Cover photo for George  Arthur  Padmore 's Obituary
George  Arthur  Padmore  Profile Photo
1940 George 2021

George Arthur Padmore

January 12, 1940 — January 7, 2021

Due to Covid-19, all services will be online.

AN EVENING OF REMEMBRANCES
Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Click here to view the service.



MEMORIAL SERVICE via Livestream
Sunday, January 17, 2021 - 1:00PM
Click here to view the Livestream service.



A LIFE WELL-LIVED: GEORGE ARTHUR PADMORE, JR.

George Arthur Padmore, Jr. was born in Monrovia, Liberia on January 12, 1940. He was the oldest of five sons born to Edith Mai Wiles Padmore and George Arthur Padmore, Sr.: Arthur, Ed, Gerald, Ronnie, and James “Wiki”.
When Arthur was still a young boy, his parents left him in Monrovia in the care of “Gran and Grampa” Euphemia and Edwin Barclay, while they went to Harbel to plant a newly acquired farm for Grampa Edwin Barclay. It was likely the influence of Grampa, an accomplished composer and musician, who was then serving as the 18th President of Liberia, that Arthur first developed his musical ear and lifelong love of music. It was also through the influence of Grampa Edwin Barclay, who introduced Arthur to the encyclopedia, that Arthur developed a lifelong love of learning.
Arthur grew up in the Barclay household with cousins Mary, Siata, and Earnest, and later also with Gran and Grampa Wiles at 99 Broad Street with cousins, Maakai (Sirleaf), Nehsee (Tubman), Myrna (Tolbert), Emmett Harmon, James (Wiles) and other relatives, as well as brothers Ed and Gerald. He attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Monrovia and then later attended high school at the College of West Africa (CWA). He left CWA in 1956 when his father was appointed Liberian Ambassador to the United States, and the entire family moved to Washington, D.C.
He graduated from The Williston Academy (now Williston Northampton School) in Easthampton, Massachusetts and matriculated to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and lived at Harkness House, where he made lifelong friends like John “Hoss” Frank and Carl Wattenberg. He was accepted into Boston University School of Law but later returned to Liberia where he received his law degree from the University of Liberia.
In 1965, he married Pairlene Eleanor Thomas and they had three daughters: Dawn Mai, Shirley (Mensah), and Soenda (Norman). A true disciple of cool jazz and pretty much everything else that went along with that genre of music, Arthur enjoyed his young adult years as a member of Monrovia’s Crowd 18 and as co-founder of “The WAVE.” A popular nightclub in Monrovia at the time, “The WAVE” was an acronym for co-founders “Winston (Richards), Arthur (Padmore), Varsay (Sirleaf) and Estrada (Bernard),” a name coined by Pairlene. Arthur also hosted the popular jazz radio show, “Music for Moderns,” which introduced many Liberians to jazz. Arthur and Pairlene’s home in Monrovia was often filled with friends, family, and music.
As a young father and husband, Arthur worked as hard as he played. He was General Manager of Liberia Amusements Limited which owned and operated popular Monrovia movie theaters like the Relda among others. He also ran a law practice and branched out into various enterprises including a video rental business and gift shop.
Like so many Liberians, Arthur’s life as he knew it was upended by the military coup in April 1980. The friendships Arthur developed and maintained during his years in America paid off. For example, his longtime friend from Brown, John Frank, took in his two eldest girls to give Arthur and Pairlene time to settle. The family eventually settled in Wilmington, Delaware, where Arthur’s first cousin, Emmett Harmon, lived with his family.
Although things were not always easy, Arthur decided to make the best of his new life. He took a job selling insurance and he and Pairlene became dedicated members of the Cathedral Church of St. John, where he was eventually named senior warden. He also worked closely with the Liberian Association of Delaware, aiding those in need in Liberia.
Arthur also served as an administrative law judge for the Delaware Public Utilities Commission for fifteen years. In 2001, he was appointed by the Governor of Delaware to serve as the Public Advocate for the State of Delaware. In that role, he advocated on behalf of all consumers of regulated utility services such as gas, electric, water, and cable.
In the thirty-plus years he lived in Wilmington, Arthur took on the role of family elder. He spent countless hours curating and documenting the histories of the Barclay, Grimes, Padmore and Wiles families, using a computer program on Ancestry.com which at that time was in its infancy. He took great pleasure sharing the family history with all his extended family at family reunions and other gatherings.
In 2010, Arthur retired as Public Advocate and later moved with Pairlene to Cary, North Carolina to be closer to youngest daughter, Soenda, son-in-law, Carnley Norman, and grandchildren, Laura and Eleanor. They left countless friends and cherished memories in Wilmington.
After years of working hard and raising their family, Arthur and Pairlene were lucky to enjoy their respective retirements. They often traveled to St. Louis,
Missouri to spend time with middle daughter, Shirley, her husband Paul, and granddaughters Olivia and Ava. Arthur was especially proud of the fact that he was present for Ava’s birth and often noted hers was the first birth he ever witnessed.
They visited daughter number one, Dawn (“Maisie”), in New York and never missed her performances as a classically trained Soprano. Arthur and Pairlene also traveled elsewhere within the United States to visit family and friends and often, together with friends and family, traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, China, and other far flung places. They even invested in a small condominium in the Dominican Republic where they learned Spanish and how to dance Salsa. They continued to make friends along the way.
Their many travels were interrupted when Arthur developed a medical condition that led to episodic, but severe, illness. He eventually underwent surgery to address the condition. Unfortunately, complications from the surgery led to even greater health challenges. Over the past two years, Arthur valiantly faced every medical challenge that came his way (and there were many including total loss of vision). Throughout all of those challenges, his “Bride” of 55 years remained steadfastly by his side, caring for him with support from his daughters, his brother, Gerald, aunties, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
He died peacefully in the early morning hours of January 7, 2021, surrounded by his wife and his three daughters. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, his three daughters and sons-in-law, his four granddaughters, siblings, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and scores of other family and friends. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

MEMORIAL DONATIONS

The family welcomes donations to the Bromley Mission School for Girls as an expression of sympathy, instead of flowers.
Please make checks payable to: St. Philips Episcopal Church, with Memo: "For Bromley School in memory of Arthur Padmore"
Address: 403 E Main St, Durham, NC 27701 . For more information, please visit: https://stphilipsdurham.org/families/intergenerational-ministries/

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George Arthur Padmore , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 16, 2021

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

Via Zoom only

, Durham, NC 27701

Livestream

Click to watch

AN EVENING OF REMEMBRANCES Saturday, January 16, 2021 LOG IN TIME: 05:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Click below to Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 825 1869 0327 Passcode: 402101

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Memorial Service

Sunday, January 17, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Livestream

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