Prof. Samuel Otu Gyandoh

A full and Wonderful life – Tribute by Bertrand Nana Otu Jandoh


Dear Daddy, you’ve lived a full and wonderful life, as evidenced by the numerous and wonderful tributes that have come pouring in at the news of your passing.

I’m grateful for your imbibing onto myself and the other siblings your infectious joy and love for family and friends and also for casting that same net of joy and love on as many people as possible who came within your sphere of influence. 

I joyfully recall you organizing family reunions at the family house in Elkins Park, PA where family and friends far and wide would come and congregate particularly on Thanksgiving holiday weekend, everyone immersing and enjoying themselves in the love and joyful ambiance you helped to create.

Daddy, one of your greatest attributes was that despite your great academic and career achievements you lived simply and humbly and treated everyone equally with the respect and dignity that all deserved.

I came to appreciate and incorporate into my life various aspects of your life which have been of great benefit to me in my own life.  One such aspect was your love for reading and your thirst for knowledge.   I recall that wherever we lived in the world, regardless of the home in which we lived, we were always surrounded by books everywhere.

With regards to your love for reading, on your last journey home we both found ourselves reading the same book, President Barrack Obama’s, “A Promised Land”.   You had your hard-back book version all the while writing notes within the margins – the way a book is supposed to be read! — and I had an electronic version on Kindle. 

The book is over 700 pages and I used to always tell you that, “well you know I don’t have the time that you have to quickly read through a book and that explains why you are way ahead of me.”  You told me to relax and just finish it when I get a chance.   

Unfortunately, you were not able to finish the book by the time of your Call to glory.  However, please note that I have your book and also your page marker and know where you stopped at. 

Despite my very busy schedule, I’ve nearly reached where you left off.

I promise that I will continue to read it and finish it for the both of us and will use your hard-backed version to do so!

Daddy, although I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye, I feel extremely fortunate that that at least I was able to spend some time with you in your last few moments. 

I recall our introspective conversations about politics and life in general while we had dinner together or watched a program on television or sometimes just sat together quietly while I punched away at the keyboard of my work computer while you read a book quietly.

I am very thankful for the Good Lord’s blessing and favour in your life as well as in our family’s lives on the whole.  It has been an honor to have been your son on your great and very impactful sojourn on this planet that the Good Lord has provided.

Daddy, or as you are known by so many: Uncle S.O., Uncle Prof, Grandpa Lou, or Prof., you will live forever through the lives you so deeply touched and through lives you never knew you touched. 

Rest in perfect peace, till we meet again – da ye.

With lots of love and admiration,

Bertrand Nana Otu