Rev. John Kali-Kojo Komai, age 76, a resident of Oak Park, passed away at Manor Care in Hinsdale on November 13, 2012. He will be interred at Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleum on Friday November 23 at 12 Noon. (Family and Friends will meet at Woodlawn Funeral Home) A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held Saturday January 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM at the Elliott Chapel of The Presbyterian Homes, 3131 Simpson St. (also known as Golf Rd.) Evanston, IL 60202. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Presbyterian Homes Student Chaplain Intern Fund (checks made payable to the Geneva Foundation), 3200 Grant St., Evanston, IL 60201, or...
Rev. John Kali-Kojo Komai, age 76, a resident of Oak Park, passed away at Manor Care in Hinsdale on November 13, 2012. He will be interred at Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleum on Friday November 23 at 12 Noon. (Family and Friends will meet at Woodlawn Funeral Home) A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held Saturday January 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM at the Elliott Chapel of The Presbyterian Homes, 3131 Simpson St. (also known as Golf Rd.) Evanston, IL 60202.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Presbyterian Homes Student Chaplain Intern Fund (checks made payable to the Geneva Foundation), 3200 Grant St., Evanston, IL 60201, or Spring Arbor Student Scholarship Fund, Spring Arbor University, 106 E. Main St. Spring Arbor, MI 49283, or Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church Memorial Endowment Fund, 600 E. 35th St., Chicago, IL 60616.
… By The Content of His Character
CARING GIVING AND LOVING ARE ALL EXCELLENT WAYS TO DESCRIBE
JOHN KALI-KOJO-KOMAL. To those who knew him best, John was a smart and
humble person who always looked for the best attributes in other people. Also, he was a
quietly clever businessman who often surprised colleagues with his tender tenacity,
tireless work ethic, and vast knowledge.He was born in Ghana, West Africa to a Ghanian
mother and a Liberian father. In his early teens hismother died and he and his father
moved back to Liberia. He grew up to be an outstanding linguist and Bible scholar.
By the age of sixteen he spoke several languages and often served as a translator
for spectators who flocked to the mineral rich interior areas of Liberia. He loved to
read the Bible and met two young American missionaries (Ed and Judy Jones) who
helped him perfect his English and Bible knowledge. And while some thought he
was an idealist, his friends and family understood that he was forever seeking
ways to improve the educational and economic opportunities for the people in his village.
After all, his father was a Puti chief and John was
presumed to be the heir to the riches and concerns of this region. Because his father was
a farmer, who worked long hard hours in the fields and gold mines, he was literally raised,
in the African tradition, by his village. Thus, he was beloved by everyone, but he was
especially fond of his fraternal twin sister who perceived him as a quiet clever person
who deserved a better education than he could find at their mission school.
She began to seek opportunities for him to travel to America
with the missionaries when they returned home. Because of his wit and work ethic they
were happy to mentor him and seek sponsors for his immigration efforts.Thus, during the
1950s he matriculated at Spring Arbor Bible College in Michigan and graduated with
honors. The college yearbook was dedicated to the glory of his scholarship, singing talent,
and community service. Educationally, he earned graduate degrees from Greenville
College in religion, Roosevelt University in accounting, Chicago State University in
education. Additionally, he completed coursework at the University of Chicago in statistics,
Garrett! McCormick Seminaries in theology and was a doctoral candidate at Loyola
University in educational leadership. Professionally, he was also an overachiever,
who was successful in many careers. By the age of forty he was the first minority owner of a
State Farm Insurance agency in Evergreen Park, a real estate developer in the Uptown
neighborhood, and in 1970s because of his deep love for the church he became an ordained
Presbyterian minister serving, Lawndale Presbyterian Church for eighteen years. However,
he never forgot the promise made to his countrymen and early in the 1980s he successfully
purchased a Coca-Cola bottling company and returned to Liberia to use the profits from
this business to provide better school and medical facilities to the villages in the interior areas.
John truly loved the Lord and his country; in 1997 he was a candidate for the president of
Liberia with the endorsement of the American government. However, the horrific civil war in
his country ended this aspiration. He always carried his devoted daughter, Kwaben Jean Komai,
in the Heart of his Heart and she was truly the Love of his Life! Thus, after he suffered a
Traumatic Brain Injury nine years ago, Kwaben enlisted a host of friends, family, members
of the Liberian American community, medical magicians at the Rehabilitation Institute of
Chicago and her co-caregivers (especially Chaplain Baldwin) at the Presbyterian Homes
in Evanston to help minister to her father. Thus, he leaves to celebrate his remarkable life,
his daughter Kwaben, her mother Dr. Loisjean (Ernie) Thompson; her siblings, Roland,
Diahanna, Kenneth;her cousins James Quiah Gbalay, Babstunde Adewsi, Ricky Maurice
Brown, Nia Bennett, Alysia Logan;her aunts Nancy Jean Harris, Lynette Logan Harris,
Attorney Cora Thompson Burks and Dr. Doris Walker Bennett. Additionally, she was
blessed by the faithful assistance of her father's lifetime friends, Frederick Adewsi and
Thomas Crumpler, plus her spiritual advisor, Rev. Donald B. Register, who did so many
random acts of kindness. They were all the wind beneath her angelic wings.This Caring,
Generous Loving man, his faithful daughter, and world wide family have been encircled
by their prayerful church family at Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church and the Sorors of
Delta Sigma Theta International Service
Sorority (ENSA Chapter). We thank God for their endless blessings.