Sunrise: July 5, 1922 - Sunset: February 11, 2013
Lolo Grace Nnennaya Okereke was born in Amaja Agbo, Akoliufu, Alayi on July 5, 1922 the only daughter and second child of a lovely couple, the Uche Family. She had three brothers – one older and two younger than her. She grew up as one of the most beautiful girls in town, a gift that drew the attention of the King’s (Chief Okereke Aka) family who approached her family for marriage to the King’s
first son and successor, Christopher Ukeje Okereke (aka C.U. Okereke). Grace tied the knot with Christopher in 1947. The marriage produced six children – three boys and three girls. Grace was happily married to Christopher until June 15, 1991 when the Good Lord called him home.
Grace raised her six children with the fear of God. She always read the bible to them and prayed before bedtime and never missed taking them to Catholic Church service on Sundays. She always monitored her children’s friends and associates to ensure they were of good character. She arranged in conjunction with her husband for private tutors for her children after school. The subjects taught them included Religious Studies to further buttress their knowledge of God.
All Grace’s children knew how to cook, clean, sew, apply first aid, grow crops and sing from her lessons of what made her what she was. She was the first generation of Nigerians that studied Domestic Science and the first in town (Alayi) – the knowledge she made sure was transferred to all her children, irrespective of gender. She always farmed along with the children to augment the family’s breadbasket. Most of her children took this practice with them when they became adults; the first son (Charles Okechukwu Okereke) went further by studying agriculture in college.
During the Nigerian civil war, Grace along with her husband guided and protected her children from the bombs and war zones. They would take the children to safer grounds as the hostility lasted. Grace lay under cover, on the ground in the midst of her six children and husband, ushering to all words of encouragement, January 12, 1970 as the last Biafran enclave was bombed to surrender.
Grace and her husband turned the twenty pounds given to all bank account holders that operated their accounts in Biafra during the civil war into multitude
that raise and trained all their children into what they are today. They are all educated, enterprising and responsible citizens of the world.
This was the life of a loving mother, grandmother, mother-inlaw, sister-inlaw and everything positive to us and everybody around her. She will be missed by many touched by her words and actions. May her gentle soul rest in peace until we meet to part no more.
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