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Zekarias Genet '79 February 2, 2017 1:30 PM updated: February 2, 2017 1:33 PM

7482 LEE HIGHWAY, FALLS CHURCH, VA 22042 | 703-560-4400

Zekarias Genet
July 7, 1952 - January 28, 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am
National Funeral Home
7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 | (703) 560-4400
Driving Directions

Funeral Service
Friday, February 03, 2017 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am
National Funeral Home
7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 | (703) 560-4400
Driving Directions

Graveside Service
Friday, February 03, 2017 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
National Memorial Park
7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042 | (703) 560-4400
Driving Directions

Mr. Zekarias Genet was born in Wollega Gimbi Lalo Assabie Wereda to Kegnazmoch Genetti Negeri and Alemitu Jillcha. He was the ninth of twelve siblings in the Genetti family. His childhood was spent focused on receiving formal education and enjoying life in his beloved rural hometown. He attended elementary school in Gimbi, and at the age of fourteen, Zekarias moved to Addis Abaeba to continue his education at Kotebe High School. He spent three years in Addis as a teenager and fell in love with the excitement of the city in the late 1960s. In his older years, he would often reminisce about the smell of fresh bread from bakeries in Piazza or attending concerts with his friends as teenagers.

Zekarias also had a strong sense of justice and morality throughout his life. These convictions compelled him to join the protest movement at the time in Ethiopia as a high school student. His involvement in these protests would eventually endanger him to the point that he had to flee the country, with the assistance of his sister Addisae.

He arrived in the United States in 1971 and completed high school in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Zekarias would attend Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics. In this time period, he met and fell in love with Konjit Tesfaye, whom he would later marry. Zekarias and Konjit's union would last for 42 years, yielding two children- Sophie and Kumera.

He was a kind and honest person who valued his family and friendships. Zekarias was always gracious and never condescending both to strangers and those close to him. He loved to instigate jokes and tell stories. He had strong discipline and work ethic that he brought to various jobs throughout his life. In 2015, he returned to Ethiopia and Wollega with his son, after 44 years to see his brothers, sisters, and nieces who remained in the country. We can find solace in that this experience helped to bring a sense of closure to his life.

Zekarias Genet is remembered as a gentle and loving father and husband, a truthful and supportive friend, and a caring and accepting uncle. He was a proud Black man, a proud Ethiopian-American, and a proud Oromo. He could be measuredly spoken, but his presence is already missed by a large community of family and friends. He is survived by his beloved wife Konjit, children Sophie and Kumera, three sisters, two brothers, and his many nieces and nephews.

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