Cover photo for Monica Agha's Obituary
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1938 Monica 2022

Monica Agha

November 11, 1938 — August 30, 2022

        

Biography of The First Grandma, Mami Monica Agha

Mama Monica Ngwedoh Agha was born on November 11th, 1938 to PA Paul Fonteh and Ma Margaret Fonteh in Beba, a village in Northwest Cameroon. Mama was the oldest of 8 siblings, whom she outlived for several years. 

Mama Monica met and married her first love, Xystus Agha, the son of Ma Christina and Pa Peter Asah, Aghanifor of the Beba royal family, at a very young age. Mama spent her productive years raising her family. Mama Monica and Pa Xystus birthed several children, many of whom died at birth or infancy. It is to be noted that she mothered several other non-biological children (her siblings and those of her husband). Mama Monica was commonly known as Mammy. If any person said that they were going to Mammy’s house, you know that the person was going to Mama Monica’s house.

As a wife, Mama was very supportive of her husband's career as an educator in the Catholic school system. Mama would often accompany her husband to his assigned Parish School for the school year. All the while still remaining industrious in the community. Mama sewed beautiful dresses and school uniforms and also sold delicacies from her compound; if you wanted to look nice during Xmas, you had to catch Mammy in time to design your Xmas day dress. She used her saved earnings to help send all the children she mothered to school. Her style in educating children started a family tradition where family members took pride in educating their relatives.

In 1993, Mama made her first trip to the US. She would often revisit Cameroon to be with her beloved husband and family members. She became a permanent US resident after the death of her husband in 2004 and gained US Citizenship in 2018. 

Mama is recalled by several and most importantly by the DMV millennials as "the first grandma" of the days. Indeed, she was. In this capacity, she babysat many of the first-generation Cameroonians in the community. Her caretaking nature transcended throughout her years and Mama was often seen as a first responder to many new mothers. She would pack her bag and spend nights with them at their homes, aiding them in caring for their newborns. We applaud Mama, for being there for those that needed her. She is the cornerstone to our progress and success in building our families and professions in the US. 

Mama was also a pioneer in the cultivation of Cameroonian crops in the DMV area. Many of us ate from her garden, of which she shared freely. She did all of the above with profound love, kindness, wisdom and a smile. 

Mama was full of poise. She took great pride in the upkeep of her hair and nails. As a self-taught speaker of the English language, it’s amazing how she could always spot the “Sale” sign at the shops. She always avoided dresses from the sales rack. She wanted top-quality value, which she certainly deserved.  

Mama was also very spiritual. She was a devout Catholic and constantly prayed the Rosary. One of her greatest achievements was creating a Catholic Women’s Association (CWA) branch in her home village, Beba. Upon moving to the US, she became a CWA member Of Bowie branch. 

Up until December 8th, 2021 (a day known to Catholics as the Feast Day of Immaculate Conception) Mama lived with us at home. She was stable, cognitive, and required very minimal assistance with activities of daily living.  At about 8:30 pm, it was a Tuesday evening, Mama called out to one of her granddaughters. As we entered her room.  She stretched her arms out and asked us to hold her so that she could take her last breath. As her hand was held, she progressed into respiratory distress. We initiated CPR and Mama was transported to the local hospital for continued care. She had suffered major heart and lung damage along with anoxia to the brain. Although we remained hopeful for a full return of life, she remained in a semi-comatose state, on life support and tube feeding for 9 months. 

Mama has so many in-laws and she always enjoyed the happy relationship that she has with them. Everyone wanted to be Mammy Monica’s in-law. She had a lot of friends and acquaintances in the USA and it is remarkable that she knew every person by name. Mama had so many children and nurtured them in a Christian upbringing. Mama instilled a love of Christ and His blessings to the children.

We thank you Mama, for giving us 9 months to prepare ourselves for your ultimate transition. We prayed with Mama, we cared for Mama and we engaged and said our good-byes. We prayed that God’s will be done and He answered our prayers with a decision that was His and correct. On August 30th, at 7:19 pm, Mama was called to meet her Maker, in the presence of her children and grandchildren. 

We thank God for the blessings of a loving, caring and god-fearing mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Mama, you left behind so many people to pray and remember you. Please Mama, continue to give us strength and guidance wherever you are; we know you are in heaven. We will always remember you in the present.

Travel mercies Mama. 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 2, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Saturday, December 3, 2022

11:00am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Matthias the Apostle

9475 Annapolis Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 3, 2022

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Matthias the Apostle

9475 Annapolis Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

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