Ghebrelul Tewelde Ghebre departed peacefully from this life on March 24, 2021 at the age of 78. He will be remembered by his family, friends and community for his unconditional love, dedication to his family, his joyful presence, his courage and steadfast spirituality. He was born to Etmet Solomon and Tewelde Ghebre in 1942 in Adi Sogdo, Eritrea. In 1958, he embraced the Bahá’í Faith, recognizing Bahá’u’lláh as God’s most recent Manifestation and the Promised One from God for all nations and religions. He was joined in holy matrimony to Meskelkibra Gheresus in 1967. Of this joyful marital union were born five children: Daniel, Rahel, Helen, Carmel, and Nabil. He lovingly embraced his family through marriage: Shiron O’Neal, Nabil Pruscini, Nahom Asefeha, Tommy Walker and Merhawit Kubrom. His eleven grandchildren were the center of his life and he enjoyed them immensely from the very first day they were born. He is fondly remembered as Abi Baba (elder father) by his eleven grandchildren: Nadia, Mateos, Anis, Violette, Ariana, Maxxwell, Gabriella, Noelani, Noah, Melan and Yannah. He was a loving and dedicated brother to his surviving sisters, Tsehaytu, Alem, Melate and Gabriella with their children and grandchildren, and beloved brother-in law to Yemane, Ghenet, Ghirmay, Dehab, Tesfamichael, Feben, Timnit, Mussie, Aster and Mehari. He was surrounded by the love of his many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends who considered him their adopted father or grandfather. He is preceded in death by his loving parents, his brothers Gerezgher and Matios.
As a young man in Asmara, Eritrea, Ghebrelul excelled in school and attended a technical school in Asmara (commonly referred to as Point Four Program). Upon graduation he began work with the Asmara Water Supply system. Shortly after his marriage, he moved along with his wife to the port city of Massawa, Eritrea to work with the Cement Factory and it was where they started their family. He loved living by the Red Sea and throughout his life, he was at his most happiest by the sea. In 1977, as a result of the first battle for Massawa (during Eritrea’s War of Independence), he was forced to flee along with his family to The Sudan, surviving danger, illness and other tragedies. Later on in life, he would recount those days as being challenging but expressed gratitude that he was able to keep his family safe and united. He again was forced to separate from his family in order to support them by seeking work in Saudi Arabia. In 1980, he was reunited with his wife and five kids in Germany; but this was also short-lived as the family had to relocate again to seek a permanent home. He was grateful to find a place of safety for his family when they moved as refugees to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1982. He often expressed his gratitude to God and openly shared his thankfulness for his many blessings.
Regardless of his trials, he embraced his new life in the United States and sought every opportunity to educate himself and his kids, reunite his extended family and contribute to the wellbeing of the Eritrean and Baha'i communities in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a hard worker; starting with his first job at a Meijer grocery store and working his way up as an entrepreneur to build up a successful business. He was gifted with his hands and there was no machine he could not fix or home improvement project he could not tackle. He was fearless in his approach to life and encouraged others to seek new experiences and adventures. He loved being of service to others and would often give his time, skills and energy to help others. He served for many years on the Bahá’í Spiritual Assembly of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In social gatherings he could often be found sharing laughter and stories with friends and family. His family and friends will miss his wonderful sense of humor, his generous spirit, his compassion and loving guidance. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife along with his family.
Bahá’í burial service: Sunday March 28th at 11:00 AM at the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, 2894 Patterson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512.
O SON OF JUSTICE! Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart's desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved. Bahá’u’lláh: Persian Hidden Words, # 4
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