Garland, Texas – Matthias Berhanu, 12, who died after he was struck by a falling tree during a school outing last month, was remembered here yesterday for his sense of humor, his devotion to family and his love of sports.
He was a sixth-grader at Springridge Elementary School in Richardson.
“Matthias wanted to be a professional soccer player and he wanted Ethiopia to win in the world of soccer,” said his father, Berhanu Haile, who came to the U.S. as an Ethiopian refugee in 1981.
He was remembered by friends and family during a prayer service at St. Michael Ethiopian Tewahedo Church in Garland.
During the service, friends and family described Matthias as a respectful, hardworking honor student who had an encyclopedic knowledge of sports statistics and was voted the most valuable player on his soccer team.
The family used the occasion to announce the formation of the Matthias Berhanu Soccer Foundation. It will raise money to provide soccer equipment for children in Ethiopia.
Brief Biography of Matthias Kebede Berhanu
Matthias Berhanu was born to his father Berhanu Haile and his mother Meseret Kebede on September 2, 1998 in Dallas, Texas. While he was on a school field trip at Sky Ranch, he suffered se-vere head injury from a falling tree and was pronounced dead on Friday, December 17, 2010 around 5:00 PM at Dallas Children’s Hospital at the age of twelve.
When he was growing up, his mom, dad, sisters and other close family members and friends, had great love, attention and care for Mathew. He had an exceptional love for school, sports and the church.
Matthias was a sixth grade student at Spring Ridge Elementary. He was a very serious, responsible and bright student. His parents had never had to worry about his school work soccer practice or church responsibilities. He was an exceptionally organized kid, and always prepared ahead of time. He was deeply involved in church services, hoping to one day to became a deacon.
Matthias was a child with many dreams and ambitions. Training to hopefully one day play professional soccer in London and be-coming an engineer all while serving the church. As a community we are shocked and grieving for our son to go in such a tragic way.
We may not understand why he has to pass under these circum-stances and at his early age. As they say, “life is full of mysteries.” Besides, God has his own special plan for his life. We believe he is now with our creator, and he will also continue to live in all of our hearts and minds forever.
Matthias is survived by his father Berhanu Haile mother Meseret Kebede, Sisters Gelila Berhanu, and Meraf Berhanu, Gran parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephew, and several friends.
The Matthias Berhanu Soccer Foundation
The Matthais Berhanu Soccer Foundation is founded by his father Berhanu Haile , his mother Meseret Kebede, his sisters, his aunts, his uncles and family friends.
Matthais was the best scorrer and player of his team. His dream was to be a proffesional player for one of the European soccer team and see the Ethiopian soccer team to the World Cup. Unfortunatly his life cut short at the age of twelve. We, his parents wanted to fullfil one of his dreams to help the needy children from Ethiopia by giving them soccer related materials encourage talented children to be their best.
We will help and encourage needy children in Ethiopia and North Texas to participate in sports specially in soccer soccer by providing them their need. Moreover, we will give attention toneedy children that could not afford to go to school.
For more information, visit www.matthiasbfoundation.org.