We are currently mourning the very unexpected and sudden loss of my father, Chol Okey Opiew, 42, who left earlier this year to visit his sick father in Ethiopia. On Wednesday, November 24th, he was brutally murdered in Pinyudo, Ethiopia. The motive for the murder is currently unknown but the government in Pinyudo is investigating and the suspect is currently in custody.
Chol was born in Akobo, South Sudan, (son of Abang Obub and Okey Opiew). My dad immigrated from Ethiopia to the United States at 20 years old to pursue a better life. He was very involved with the community: working multiple jobs, being involved with the Anyuak congregation, interpreting for families in the public school systems.
He always lived life by example and was a role model to a lot of people in the community. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Winona State University in 2017 and planned on using it back home in Africa.
He was involved in the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) for a long time. In 2006, he was named first-chairperson of the chapter in Austin, MN. In this organization, he advocated for peace in Sudan until South Sudan gained its independence in 2011. He was also involved with the Amnesty International organization at Riverland Community College where they advocate for democracy, freedom, and peace. My father was also one of the people who helped form the African Asian Refugee Services Agency (ARSA) in 2015. This organization serves refugees who moved to Austin looking for guidance.
Whenever people tell me about my father, they always share how he is was a great father, kind, and hardworking, regardless of the adversities that he and his family endured. Nobody would have thought that this day would come. My father was constantly rooting for my siblings and I, he was our biggest supporter. He always held high expectations for us to do good things wherever we end up.
Any donation is appreciated. Help us while we grief during these very tough times as he will not be able to witness what his immediate family has in store in the future. This donation will help cover funeral and household expenses for our family.
Chol left behind six children: Opiew, Ochain, Okey, Cham, Awillie, and Mary Okey.
Thank you for your generous donation.