Obituary: Dr. Abebe Teklu

Dr. Abebe Teklu passed away January 9, 2013.

Abebe Teklu joined the School of Social Work and Human Services in 2011. He was the first African-Canadian blind person known to have completed a PhD at any of British Columbia’s universities. He was originally from Ethiopia and spoke seven languages fluently.

Dr. Teklu had a strong research background in the area of leadership and diversity. He used his privilege as an academic and his racialized, immigrant, and disability status to inform his research, teaching, and cross-cultural work with minority issues and communities.

While obtaining a Master of Social Work degree (studies in policy and practice), Dr. Teklu used prosopography to explore the process of achieving unity and reconciliation in newly-forming ethnic communities. His doctoral research in education concerned family dynamics among disabled ‘high achievers’ who were struggling to achieve employment (full citizenship).

Dr. Teklu took a leadership role in establishing supportive cultural communities for immigrants and others in Canada, and also in achieving social justice and equal opportunities for people with disabilities

Funeral Arrangements:
Henderson’s Fraser Valley Funeral Home
34537 Marshall Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 1M1
 Sun, Jan 13, 2013
Service 12:30 pm
Viewing 11:30 – 12:30 am

Interment to follow at Hazelwood Cemetery,
34070 Hazelwood Avenue, Abbotsford, BC

Reception following internment at Henderson’s Fraser Valley Funeral Home

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4 Responses to Obituary: Dr. Abebe Teklu

  1. Pav Singh January 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    My deepest condolence to his family. I first met and got to know him while troubleshooting his laptop. He was a gem of a person and I was so inspired of his achievements and strong self-esteem even though he was blind and he had a dog who was always with him, it will really miss his absense. He is a big lost to UFV. May his soul rest in peace.

  2. Tiziana Nolet January 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    My deepest & most sincerest condolences to Abebe’s family for the loss of a truly great man. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who got the chance to learn from such an inspirational man and his passion for helping others. The University will never be the same without his bright light and endearing smile. May you rest in peace, my friend.

  3. Chad Dumaine January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I was shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden news about Abebe. I went into Sowk 225 contemplating whether I was going to remain in the class. As soon as I saw Abebe I knew God had given me an amazing opportunity to learn. Through the course I was inspired by Abebe’s perspective on life and words of kindness and enthusiasm. When I informed him my plans to succeed in getting a Master’s Degree he said, “Why not PhD?” He said it with a belief in me that I became to believe in myself. He told me I was intelligent enough to succeed. It is hard for me to understand as I was looking forward to meeting Abebe this semester in another course and continue to build a relationship with him for years to come. Although I realize that life happens and sometimes I will not know why. I will have faith and shed tears of sadness and hold memories of joy for teh time I spent with Abebe.

    My warmest regards the family and I will hold his memory in my heart forever,

    Chad Dumaine

  4. Ashlee Fruson January 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    As I sat down today the impact of what I had learned hit me. Abebe was such a positive spirit. He loved life, love teaching and his students. I was in his SOWK 225 class and after a couple classes I had with him I just realized what a great man he truly was. He beleived in the beauty of everyone, he wanted people to dream, succeed and follow their passion. He told me as I was leaving our exam that he thought I would be an excellent Social Worker and he was excited to see me on my path through the program. I will miss him so, I will miss his thirst for life, his joy and smile that he carried around with him everywhere.