are finally reunited with your beloved uncle Fred, as you rest from your labours. Sleep tight Aunty Eirene, and once again thank you, thank you, thank you.
With Love always,
"I was fortunate to be a classmate of Eirene when she attended the North American Baptist College in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I was blessed to be able to visit her in Limbe and to be able to see and experience firsthand her love for education. Her love for God was always evident in her beautiful smile!"
"Still unable to find the words to say goodbye, even this 20th day of August 2016!!!!! I just saw the pictures, yet my brain stubbornly refuses to grasp the fact that you just will not be there the next time there is a "MBONGO GATHERING" this side of Heaven!
Well, I do want, actually, I do NEED to say THANK YOU for being our indefatigable, loyal, caring, giving, LOVING "AUNTY EIRENE", from as far back as I can remember, till you left us! Say HELLO to your BELOVED husband and his sisters for us. SLEEP ..."
I thank you for your last promise and know it shall be fulfilled in time.
You had courage for the great sorrows in life, and showed patience for the small ones and unfortunates; and when you had laboriously accomplished your daily task of feeding, comforting and caring, you went to sleep in peace knowing...........God is awake"
"A TRIBUTE TO OUR BELOVED MA EIRENE MBONGO
Our mother, friend and our greatest icon, which you were and still are. We had so many fun times with you and did not know death was going to snatch you so soon. You thought us how to be bold, believe in ourselves and how to live together. You were always there to hold us up. You did not only make Kofele Luma a fun filled place to be but you gave us a home and a conducive place for learning. We remember most at times how you would cook and call us to come eat. It was much fun when you imitate how we use to say “Ma it wasn’t us”. We remember when we left Kofele for lower sixth in other institutions. You would still call to check on how we were doing. Some who went to Saker still remember how you would pay visits to school. It was much fun when you would sneak food given to you by the women’s group in church to your girls through the lawns before leaving. Despite our faults, you always forgave us just like a mother and grandmother. We remember it all ‘Ma’; it’s a tale and will forever remain in our memories. We are at least happy to have met an Inspiring, motivating and above all a Precious Jewel like you in our time.
We will miss your presence but your teachings keep us strong. We love you Ma but God has a better plan.
Rest in Peace, until we meet to part no more. Evergreen memories.
KLESANS (Kofele Luma Ex-Students)"
"Though an auntie by marriage, you were a lot more than that. You have been a blessing to us all, a flag bearer of the Mbongo family name and a tower of comfort and dedication. For your life's work and your loving loyalty we remain indebted forever.
What I remember a lot more early in life was how your wedding to Mola Fred was: the first one I ever attended; his death the first one that touched me so closely and the memorial service the first time I heard that song: In the Resurrection Morning...We Shall Rise.
Then you lived your life with so much grace and composure. You made teaching a thrill and joy at every stop through Saker, BBSS and down in Limbe. Such consummate passion for one's job is a rarity today.
I last saw Auntie Eirene at another funeral in Limbe in February 2016. I helped to serve their meal and drinks without realizing that would be our last encounter on this earth.
May her soul rest in peace. The kind of peace and grace that she projected with decency and decorum!
Harry Mbella Mokeba"
"It is with deepest sadness that I remember Sisy Thingal as I always referred to her. She was MY sincere friend, mentor and inspiration. When my parents passed away she comforted me and encouraged me to throw my worries away and move forward with my journey of life. I am truly grateful to God I saw her and shared a meal with her during my stay in June. We took photos together and again had a one to one chat . She treated me as a daughter. We shared great memories together which are like strings of pearls which I shall always cherish. Sisy you are one in a million.A rare person that is hard to find today. Hope we will meet again. I shall miss you pray for your soul to RIP. May perpetual light shine on you always. .Amen."
"It is with deepest sadness that I remember Sisy Thingal as I always referred to her. She was MY sincere friend, mentor, and inspiration. When my parents passed away she comforted me and encouraged me to throw my worries away and move forward in my journey through life. I am grateful to God I saw her and shared a meal with her in June 2016 when I was in Limbe to unveil my late mothers tomb. We took photos together and again had a one to one chat. She treated me as a daughter she never had. We shared great memories together which are like strings of pearls which I shall always cherish. Sisy you are one in a million. A rare person that I had the previledge to meet. Sleep tight till we meet again. I am truly gutted. So so sad I didn't do more for you while you were alive. RIP may perpetual light shine on you. Amen."
"It took me this long to gather courage to say something about a dear cousin, sister and mentor. She was there for us as little girls growing up in our family compound. Oh, all the baking lessons, morning devotions, 3H girls lessons, youth programs at Ebenezer Baptist Church every summer holiday. I remember on one of the days during our baking lessons, she scolded me for singing worldly songs, and said "christian girls don't sing songs like that". She shaped me to be the woman I am today.
I thank God for her life on this earth and all that she did to touch the lives of so many people especially young girls. We cannot question God's decision and just have to accept it and thank Him for the many years she lived on earth."
So gentle and so kind - always a pillar in my mother's Mbongo family for my entire life!
I barely knew Uncle Fritz since he passed away when I was still a young child, but I learned as I grew up that yours was indeed a special union. I listened to my mother and my aunties wonder at at your exceptional devotion to the memory of Uncle Fritz and to us all. I got to know you so much better while at Saker Baptist College and I built memories with you there that I will always cherish.
You are sorely missed and fondly remembered on this side of heaven, but I am also happy to know you are finally with Uncle Fritz again.
This is Didi (Namondo Mbiwan Ndando) on behalf of our family - saying well done, Aunty Eirene, and sleep well - we'll see you in the morning!"
"God looked around His garden and found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you and lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful He always takes the best.
He saw the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids and whispered "Peace be thine."
Peace be thine, Mme Mbongo!
Peace be thine, my English teacher.
Till we meet to part no more!
Beatrice Fontem (Ex-student, Girls’ Tech. College Molyko-Buea)"
"Gentle, loving, ever smiling Aunty Eirene! I thank you for your love as a big sister, teacher, in-law, adviser.....etc. You are gone before us; we shall miss you a lot but you will be remembered forever. In your usual loving way you stood with my family and I (not saying much) until my sister was buried in Limbe. I did not know that that would be my last time to enjoy your love and support! You touched many lives while here on earth. May God receive you with wide arms into His kingdom. Go well, Aunty. By God's grace, I pray that I meet you again when our Lord will call me home. Christy"
"Aunty Eirene, a kind heart and gentle soul. I will miss her dearly but I thank God for all the fond memories I have and hold dear to my heart. Nothing I say now matters to her but I am comforted, knowing that the time she spent here on earth was full of love.
Rest well aunty!"
"Why do we cry?
Is it because of your smile, so effortless, so kind?
Why do we cry?
How about your laugh, from deep within, filled with glee?
Why do we cry?
Is it because your heart was good, so loving, so giving?
Why do we cry?
How about your sweetness, in your baking and your style?
Why do we cry?
Is it because your mind was ever curious, to impart and to learn?
Why do we cry?
How about your love, for your children not borne but every bit yours?
Why do we cry?
Because your laugh, your love, your heart, your might has left this earth
Perhaps to shower us instead while you rest
Why do we cry?
We cry aunty.
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