Let the memory of Richard 'Layi be with us forever.
  • 76 years old
  • Born on January 17, 1943 in Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Passed away on June 10, 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Created in memory of Professor Richard 'Layi Fagbenle, January 17, 1943 - June 10, 2019. B.S,ME, M.S.M.E, and Ph.D

Study:

Igbobi College, Yaba (1957-61), Government College, Ughelli (1962-63), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA (1964-67/1969-72), Iowa State University, Ames, USA, (1967-69). 

Career:

Engineer, Public Works Department, City of New York, 1966; Research Associate, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA, 1972-73; Lecturer, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 1973-74; had various appointments at the Polytechnic Ibadan, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University etc. Engineer, TransCanada Pipelines Limited, Toronto, Canada, 1977; Engineer, Rolls Royce (Canada), Machine, Quebec, Canada, 1978; Engineer, Shawwinigan Engineering Company Limited, Montreal, Canada, 1978; member of the Council of registered Engineers of Nigeria; member, Pi Tau Sigma (a Mechanical Engineering Honour Society), USA, 1966; member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, since 1967; associate member, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; Consultant, UN Economic Commission for Africa etc.

Professor Layi Fagbenle was:

  • HOD, Mechanical Engineering, The Polytechnic Ibadan (at various times)
  • Founding Director, Iree Satellite Campus, Ibadan Poly
  • HOD, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Ibadan
  • Director of Energy, Ministry of Mineral Resources, Republic of Botswana
  • Energy Advisor, Republic of Botswana
  • Founding Provost Ogun State University College of Technology, Ibogun
  • First Chairman Governing Council of Igbajo Polytechnic
  • Chairman Governing Board, Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke
  • Contract Professor at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
  • Visiting Professor, Covenant University, Ota
  • Consultant at various times to several Institutions and world bodies.

Professor Fagbenle was an academic and administrative colossus!

MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PEACE

This website serves as a place of connection for those who have been touched by Richard's life and passing. It gives the people who loved him the opportunity to remember, celebrate his life and support one another during this difficult time.

Posted by Femi Tinuoye on July 19, 2019
Hmmmmmmm! Now I'm coming to terms with the reality that my Uncle Layi has left us; I was actually hoping someone will wake me up from this bad dream. Some men didn't biologically contribute to our existence but they stand firm in our lives as father figure - such was Uncle Layi. He was a man of many parts: Erudite Scholar, Excellent Administrator, Crisis Manager per excellence, Guidance Counsellor, a man who delights in healing hearts he has not broken and raising the children he didn't make. When on January 17, 2019 I called to wish him and Yinka a happy birthday, he spoke in a low voice and this made me ask if all well - because even if my call wakes him up, he's always lively and sounding bright - to which he answered in the affirmative but was just a little tired from all his trips. Then on this faithful day in April, he called me to say he was going in for a minor surgery and just thought he'd mention; he was quick to pick from my response that I was worried and reassured me it was really nothing and promised to call me once he is done and awake, a promise he kept - as is usual of him. There was nothing to suggest to me he was actually preparing me for his departure from this sinful world. Now I know better. My children Kanyinsola and Akinkola who fondly referred to him as "Grandpa with the Turtle" are beneficiaries of his guidance and wisdom. Akinkola who is an Aerospace Engineer was to a large extent influenced by Uncle Layi to go the Engineering way rather than just Maths or physical education he initially said he would study. As for me and his influence in my life, it is immeasurable! He was my hero, mentor, role model, friend, brother, uncle and father just to sum it up. I will surely miss my very special Uncle Richard Olayiwola Morakinyo Fagbenle. May the good Lord grant him eternal rest in Jesus' Name. Amen
Posted by Kasumu Salawu on July 14, 2019
A Tribute to Dr. ‘Layi Fagbenle In August 1964, our departed brother, Professor Layi “Jigan” Fagbenle, and I were two of the 57 Nigerian students who traveled to the United States on ASPAU: African Scholarship Program of American Universities. ”Jigan” was the nickname he earned in our class at Igbobi College, Yaba, the 1957-61/63 set. Layi and I and another student named Charles were enrolled at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus in September 1964. After we graduated from Igbobi College, we were briefly separated from each other for two years while he completed his higher school at Government College, Ughelli and I completed mine at Government College, Ibadan. As we tried to settle down as Illini students, we exchanged news daily about new social terms and technical ideas we had learned in the intervening 24 hours. It was then his wry sense of humor, already highlighted by his brother, Tunde, revealed itself to me most clearly. I left Illinois to transfer to Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and I hardly saw Layi again. Even when I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, from 1975 to 1977, I did not see him. Since then, we spoke by phone and exchanged letters! Deservedly, Layi garnered academic and social accolades prolifically, as confirmed by these tributes. Already, he is sorely missed! Engineer Ibe Anyanwu informed me that Helen’s children are traveling to Lagos shortly to celebrate their father’s life with his extended family living there. May God forgive Layi his sins and grant him serene repose in His court; may He give his survivors succor till we all meet again, Amen! God's blessings to all!
Posted by Benson Nwajagu on July 11, 2019
The famous song by the late Jim Reeves, says the world is not our home. We are just passing through. And Shakespeare concurs, that the world is a stage, and we are merely actors who play our parts and make our exit for others to also play theirs. Brother Layi, my classmate and compatriot at Townsend House, Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, you have played your parts so outstandingly well around the world that many, too numerous to count, applaud your exit at the Lord's calling. Although, we would have liked for you to stay much longer, but it's not our call. One thing was certain about you; whatever you embarked on doing, you always did to the best. You were an all rounder at Igbobi: very brilliant in class, played all sports, member of Townsend House 4x110 yards relay team, member of the college choir, a debater, and ofcourse you probably did not escape Baba. You displayed a charming personality that endeared you to all. We all miss you brother, and bid you Adieu, good man. May the Good Lord bless and console those you've left behind. Benson Oyiboka Nwajagu
Posted by Olabosipo Fagbenle on July 6, 2019
TRIBUTE TO PROF. LAYI FAGBENLE My darling brother! What a terrible blow to the family, the academic and energy world on the passage unto higher glory of our dear brother and father, Layi Fagbenle. Anyway, who are we to query God? He giveth and He taketh. Brother Layi Fagbenle, an echo of joy and mountain of solution, the greater part of your residency on earth had been largely devoted to destiny moulding/value-adding and the foothprints will remain indelible till eternity. You gave your all for the survival of academic and energy systems in Africa like the biblical widow. You are a perfect listener and a gentle contributor in all areas of discourse. Your academic acumen and sound fathership style have made me and my wife to go farther in our academic/career pursuits in life. Your reservoir of advice and mentorship to me and my entire household members will greatly be missed. Anyway, we have solace in the Lord that you lived a fullfilled life in all ramifications. Continue to rest in the bossom of our Lord till the resurrection day. With the demise of Professor Layi Fagbenle, certainly, a world has ended. Professor & Lady Evangelist Olabosipo Fagbenle (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria).
Posted by Tunde Fagbenle on July 4, 2019
A Tribute to my “Brother” By Dr. Ore Soluade I first met ‘Layi in 1964 when he joined me and other Nigerian students at the University Of Illinois mechanical engineering department. We struck a great friendship from that time on. We had wonderful parties on weekends and at Christmas time. We worked hard and all graduated at various levels of accomplishment. Layi was inducted into the mechanical engineering honor society - Pi Tau Sigma (ptS) for his excellent academic performance. After graduation, we went our separate ways on life’s journey, only to meet again over 10 years later, at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, mechanical engineering department. Our friendship grew stronger, and we collaborated on a few engineering projects. In particular, he and I worked zealously to resuscitate the thermodynamics laboratory. It was an attractive place to display the potential for energy development and generation in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the laboratory is still dormant today, over 30 years later. I knew there was something special about Layi; because he was so easy-going and was able to tackle seemingly intractable problems with such great ease. Little did we all know at that time, that we were dealing with a greatness. He very modestly steered the mechanical engineering department into a very enviable position of prominence in the Nigerian Technical Educational System. It was this attribute that earned him the position of the founding Director of Ire Satellite campus of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. His work in Ire still stands out today as the solid foundation from which the campus benefits. Layi’s academic accomplishments were stellar! His research into solar energy, as well as his contributions to Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics as reflected in the array of research publications he had accumulated over the years, are testimony to the greatness of this man. It was in recognition of this talent that he wound up in Botswana as the nation’s Director of energy; a position he so admirably held. ‘Layi was not a one-dimensional person. He was very active in the social life of The Polytechnic, becoming at some point, the Chairman of the Polytechnic Staff Club where we spent a lot of time gulping down beer after hectic sessions of Tennis. Among the people we interacted with were, Dr. Ajayi, the Principal of the institution, Sir Olateru Olagbegi, the Olowo of Owo, Professor Yoloye of University of Ibadan, and many others. Layi’s contributions to the growth of The Polytechnic are also manifested by how he tactfully operated in his interactions with senior administrative and technical staff of the institution. There was almost nothing Layi would request that he would not be attended-to with respect and dignity. He was a jolly good fellow, always smiling. I NEVER saw ‘Layi angry with anyone! That is remarkable. He had such a positive disposition on life, that he would not allow any negativity to get in the way of him enjoying his life. May his soul rest in peace; and may God grant his family the strength to withstand this irreparable loss. Oredola (Ore) Soluade July 1, 2019
Posted by Victor Oladapo on July 2, 2019
I first heard of him in 1975 while I was in Final year at KMC,Igbajo and with His far junior brother, the present Loogun Logunde of Igbajoland, Chief Dotun Fagbenle. We were in a Career building tutorial class with our School Principal, The Late Deacon Olagunju and it came to my turn to answer to the question “ What do you want to become in Life” I told “Baba” (as we used to call him), I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer. Then he said “ Awon Omo Layi Fagbenle ni yen “. BrodaLayi was lecturing at The Polytechnic, Ibadan then so Sometimes in 1976, I worked my way thru the likes of Loogun & Late Lere Fagbenle to visit his Staff quarter residence then. Meeting him that day gave me Joy & push my ambition harder. A tall, handsome man with his pipe & glamorous Looking. I told him of how I heard of his name. He gave me words of encouragement and told me he was expecting me in his class the following year. The next time I saw him was at his “ Orita Bashorun”residence in 1985 after my return to Nigeria. He has been made Patron of my town Club IPABROS & he was hosting members. I was amazed when he referred to me as Engineer Segun & when I now told him I eventually graduated in Computer Sciences from France, he took my hand and later took me to his library to inspect his newly installed personal computer. with great enthusiasm, he welcomed me and encouraged me to keep in touch. And when he later started seeing me following BrodaTundeFagbenle so closely, I became one of his “Aburos” automatically. BrodaLayi !!, A Loving Gem and a Gentleman. A Hero among the World Rockefeller’s. Humility personified & Champion of Dignity, We All Love you But God Loves you Best, Sleep On gently & till we meet again to part no more. Good Night.
Posted by Covenant University on July 2, 2019
A TRIBUTE OF COVENANT UNIVERSITY TO PROFESSOR LAYI FAGBENLE We at Covenant University honor the life and contributions of a dearly beloved father, teacher and mentor - Professor Layi Fagbenle. Late Professor Layi Fagbenle was one individual whose character showed humility and politeness. He was a determined, visionary, collaborative, goal-oriented, caring person who loved life and all that it offered. As an institution, we valued his productive service during his professional sojourn. We cannot forget the fatherly and professional roles he played in mentoring some members of our faculty who are now renowned Professors. Sir, your impact on our platform has transcended individual level to the world in general as we aim to become one of the top 10 universities in the world. Covenant University will forever continue to cherish your undeniable roles even as you rest in the bosom of the Lord. Rest in Peace Professor Layi Fagbenle. Signed Prof. AAA. Atayero Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University
Posted by Oladotun Fagbenle on July 1, 2019
Bamiji Rufus Adetoye's tribute Oh death, you snatched this genius of our time in the field of Mechanical Engineering Prof R. O. Fagbenle away when Nigeria needs people like him most. He was one of the few PhD holders in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Polytechnic, Ibadan between 1976 and 1980. He was quite different. His method of teaching those core Engineering courses: Heat Transfer etc was amazing. He was easy going with his likeable smiles as he doled out to us those equations in Heat Transfer and similar principles which form the basics of Heat Engines. Your love for thoroughness in doing things remains ever green in our memory. Our dear late Lecturer, Prof Richard Layi Fagbenle, Adieu! .....Bamiji R. Adetoye.
Posted by Buki Fagbenle on July 1, 2019
Adieu Uncle. You were too good for this world. Rest well in the bosom of your Lord. You were my brother- and father- in -law par excellence. I will miss you dearly. We take solace in all you stood for while here...an amazing human being, a wonderful brother, husband and father. You gave of yourself so unselfishly, at the expense of your most deserved solitude and precious time to reflect....to reflect upon how much you gave and gave without expecting much back! Ahhh this hurts too much for words. Sunre o, oko mi, omo gbun-gbun-gba, omo agbo meji ko m'omi ninu akoto; mefun ooto, omo a lo'bi lo're oke'sha.. Opo ule rin, opo ude ni lu ijesha. See you on the other side dearest. Thank you for your wise counsel, your constant assurances, your support and your love. O digba for now. Much love from Adebukola, Oya Babatunde Adisa, who has lost a big part of himself, without you!
Posted by Tunde Fagbenle on June 27, 2019
BRODA, By Kayode Ilesanmi I FIRST "MET" YOU THROUGH A PHOTO YOU SENT ADISA SOMETIMES IN LATE 60s. YES. THE SAME ADISA, MY FAVORITE ABURO. THE SAME ADISA WHO WAS YOUR MASCOT IN MINNA MORE THAN 60 YEARS AGO. YES SIR, THE SAME ADISA WHO WAS THE CHIEF DANCER AND COURT JESTER WHEN YOU WERE DOING GARETA MASQUERADE DURING FESTIVITIES IN MINNA. BUT OH BRODA, HOW COULD YOU HAVE PERMITTED MY ABURO TO BE DOING FINE BARA ALL AROUND MINNA IN THE NAME OF EASTER AND XMAS CELEBRATIONS. AND WITHOUT PATA TOO. NO WONDER THAT WHEN HE WASN'T GIVEN ENOUGH MONEY, HE GAVE AWAY YOUR IDENTITY, PRETENDING IT WAS A MISTAKE. NOT FAIR AT ALL SIR!!! IN THAT PHOTO, BRODA, YOU WERE SO TALL, FAIR AND HANDSOME. OH SO SO HANDSOME. AND WHEN I FINALLY MET YOU IN PERSON YEARS LATER, I REALISED THAT THE PHOTO DIDN'T DO YOU JUSTICE. YOU WERE EVEN MORE HANDSOME. JUST LIKE ADISA!!! WELL, BRODA, ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US WHO HAD THE PRICELESS PRIVILEGE OF KNOWING YOU; ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US YOU GAVE REASONS TO BE PROUD; ON BEHALF OF THE NATION WHOSE IMAGE YOU BURNISHED ON THE GLOBAL SCENE WITH YOUR PERFORMANCE, INTEGRITY, COMPETENCE, BRILLIANCE AND OVERALL QUALITY, I SAY THANK YOU SIR. OUR WORLD IS SORELY MISSING A MAN MADE OF THE GREATEST STUFF. AS FOR OUR ABURO, ADISA, DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT A DAGONE THING, SIR. I WILL BUY HIM A GARETA. A MODERN ONE. I WILL MAKE HIM GO ROUND THE SAME PLACES IN MINNA YOU USED TO TAKE HIM ALL THOSE YEARS AGO. THIS TIME AROUND, HE SHALL WEAR PATA. M&S BRAND!!! kayode ilesanmi
Posted by BAMIGBOLA TIMILEHIN on June 26, 2019
IGBAJO POLYTECHNIC's TRIBUTE TO PROF. "LAYI FAGBENLE" When the establishment of Igbajo Polytechnic was first muted , Prof. Fagbenle was appointed Chairman , Technical Committee on the establishment of Igbajo Polytechnic which was inaugurated in September , 2003 and laid the golden and solid foundation for Igbajo Polytechnic before the Technical Committee by the first Governing council in December , 2004. He was appointed the first Chairman Governing Council on 30th December , 2004, a position he held till December , 2009. He was a robust team player , a leader and community developer per excellence . He is a man full of devotion and commitment to service in every difficult circumstances . He is a man of reputable honor . His effort in the establishment and successful take off of Igbajo Polytechnic will forever linger in our mind; and the continuous existence , growth/development of Igbajo Polytechnic will remain an edifice showing your love for education . We hope to uphold your legacy and see your vision over this dear Polytechnic attained . May the Almighty God grant him eternal rest!. From : THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT , STAFFERS & STUDENTS OF IGBAJO POLYTECHNIC, IGBAJO, STATE OF OSUN.
Posted by Tunde Fagbenle on June 22, 2019
President Buhari Mourns Energy Expert Prof. Layi Fagbenle President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the family, friends, and loved ones of Professor Richard Olayiwola Fagbenle, who passed on this week, aged 76. The Professor of Mechanical Engineering was also an energy expert, who made Nigeria proud in many countries of the world, and got hired by the United Nations in the 1990s as Director of Energy for Botswana, as well as serving on the Energy Board for Southern Africa for about four years. A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, quotes President Buhari as saying that the deceased exemplified some of the very best Nigeria can offer, and wishes his soul eternal rest, noting that his footprints would remain indelible in the sands of time. The late academic and first class scholar pioneered three higher institutions as Director, Provost, and Governing Council Chairman, respectively. According to the statement, the President urged academics to strive to approximate Prof Fagbenle’s giant strides, and use their God-given intellect for the benefit of the country, and humanity at large. He prayed God to comfort all those who mourn the departed, and take solace in the fact that he lived a worthy life, and left enduring legacies behind.
Posted by Tunde Fagbenle on June 22, 2019
Brother Layi, Goes In a Blaze of Glory By Gori Ogunyemi Brother Layi, may you Rest in Perfect Peace. Sometimes I wonder if you were ever given a chance to make a difference in your own country as other African Countries gave you. Wouldn’t we all be celebrating you now instead of just the President and a handful? How many of your colleagues are serving other Nations now (as you did) who would prefer to serve their fatherland? Energy Professor? Olorun lo ma da’jo. I’m saddened. He died ‘sung’ alright but what have we to sing about on energy. I’m tempted to congratulate the Fagbenle family, e ku orire. Awa to ku ka mura. Brother wa ti ku’re. Ti Nigeria lo ju.
Posted by Tunde Fagbenle on June 22, 2019
My Teacher, My Brother, My Friend By Segun Odegbami My sincere condolences. Prof was my teacher at the dept of Mechanical Engineering, the Polytechnic Ibadan, freshly minted from the laboratories of the best American universities, before he was grabbed by the University of Ibadan to head the same department there. As srudents, we loved, admired and adored the tall, handsome, America-accented, suave gentleman with his unusual lifestyle that became a magnet for attention and talk on campus. He was the toast of all the girls yet he never dated any, his full attention was on intellectual work for which he was well respected. His humility, style, dignified ways and class were totally disarming and everyone just loved the distinguished professor with a goatee and his pipe in his mouth. He was dignity personified. He become my elder brother too when his younger brother, TF, appeared on campus, looking very much like him too (but a younger and crazier version) and we became friends till this day. That Prof became a 'bride' of the international intellectual community, courted and sought in aeveral parts of the world, did not come as a surprise to all those that knew him and the depth of his intellect, industry and commitment to innovation in engineering. He was a dependable source of wise counsel, reserved and a family man to the core. The world of science and engineering would surely miss a Titan, just as the Fagbenle family and the rest of us associated with the family, would miss him dearly too. I pray, even though I believe, that broda Layi, has gone home to rest and would be doing so peacefully already under the bosom of our Creator having come, served humanity and played his part here on earth with distinction. (Copied from Facebook post)
Posted by Folake Osuolale-Ariike on June 21, 2019
Rest in peace daddy. We love you but God loves u more.
Posted by B Fa on June 21, 2019
baba orukomi, it is well. my uncle was my father's twin of over 4 years. i remember the 2000naira you gave me just outside your house. i was about 10 it was the most amount of money i had ever received - a whole 2000! it was a magnificent gesture. i visited you, him, with my mother a few years ago - and he said, "maybe we ARE alike!" after i told him not to bother with taking a shower before going to where he needed to go - he didn't want to fuss and it wasn't necessary at the time, he just needed some comfort in doing what he was probably going to do anyway. stern, strong spirit. my name is Bolatito Olayiwola (Fagbenle) it was and is an honour to be named after any member of God's very own Fagbenle family. Uncle mi - you are a part of us and we are forever linked to your memory and heart - ase o. so much love to my father, uncle's wife and all his children, my uncles and aunties and to all his/our relatives, and definitely all of those he shared his love with. ase, ire o, amin
Posted by Grace Oladipo on June 20, 2019
Uncle Layi, us a brother to my big Mummy Tayo Oladipo. The moment myself, and my Late husband Sunday Oladipo, were introduced to him, he took us like his own blood brother and sister. He facilitated admission of my junior brother, Segun Fajoyegbe to Iree Polytechnic. He treated Segun, like his first child when he was in Iree. He loves my daughter, Tinuola Oladipo - Adejumo, so much. He carries Tinuola on his shoulder anytime we visit him at Iree. Uncle Layi, is wonderfully, and specially created to do good. I cried the day I saw his obituary on Facebook. I remain forever grateful to him. I saw him last during Papa's burial at Igbajo. God will grant him eternal rest. Uncle Layi, you know myself, and my entire family are grateful to you, and LOVE YOU. YOUR LOVE REMAINS IN OUR HEARTS. REST IN PERFECT PEACE WITH THE LORD YOUR GOD.
Posted by Engy Toun on June 19, 2019
Uncle Layi was a good and truthful person. I will forever remember his gentle and way of sorting out difficult issues. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

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