Born on March 17, 1974, Fregenet Tafesse (“Leeza” to her friends and family) is the beloved daughter of Tafesse Woubshet and Melesech Gebbre. Her name means “fruit of heaven” in Amharic and aptly describes her life and her impact on her friends and family.
A good natured and sensible young woman, Fregenet was known for her warm smile, generosity, compassion, humility, and courage.
She grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and studied Literature and Language Studies for two years at Addis Ababa University. In 1999, she came to the United States to complete her education. After attending Minneapolis Community and Technical College, she continued her studies at Metropolitan State University.
She worked hard and was determined to achieve her academic goals. She earned an accounting degree and planned to work for non-profit organizations.
Her greatest dream was someday to help the children of her native country of Ethiopia.
Two months after her graduation, in July 2003, she was struck by a car and was killed.
A friend remembered her this way: “Gifts like her, granted to us from heaven, come few and far between. Do not let her go without deep contemplation on what you have learned from her.”