BIOGRAPHY – WILLY GEORGE ETCHU TABI (1948 – 2019)

Willy George Etchu Tabi was born on December 5th, 1948 in Besongabang, Manyu Division, Cameroon. He was the second of thirteen children born to Pa Hans Tabi-Ayukaya and Ma Lucy Enow Agboraraw both of blessed memory. He was simply known by his peers as W.G.E.

He attended Basel Mission School at Ntenesa, Besongabang and graduated in 1959 with a Standard 6 Certificate. As a young standard six graduate, he sought employment as a Part-Time Teacher and was employed to teach at the Presbyterian School, Ntenako/Ndekwai. After a few years, he enrolled into the Teachers' Grade 2 and 1 Certificate programs at the Presbyterian Teacher's Training College Nyasosso and Kumba respectively. He taught for several years as a mission teacher and pursued the General Certificate of Education, Advanced Levels at Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology (CCAST) Bambili where he obtained the Advanced Level Certificate in 1975.

He was a sensation in sports. In his school days he played the central defence position in the school soccer team and was the 100 yards sprinter and a high jumper. During Empire Days, he demonstrated his best with athletics. He was a classic football (soccer) player whose defensive skills were unmatched. He played on the CCAST Bambili football team, Division II competition and featured in the West Cameroon 11 National team.

At the peak of his educational pedigree, he became employed and taught English Language and Literature at Union Comprehensive College, Bachuo-Akagbe (1975-1976), Enonchong Memorial College Besongabang (1976–1978), and later at Presbyterian Secondary School (P.S.S), Besongabang (1979- 1986) where he demonstrated exemplary teaching skills. Remarkably, his students from P.S.S often quoted his oratory and literary expressions in Shakespearean style. His mastery of the Queen’s language became an inspiration for many students to have achieved English Language and Literature as two successful subjects during G.C.E Exams.

One of his former students, Mbianyor Davidson, quotes “In fact Pa Tabi was good at phonetics and phonology and most especially his articulation in English language. He was such a lively jovial and comic personality. With his “apaga trousers”, he would sometimes pop into the refectory and announce that form 1 students should go tell their seniors (form 5 students), that they will be having a jaw-breaking test, besides they should bring two handkerchiefs to put one on the left and the other side of the armpit because they are going to sweat since it was going to be a jaw-breaking test. After all the strongly- worded messages sent, the form 5 students decided to forgo their lunches in preparation for the jaw-breaking test only to discover during the test; Fill in the space with “a”, “an”, “some”. Pa Willy Tabi laid a solid foundation to some of us to become men of letters today. Adieu Pa Willy George Etchu Tabi, a man with two English names”.

He was very charismatic in style, a gentle soul with a great sense of humor. He will be remembered as the literature teacher in Union Comprehensive, Enonchong Memorial College and P.S.S Besongabang whose literary knowledge of Shakespearean, Chauser, the Mayor of Casterbridge, Macbeth, the "Old Man and the Medal" to name a few remained outstanding with an indelible mark on his former students. He served as the President of the English Language Teachers Association. During his many years of service, he served as a teacher, a principal and an educator, He impacted the lives of the many students and left an indelible and permanent experience with them.

In January 1987, Willy migrated to the United States of America (U.S. A) at age 39 to pursue further education, leaving behind his young wife and six minor children. In 1991, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Cleveland State University, Ohio. He later enrolled in graduate studies at Indiana State University and obtained a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Political Sciences in 1992. He spent an additional year and completed coursework with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In 1995, he was granted admission into the Doctorate program at Jackson State University, Mississippi where he pursued a career in Political Science and Public Policy. He completed coursework, but unfortunately was never given the opportunity to defend his dissertation. He came face to face with the racial prejudice of the Deep South and unable to finish the race.

Willy’s life was characterized with lots of challenges, yet filled with great memories. He relocated to Massachusetts in 2003 and taught with the Cambridge Public Schools as a substitute teacher and later became employed as instructor at Roxbury Community College. In 2006, he became hospitalized for several months for health reasons, and as such was unable to continue his tenure at the community college.

He continued to live with his wife and children in Massachusetts until his final departure on June 14th 2019, after long battle with diabetic complications. He is predeceased in death by his first daughter Cornelia Tabi, and survived by his beloved wife, Becky Tabi, children; Stanley, Gerald, Lambert, Germaine, Noella, Cecilia and 11 grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, four brothers, an extended family and friends to celebrate his life. The brave and legendary W.G.E now trails in the kingdom of Lord and Savior. His memories will live in hearts forever. Pa, Adieu and RIP

FUNERAL PROGRAM

   FUNERAL PROGRAM - BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 

  • VIEWING:  FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019
  • Faggas Funeral Home, 553 Mt Auburn Street, Watertown, MA
  • WAKE & VIRGIL: FRIDAY, AUGUST 23rd 2019
  • Hellenic Cultural Center: 41 Broadway Street, Lowell, MA 01854
  • Time: 8pm - 1:00am

************************************************************************

  FUNERAL SERVICES: SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2019

  • Venue: Eliot Presbyterian Church; 273 Summer Street, Lowell, MA 01852
  • Time: 2:00pm  FUNERAL RECEPTION
  • Venue: Doubletree By Hilton Hotel: 123 Old River Road, Andover, MA 01810

************************************************************************