|Tsegaye “Mike’’ Mekonnen, a native of Ethiopia, was the founder of the Chelsea Homeowners’ Association.|
Tsegaye Mekonnen, Chelsea city councilman
Tsegaye “Mike’’ Mekonnen, a Chelsea city councilor for more than a decade, died in his home in Chelsea last Thursday after a lengthy illness. He was 67. He had battled liver cancer, relatives said.
“Both as a friend and councilman, you cannot replace a man like Mike,’’ said Calvin T. Brown, a Chelsea city councilor at large and Mr. Mekonnen’s friend for more than 20 years. “His commitment, fortitude, passion, and dedication for the job were unmatched.’’
A native of Ethiopia, Mr. Mekonnen earned a certificate in business from the American Institute in Ethiopia. From 1963 to 1967, Mr. Mekonnen was a personnel officer, public manager, and labor inspector for Saint George Brewery in Ethiopia.
He later moved to the United States, where he earned an associate’s degree from Bunker Hill Community College and a bachelor’s degree in science from Boston State College in 1977.
From 1968-1974, he was a lineman in Chelsea for
Mr. Mekonnen was deeply involved in the community. As a council member, he was most interested in improving the quality of life for Chelsea residents.
“He wanted to transform blighted areas into areas of blooming flowers and parks,’’ Brown said. “Whether the issue was noise or cracks in the sidewalk, he wanted everyone to know they had a right to a high quality of life.’’
In addition to his service as a councilman, Mr. Mekonnen served on the Drug Task Force of Chelsea. He was the founder of the County Road, Basset Street, and Reynolds Avenue Homeowners’ Association in Chelsea and was the founder of the Chelsea Homeowners’ Association. Mr. Mekonnen was also a member of Neighbors Against Blight, served on the board of directors of Chelsea Main Streets, and was a member of the NAACP.
Mr. Mekonnen leaves his wife, Ernestine [Hardy] of Chelsea; his mother, Aster “Seafu’’ Mekonnen of Chelsea; his son, Alexander of Chelsea; a brother, Haile of Chelsea; and six sisters, Sehin of Lynn, Hanna of Ontario, Canada, and York, Meaza, Woudensh, and Elizabeth, all of Chelsea.
Funeral services have been held. Burial was in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston.