Tribute: Daddy and Mummy Warri
To us, our big brother and uncle, Pa. Samuel Olufemi Abatan, and his wife, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Abatan were such a fantastic, caring, and loving couple, a couple who practically demonstrated love throughout their lives. We saw this love in practice, between our brother, our father, as well as the rest of the Abatan family. Brother was a man of absolute obedience, dedication, sincerity, and loyalty to our father, his brother. Anywhere his brother sent him, he went, and whatever tasks his brother assigned to him, he undertook with unquestionable integrity. On seeing all these traits in him from when he was very young, our mother gave him the nickname, Anjorin (which literally means “we walk or move together”).
Because our father was a railway officer, Brother was with our parents as they moved on transfer from one duty post to another, living in railway stations in different parts of Nigeria, including Enugu, Imo River, Udeyi in the East, where the older Abatan siblings were born, as well as stations in the North and the South west. As he was growing up, sometimes there were no schools at some of these remote locations. Brother had to travel by train, occasionally including a goods train to other stations, to be able to go to school, yet he did not complain. This was dedication in practice. As a result of living in different parts of the country, he was able to speak many languages. For example, he could speak the Ibo language fluently because he and the family lived at the Imo River railway station for eight years when he was younger.
Another attribute our brother demonstrated was his unalloyed love for the family, which he demonstrated in many practical ways. Brother would visit us at boarding schools on visiting days. When he and Mummy were in England, he made it a point of duty to write us encouraging aerogram letters every month, urging us to be good and take our education very seriously. When they returned home, they continued to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to us all. When they lived in Warri, he and Mummy would drive their yellow Toyota Crown from Warri to Abeokuta many, many weekends to visit our parents. Many times, they would arrive on a Friday and depart on Sunday back to Warri. When they retired and relocated to Lagos, these visits continued, especially as our father was growing older. Also, as we were growing up, whenever decisions needed to be made for the next crucial stage of each our lives, whether it involved educational choices, job choices, or marriage, our father would insist we discuss with our Brother first and consider his opinions. We all regarded him highly as the first born of the family, and he was treated as such all his life.
In addition, he and Mummy were also very generous with their time and money. A great example: On each of our wedding days, Brother gave for each wedding, gifts of money, a cow and a blender. Furthermore, whenever any family member needed assistance, where it was an illness, or childbirth, Brother encouraged Mummy to come from Warri to visit and assist. When our mother was ill, Mummy came from Warri to stay with her till she went to be with the Lord. She also assisted our oldest sister in Lagos, each time she put to bed, and then, stayed in Zaria with our brother and his wife for three and a half months when their first child was born. These are just a few examples of the practical demonstrations of their love, care, commitment, and dedication to the family.
We thank the Lord for their example to us and their positive impact on our lives. More importantly, they knew the Lord, and they served him whole heartedly with their time, efforts, and money. We miss them, but God loves them more. We know where they have gone, so, it’s good night to them both, till we meet by and by in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
the Abatan siblings
Mrs. Florence Olubunmi Omoteso
Pastor (Dr.) Olufela & Mrs. Victoria Abatan
Professor Ayodele & Professor (Mrs.) Adetutu Abatan
Mr. Green & Mrs. Olufunke Akinyemi
Pastor Funsho & Pastor (Mrs.) Olubukola Adebo
Pastor Olanrewaju & Mrs. Margaret Abatan
Tribute to dad and mum
Dad, you have been a beacon of light in this world, the very light that Jesus called us to be. At your own expense, I saw how you helped to mend broken homes, reunite families and helped many people achieve amazing careers. You were always willing to help when you could and that is who you were. I can only hope that I am half the light you were, and my life will be fulfilled. I love you, dad! For all you did to ensure that your children had better lives than yours. You achieved this and I will always have you to thank.
I’ll love you always, Dad.
Mum, thank you for always supporting us and helping us to aim for the sky. Although we were not expecting you to leave so soon, you have lived a fulfilled and a Christ-centric life. We will all miss you, your sense of humour and dogged determination. The legacy you left behind can never be wiped away. Thank you for teaching me the basics of life, like how to cook, how to wash and be a good citizen.
I love you mum.
Tribute to Mum and Dad
I am so glad to be a product of the two most amazing people I will ever know. The two I called mum and dad. Older and wiser now, I understand so much of what they did for my brothers and I growing up. I stand tall when I hear the name, Abatan because my darling dad taught me what it meant to bear that name. I watched how he treated people and that’s the life’s lesson I carry along with me. He always saw the best in everyone, he saw potential.
Mum taught me that nothing lasts for ever except the grace of God. Took me a very long time to understand what that phrase meant, considering my Yoruba was not on par till I got into uni. She taught me how to give. She taught me how to stand out and not fit into anyone’s standard.
My dear ma and pa died the way they way lived, together in love. Almost 60 years of partnership and marriage, a rare occurrence in today’s world, I look around and see how they both impacted the world in their own different ways. Thank you very much for being the best teachers in my life. We will miss you immensely but we know your work on earth is done and it was time for both of you to be with God. Oh, how we are going to miss you and I don’t know how I am going to cope with not hearing your unique voices at the end of the line anymore, because of those one minute banters just to hear you call my name and tell you that I love you and I will call you later on in the day when I am less busy. What wouldn’t I do to get those days back.
Go, be with the angels, mum and dad. Rest in peace.
Love you loads, forever in our hearts!
Tribute to dad and mum
Thank you for being a great father and a good man. Thank you for the words you uttered and actions you performed, for they were the life lessons you taught us. You were also an amazing husband to our Mum. One of the lessons you taught me was your devotion to your family. We travelled over 500 kilometres for over a year visiting grandma every weekend when she was sick. Never found wanting, a natural leader and a very humble man. Your reverence to your faith and God was something to admire. I will miss you, sir! I honestly wish you were around to pass some of your wisdom to my kids, especially to our son who bears your name. You remind me all the time of the words of Paul the apostle when he said he had learnt both how to be abased and how to abound and also ‘godliness with contentment is great gain……’. Good night sir and thanks for a million great memories you left for us to treasure. Mama, your grace, beauty, devotion and sense of humour was just matchless. Your consistency and persistence to your faith, family and your husband was simply remarkable. You called life as you saw it, there was no shred of hypocrisy with you. Your discernment of people and situations sometimes made me uncomfortable, but you were usually right. You had the most amazing smile and your laughter could fill a room. Your devotion to your husband exceeded the strongest of vows. I will miss you mama, I will miss you so much. We shared a lot of great moments, you always claimed to be the better dancer, I was hoping at your 80th we could clear that up once and for all, but this was not to be.
Rest well Olufunmilayo Abeni. You will forever be in my thoughts.
Tribute to Mum and Dad
It is sad to know that Dad has gone, but again it is a loving memory for me when I think about the life of my dad and all he did for me. The good memories remain with me forever, knowing the ability imparted by Dad into my life, All the good things he taught me. Dad I am happy that I am one of your children and glad to be a grandfather for my children. Your memory will not die in me, thinking about the times spent together, Our Saturday trips to Ogunu for scouts and swimming does bring a smile to my face and I remember that charming smile of yours
Farewell Dad, forever loved, forever remembered.
We are who we are because of our Mum, who gave us everything she could. Let our memories of Mum live on forever. I thank God for everything that Mum taught me through the years. She was the best mother anyone could ask for and I’m proud to be her son. Mom taught me the importance of having a relationship with God. She made me rely on Him in everything I do and also said “You’re nothing without Him.” There isn’t anything more important for a mother to teach her children than to teach them how to have a relationship with God.
Mum’s dedication to God is a comfort to me knowing she’s gone to be with him for eternity. There’s this quote that I came across a few years back that’s perfect for Mum which states “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”
I love you Mum, now and forever.
Tribute to my grandparents
Ever since the day I was born, you have nurtured me with love and kindness, you have been someone I can believe in and depend upon, you have made me feel so confident and strong, with your arms wide open no matter my wrong doing, I am grateful to you for the woman I am becoming.
It breaks my heart to see you are no longer with me, but you are up in Heaven. I did not get to say good-bye, you were gone before I knew it and only God knows why.
Every day I think of you, you will never be forgotten. Until the day we meet again, keep shining bright in Heaven so you can light my way. I’ll miss you every day grandma and grandpa.
Love you both.
TOYIN LATOYA DE-FREITAS (Granddaughter)
Tribute to my wonderful parents
From far and near, we have all gathered to pay our last respect to our grandpa and grandma ” PA Samuel OLUFEMI ABATAN and MA Olufunmilayo Abeni Abatan and I would like to extend the family’s deepest gratitude to you all. This gathering is a testament to the parents they were and the impact they had on those who were privileged to know them. We are here to celebrate, not to mourn and we feel blessed to be surrounded by your love and support. Once again I appreciate every one for showing the family such respect and care, it is evident that Grandpa and Grandma hold a special place in your hearts, your friendship allows us to know that they will always be with us, shining like a bright star in each and every one of us. I wish to quote the late Dr Myles Monroe who said “The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation” you are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live”
When I realised I had to write a eulogy for Grandpa and Grandma I wondered and pondered over where to start from and how best to convey how much they meant to me. How do you begin to thank a family whose gift to you was your very own existence? I came to conclude that in 14years I loved being their adopted son. I was blessed to have them as my grandparents. I didn’t need to look too far in search of an inspiration and sound mentor. One million words and thoughts could be used to describe the Abatans, they are great parents who stood by their words and faithfully lived their values. They lived a simple and selfless life, down to earth and willingly sacrificed their comfort to make others happy. Their character is the foundation of my conscience. To this day, they have always been my moral yardstick. They taught me to be a self-sufficient and independent person.
Speaking of Grandpa’s teaching. They really were endless. He taught me so many of my firsts, how not to give up and face every challenge, how to pray, how to be kind, loving and loyal and how to stick up for myself. Grandpa is one of the greatest men I know and likely ever will. He is a disciplinarian and when he chastised he did it out of love. He is a giver to a fault regardless of your age or background, he always saw the best in you. I truly cherish every single moment and would always hold these memories close to my heart. Grandma on the other hand complements her husband. A very jovial woman. I remember the jokes you always tell me when I sat by your side, your invaluable wisdom and the advice you shared with me, our passion for keeping fit and discussing plans for the future. Being by your side was truly a tremendous time of blessing. One which cannot be forgotten. That I will miss you is an understatement, I will always remember all I have learnt from you and all you taught me especially “how to cook”. I am deeply hurt but won’t be sad. God has you both in his keeping. We have you in our hearts forever.
Your adopted son
ADEKUNLE AHMED (ABATAN)
Tribute to my parents In-law.
Daddy Warri! Long before you became my dad in-law that’s what I called you. You were one of a kind, you looked for the best in others and gave the best of yourself. I thank God for the privilege of marrying your son and becoming a true daughter to you. I see your qualities and attributes reflected in him and I thank God for that. I thank God for your gentle spirit and calm demeanour. I thank God for your kindness and your love which you extended to me, that enabled me to simply call you ‘dad’. Every moment I was opportuned to spend in your presence was filled with peace and that will be my overriding memory of you.
Rest well daddy! Heaven is much brighter now that one of its angels has returned. Your spirit lives on!
Never known love like this!! Thank you mum for setting a great example in the demonstration of selfless love. Thank you for loving dad so completely and looking after him so well for so long. Seems you couldn’t bear to be without him. We wish we could have had you with us for much longer, we were looking forward to celebrating your 80th birthday in a few months, but God had other plans. I draw comfort in knowing that you are finally together with the one you love, never to part again.
John 11:25-25 ‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
‘A o pade lese Jesu, nibiti a koni yarawa, a o ri ra wa, a o yo mo ra wa, Jesu ni yio se alaga’
TITO ABATAN (Daughter in-law)
Tribute to my parents In-law.
Mum and dad lived an exemplary married life.
They had a strong sense of humour and security in their love for one another, they laughed with and at each other. Their romance, respect, banter and jokes always made me smile with admiration. Theirs was truly a match made in heaven, love lived on earth and now in heaven to live and love forever. The union of their individual strengths fostered the wonderful character traits I see in my husband, his brothers and sister. Mum and dad taught us by their examples, to be responsible, hardworking, honest and loving people, a legacy which I trust will span many generations. I am blessed to be married to their son.
They were kind and generous to everyone. They opened their hearts and home to countless number of ‘children’, it’s almost impossible to know how many came from their loins.
I will miss you mum and dad, I will miss your beautiful genuine smiles, I will miss seeing the love radiating through your eyes, I will miss your warm and accepting embrace. I will miss you …. Adieu my beloved parents, rest in the bosom of the one who made you and has called you home. Although we shed tears because you are gone, the peace of God that passes all understanding will guide and guard our hearts, and we will yet smile because you lived.
TOYIN ABATAN (Daughter in-law)
Tribute to my parents In-law.
I remember vividly the first time I spoke with you, the first words that came out of your mouth were prayers for me and ever since then, whenever we talk; we start with prayers and end the conversation with prayers. The last statement you always used to make before dropping the phone was “I love you daughter and kiss your husband for me”. I will surely miss those kind and gentle words. Mummy you always have kind words to say in any situation, you made me feel welcome into the Abatan family and your words towards me were gentle. The children and the grandchildren’s welfare and unity were always your top priorities. You displayed love in everything you did and I just admire your strength and unhinged determination to always seek God’s face. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to meet you and know you, you were always smiling and nothing could ever stop that beautiful smile on your face.
Hearing about your passing on to glory is still a shock to me and I still find it difficult to comprehend that you are truly gone. I just wanted you and Daddy to know that our girls will know about you and your legacy of unconditional love for us all. I wish you could have remained here with us for longer so our children could have both their Grandparents as a spiritual guide. You came into my life a few years ago but it feels like I knew you all my life as I am deeply connected to you and God answered my prayers when I got you as my mother in law. How I wish Gracie had the opportunity to meet you and dad too, as I was six months pregnant with her the last time I saw you. I know that Grace would have loved to meet you like Joan did but I am very sure the girls will miss you dearly. Joan’s prayers at night since you and daddy transited into glory are “I thank you God for keeping my Grandma and Grandpa in Nigeria with the angels in Heaven”. The fondest memory of mum was her placing her hand over my bump and praying for Grace (in my belly) and smiling with so much joy. I’ll never forget that image.
I can’t say I am surprised you passed on less than 3 weeks after dad, for the love and bond you shared with one another was so strong and could not be comprehended by any of us. I will always celebrate you two for a life well lived. I am thankful to God you live to see your children and grandchildren and Great grandchildren. You were truly blessed.
Thank you for raising Layomi to be an amazing husband and father to me and the girls. He’s a credit to you and Daddy. Knowing you mummy was an honour and losing you is a great loss to everyone that has had the privilege of knowing you. May your strong but gentle souls rest in perfect peace and may light perpetual shine upon you, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
DOYIN ABATAN (Daughter in-law)
Tribute: Daddy and Mummy Warri
Daddy Warri (as we affectionately called him) was a staple of our childhood. I remember trips to Warri to visit our older cousins and the joy when our families were together. I remember seeing him a few years after I joined Shell as a research engineer and his pride at having “another Abatan on the books”. It is clear in the affection with which our parents, aunts and uncles speak of him that he will be deeply missed for the vital role he played in so many lives and the legacy he leaves behind. May he rest in Honour and in Peace.
ABIMBOLA, AYODEJI & TOLULOPE ABATAN (Great nieces & nephew)
Tribute to my grandparents
Do not stand at our graves and weep. We are not there. We do not sleep. We are a thousand winds that blow. We are the diamond glints on snow. We are the sunlight on ripened grain. We are the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush. We are the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. We are the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; We are not there. We did not die.
Together forever. Always nearby.
Rest in Peace Grandpa and Grandma.
ZOE ABATAN (Granddaughter)
Tribute to my grandparents
Grandad passed on the last day of the year, which marked the final chapter in both the year and his accomplished life. Grandad, your passing will leave an unfillable void in this family, but it brings peace to know that you are with the Lord. What we have lost in your presence here on this Earth, you have gained in optimum health and everlasting joy in heaven. Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather. You will be missed dearly and live on in the memories of our family forever and always.
Grandma, you were the matriarch of our family. A mother. A grandmother. A great-grandmother. Your death came as a great shock and also signifies another great loss to our family in a short time. Your love for grandad evidently knew no bounds and subsequently, you departed not long after he did. I hope that you are reunited with him in heaven as you are buried together on this Earth, as you would have wanted. I love you very much and pray that you rest in peace.
Rest in Peace.
TEMI ABATAN (Granddaughter)
Grandad & Grandma’s Tribute
The passing of both Grandfather and Grandmother in such a short period of time has been hard on
all the lives they’ve touched. However, we will never forget them nor the example of their trust in the Lord. And in that we can take solace in the fact we know they are together, in heaven and in the
presence of The Heavenly Father. The legacy of both Grandad and Grandma live on through their
children, grandchildren and great grandchild. Through us their memories will live on. Thank you for being the wonderful grandparents you were.
TONI ABATAN (Grandson)
Although it had been a few years since I last saw my grandparents, I still miss them every day, and was so shocked and hurt when I found out about their passing. It breaks my heart that they are gone but I know that they are in a better, pain free place, and I know that God is watching over them. I remember them both being such caring and generous people who were always able to make me laugh and smile and I really value the time I was able to have with them.
They were amazing parents, and people, and I can see this through the lessons they taught my dad, and my auntie and uncles, shown through them being the great, inspirational people that they are today. I miss their smiles, and the joy and laughter they brought to the family and I will not take the time I had with them for granted. The years they spent together is admirable, and although both of them leaving is hard, I am glad that they remain together, and I pray that I will see them again one day.
I am so grateful that I am their granddaughter and I will love them and miss them forever and always. I’m thankful for the lessons they taught us all and the unforgettable impact they had on my life and the rest of the family’s lives. I hope that I make them proud, as proud as I am to have been a part of their lives for 18 years.
TOLU ABATAN (Granddaughter)
Grandma and Grandpa:
Although I didn’t see grandma and grandpa too often, the times that I spent with them I will always remember. They both were loving and caring people who always put others first. I will miss them and what they brought to my life dearly. They were great grandparents and excellent parents whose lives showed this. Grandma’s enthusiasm and her loving nature is something I will never forget. Grandpa’s calm and wise nature are traits I hope to apply to my life. I am proud to be their grandson and hope and pray that I will be able to make them proud in the future
FEMI ABATAN (Grandson)
Tribute to grandpa
I don’t really remember him much …
But I know that he brought happiness into the lives he got to know. I know that grandpa was a loving and caring man who followed and loved God through his life and that he prayed. I know that he was a good father, a good husband, a good uncle and most importantly a good man. Grandpa was a unique special person of whom I’ll cherish every day, as he is in a better place, in the heavens with God. Even though I didn’t remember a lot, it was devastating when my parents told me that grandpa had passed away. I was in real shock as I wasn’t able to cherish the future memories I was hoping to have with him. But God will make sure that I remember the little moments in the past.
Tribute to grandma
I remember her more. I remember whenever she would come over she would give up her precious time for me so that I could read my devotion to her. I also remember that we would pray before I go to bed. And that she too, was a loving woman who enjoyed every moment of her life especially when she was with her family who cared dearly for her. I know that she was a good mother, aunt and good to anyone who had a personal connection with her. I loved grandma, she was always smiling and healthy. It was a real trauma when I realised she wasn’t feeling well lately and upsetting that she unfortunately passed away. But I know that she is with Jesus now and that she is now peaceful and luckily with her husband, my grandpa. They will be together forever just like they were in this world. The 56 years of marriage was full of love and trust and they will continue onward in the heavens above.
I loved them both and I will pray for them, I know that they are both happy, together in harmony forever. With God who will watch over them as He does for us, grandma and grandpa would both be in my heart and I will never forget them, and I will always love them. God has decided that their time had come, and I trust God that they both are in a much better place, a place where they were hoping to go, to be with Jesus. Once again I will miss them as well as love them, till the end.
ELISE ABATAN (Granddaughter)
Tribute to my grandparents in-law
I never had the privilege to meet grandpa in person but heard such wonderful things about him; I wish I had met him.
I met grandma when she came for our wedding. She held both my hands and prayed for me and said take care of my precious jewel and prayed for me again lol. Grandma valued my opinions and welcomed me into the family. She even gave me a nickname, DD and every time we spoke she lifted my spirit. She was always smiling and had a positive aura about her when she was around. She always spoke words of Benediction over us. I wish Alexander got to spend more time with you. You left us peaceful memories; your love is still our guide. I was looking forward to my family spending time with you during your next planned visit, but God called you home. Grandma we would miss having you around and hearing your voice. Alexander will miss his Gee gee ma.
God has taken you both home,
Rest in peace grandma and grandpa.
DOM DE FREITAS (Grandson in-law)
Tribute to my great grandparents
You have a place within my heart that no one else can fill, you are dear and very special to me. I am going to miss calling Gee Gee Ma and Gee Gee Pa. Rest in peace.
Xander De Freitas (Great grandson)
IN LOVING MEMORY OF DEAREST UNCLE ABATAN
Today, we converge to mourn an iconic loss, for it is a loss that leaves behind an unfading scar, a loss that jabs at fondest memories. Mr. Abatan was a graceful uncle, a kind–hearted role model and a cheerful soul sworn in unflinching friendship with our family, and with our father, Mr. Simon Osuji. As we commemorate the brilliant life, loyalty and resolve of Mr Abatan today, we are sad that a Titan has fallen, but relieved that his friendship with Mr. Simon Osuji, and with God Almighty, shall be renewed even stronger than before in blessed company.
The “Gentile” as he was fondly called by his dearest friend, Mr. Abatan’s relationship with our father, and our family, left behind a beacon of hope in this dark world. From sharing newspapers, to buying mutual shares when they both worked with the Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC), they embodied not just true friendship, but also heavenly virtues in the eyes of their colleagues. And when they moved houses to the same neighbourhood, and mutually sacrificed their comfort to care for both their families, they personified for us the power of love, unity and sacrifice. We saw in them the biblical friendships of David and Jonathan, of Moses and Aaron. Now that Mr. Abatan has joined our father, he has left behind a powerful legacy, a social contract of friendship for both families to sign in a unified will of fire, so that we may emulate and surpass the legacy which he and our father left behind.
In this loss, we are stronger, and solidly behind the Abatan family. We are our brothers’ keepers, and we join the Abatan family in this difficult time. We thank God for using Mr. Abatan and our father to teach us valuable lessons and virtues, and we pray that our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of our Blessed Virgin Mary, grant Mr. Abatan eternal rest. May the soul of Mr. Abatan, of Mr. Simon Osuji, and all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in perfect peace. Amen!
THE OSUJI FAMILY
Tribute to the best couple on earth! Words couldn’t express the shock and surprise all over me when l heard of Mummy Abatan’s sudden demise. I was yet to get over the death of Daddy, when l was told about Mummy’s death exactly two weeks after. Double tears for me, why? The last time we spoke on the phone, the conversation lasted more than an hour. I never knew it was going to be the last. You were both an epitome of love, kindness, humility and affection to everyone around you. A caring spirit and a deep religious and spiritual core. ‘Death is not an end but a beginning of an end’. You both dropped your casing for the crown of glory and gloriously we celebrate your life and times. The Entire Ajani Clan will forever miss Daddy and Mummy Abatan. Rest on, in the bosom of Almighty until we meet to part no more. Goodnight. Mrs Margaret Ajani. London (On behalf of the Ajanis)
It would mean the world to us if you could share your thoughts and tribute about Pa and Mrs Abatan by making use of the “Leave a Reply” form below.