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ATO BAHTA ZENEBE YOHANNES

November 21, 1927 ~ May 11, 2022 (age 94)

Obituary

Ato Bahta Zenebe Yohannes was born in 1927 to Ato Zenebe Yohannes and Weyzero Wubnesh Andargachew in former Gondar Provice, Semen Awraja, small town Sola.  When he reached school age Ato Bahta attended a traditional Orthodox church school where he received his basic education.

Ato Bahta was married to Mrs Adisalem Tesfay and both have three daughters and three sons.  After a long relationship, Ato Bahta and Weyzero Adisalem were separtred.  Thereafter Ato Bahta met Tiberh Gebremichael and soon began a loving marriage which span for a long time.  In addition to the six children from previous marriage, Ato Bahta and Woyzero Tiberh together raised four sons and three daughters with unwavering love and support.

Ato Bahta started his career as a border patrol and peace officer in the border town of Hemera under the leadership of captain (Fitawrari) Melese Hailu and later under captain (Fitawrari) Yeshiwondim Nadew.  After serving a couple of years as a peace officer, Ato Bahta decided to change career and in partnership with his cousin Ato Yeshaw started a farming business. During his tenure as a farmer, situation in Ethiopian drastically changed. The Ethiopian Military overthrew the Emperor of Ethiopia and instituted a military government.  Ato Bahta, like many others, was not happy with the removal of the emperor and joined one of the organizations, the Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU) which mounted armed monarchist resistance to the military government in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Haile Selassie. Unfortunately, that struggle was short lived, EDU members were dispersed and Ato Bahta and his family emigrated to the Sudan.

Ato Bahta, a devoted Orthodox Christian had a vision and mission to establish a church where Ethiopian Christians could have a worshipping and comforting place while he was in exile in Sudan. He in collaboration with other refugees was able to fulfil that mission and established an d Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Sudan.  The existence of this church has changed the lives of many Ethiopian refugees in so many ways.

After 14 years of enduring life in the Sudan, Ato Bahta with his family emigrated to the United States of America and settled in San Diego for the rest of his life.

Ato Bahta, as he did in the Sudan, spearheaded the establishment of San Diego Kidus Gabriel Ethiopian Orthdox Church where the Ethiopian Community in San Diego can have a religious an d cultural center.  He later served the church as a chair -person of the board for a long time.  During his tenure as a chair person, Ato Bahta was instrumental in organizing the community to purchase their own church in east San Diego.  He even convinced his own relatives and friends to put their own money as a down payment to facilitate the purchase of the church.

Ato was widely known as a man of extraordinary capacity and almost saintly values. He touched and enriched many lives in so many ways.  He believed in cooperative spirit and helping one another.  He was a devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Ato Bahta passed away at the age 95 on May 11, 2022 surrounded by loved ones.  He is survived by thirteen children, 23 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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Services

Funeral Service
Wednesday
May 25, 2022

9:00 AM
St. Gabriel Ethiopian Orthodox Church
456 5th Ave
CHULA VISTA, CA 91910

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