Minneapolis Schools health and physical education teacher Margaret Yeboah never forgot those in her native Ghana, returning there regularly to improve the education of African villagers. Yeboah, a member of a royal family in the district capital of Agona Swedru, died suddenly on Friday in her Minneapolis home.
Yeboah, who suffered from high blood pressure, was 52.
She told her daughter Joyce Ayesu of Lakeville that she was called by God to help the village more than 10 years ago.
"She has the passion. It is so strong," said her daughter.
In 1996, while visiting her family in Ghana, she wanted to buy a farm. On the real estate quest, she came upon the village of Amponsah, and the people there told her what they needed most was a school.
Yeboah complied, and that first year, she managed to get a crude, three-room school built.
Now the Minnesota Christian Academy International School boasts two campuses, serving more than 1,000 students, preschool through the teenage years.
Over the years, Yeboah mortgaged her Minneapolis home and directed fund-raising for construction and school supplies. She paid teachers from her own salary. She made sure kids in Ghana had clothes, food and clean water, getting new wells dug.
"Margaret loved to see people happy," said her daughter. "She wanted you to be OK, even if she was not."
In the 1970s, Yeboah finished college in Ghana and taught school. A competitive gymnast and swimmer, she won a swimming competition that provided a scholarship to study in Romania. She lived there for six years, earning a master's degree and teaching.
She came to the Twin Cities in 1982, and earned another master's degree.
In the mid-1980s, she landed a job with the Minneapolis schools, teaching for many years at Lucy Laney School.
Mary Noble, assistant principal of Minneapolis' North Community High School and the executive director of the Ghana school, said the main school building now boasts 22 classrooms.
"Margaret was a hard worker, very persistent," here and in Africa, Noble said.
Yeboah had big plans for the school in Ghana, wanting to start a college on the growing campus.
She divorced many years ago.
In addition to Joyce, she is survived by her other daughters, Sarah Tay of Roseville, Victoria Tay of Minneapolis; sons, Pierre Tay and Michael Tay, both of Minneapolis; a sister, Paulina Nkrumah of Agona Swedru, Ghana, and two grandchildren.
Services are planned for Dec. 15. Call for updated information at 952-200-2180. Source: Ben Cohen • firstname.lastname@example.org