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John Prom

In Memory
From the people, with the people, and for the people
(AKA John Louis Leon Prom, Jean Leon Hubert Prom, John Jabel Prom, and John Toubab)

The man who touched hearts, minds, and souls
A perfect gentleman and a great leader
The man with the heart of gold
The giant who tread the earth on angels’ wings

As the Wolof adage goes: Nit nit la am. The truth explained by this statement is that the wealth of a person is measured by their ability to touch and positively affect people around them by their character and integrity. This marks the attributes of a transformative leader or, as John’s beloved wife declared her husband, a Jambar. John was blessed and his ability to touch those around him was unparalleled. To encounter John, was to encounter love personified. His genuine kindness, charisma, and unwavering ability to make anyone feel safe could always brightens one’s day. He was humble, compassionate, selfless, and moral. To know John, was to love John.

John was born on November 19, 1957 in Banjul to Louis Leon Prom and Mary Augusta Jeay Prom. He was one of 11 children but he grew up with an extended family of siblings, cousins, and many others who were adopted and raised in the family home. John was proud to be part of a family with such a vast and diverse religious, ethnic, and socio-economic history, and was determined to make sure his family’s history would continue to be cherished by future generations. His determination led him to document the Prom family ancestry, which has now resulted in an extensive family web site that has educated and enriched the lives of his family members.

John was a natural scientist with a passion for animals. As a child, he spent the majority of his time outdoors with animals (so much so that the sun bleached his red hair and turned it blonde). He was an inquisitive child, and frequently bombarded his father with questions about science and health. With this background, John would eventually further his scientific pursuits and go on to graduate from Howard University in 1985 with a Bachelor’s of Science. For 31 years, he continued to delve into science and began working with the National Institute of Health (NIH) as an Industrial Chemist and was subsequently promoted to the position of Chemical Team Lead, where he managed colleagues within the NIH Waste and Resource Recovery Branch. But John’s passion did not stop at science. He was an avid footballer and played throughout his school years; from primary school at St. John’s, to secondary school at St. Augustine’s. John was a dynamic team player with speed, accuracy, and heart. As the leader he was, he and his friends would go on to create the Young Africans Football Club, bringing together African youths from all walks of life.

As a man of the people, John had an enormous capacity to give all of himself to others and was always a zealous champion for the underdog. He was an active donor and advocate for any mission that added value to the Gambian community in both the United States and back home. As one of the founding members of the Gambian Christian People’s Association (GCPA), John proved himself to be unstoppable in his desire to help those in need. He was an active fundraiser, he organized numerous clothing drives, and ensured the continuous and successful operation of the GCPA's flagship program that provides educational scholarships to underprivileged youth. Passionate about education, John was instrumental in the success of the association in sponsoring over 550 Gambian students with scholarships. He served as president from 2010 to 2015 and remained a member on the Board of Directors and an active member until his recent passing. As a leader, he motivated those around him to carry on during challenging times, reminding people that: “for every good deed you do for the less fortunate, God will reward you abundantly.” Alongside his wife, Pamela, John’s commitment to the GCPA’s cause was unwavering.

John was also dubbed “the Father of African Liberation Day (ALD) Weekend”; an annual celebration of Gambian heritage and football that brought Gambians from all over the East Coast to the Washington D.C. Metro area. As a result of his dedication to the Gambia community, he is loved and respected by Gambian organizations all over the USA.

People have proclaimed that there is no John without Pamela. The two met in 1988 when Pam was visiting the United States. According to John, a mutual friend had shown Pam his picture, and she decided that she needed to travel across the ocean to the United States to find this handsome gentleman. According to Pam, she was simply visiting her close friend, Bomzy. The two were wed on June 29, 1991, and have been inseparable ever since. They stood steadfast by each other’s side in all walks of life and – in Pamela’s own words – stretched their hands to help each other. Together, they raised their children, uplifted their community, and loved each other dearly. The entire Prom Family, relatives, and friends are forever grateful to Pam. They all stretch out their hands to her and form pillars of love and protection around her.

John’s living children (Nini, Harry, and Sukai) can attest to the great man that he was. He was stern, yet loving. A disciplinarian, yet playful. He taught them to value what God had blessed them with and to always strive for greatness. They were the light in his eyes, and the Prom family is forever grateful for the joy and purpose they brought to his life.

Considering what we have lost, it would be easy to indulge in our sadness. We have lost a leader, a mentor, a brother, and a confidante. But in our grief, let us remember the man we are mourning. The man who during times of sorrow, was there to remind us that death is only part of God’s creation. The man whose generosity and spirit will live within us forever. The man who uplifted us in so many ways. The man who was merciful, pure of heart, and a peacemaker. The man who told us not to weep. Let us smile knowing he is with God and other close family members who have departed this world, including his son, Tony Prom, his parents and his sister, Nancy Rives. Just as John has been reunited with his family, so too shall we be reunited with him one day. So, let us not say “goodbye.” Instead, let us say “until we meet again.”

The Prom and Lloyd Evans families send their thanks to many who have contributed to the life of John Prom and provided the opportunity for him to carry out his mission on earth. The families also thank everyone for their prayers, tributes, jaleh, and the love they have extended to the family via phone, facebook and on the tribute website:

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DeVol Funeral Home