October 1, 1936 to October 15, 2016
A gentleman and a scholar
Girmay Zewolde—an Ethiopian-born teacher-translator-lawyer, whose uproarious humor and championing of the underdog uplifted everyone he knew, especially his children—passed away on Saturday, October 15, at home in Adelphi, Maryland, his family by his side. He was 80 years old.
With his dazzling smile, riveting sense of humor and vibrant personality, he always lit up the room.
A vociferous reader who hated to see the lights go out at the library, Girmay believed street smarts trump book smarts, a theory he often expanded upon by explaining to his children that “street smarts can lead to book smarts.”
Book smarts, he said, are all about following the rules and getting straight A’s, whereas street smarts refer to taking a risk and surviving. “You’ve been tested and have a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested again.”
He knew of what he spoke.
He strove to achieve