(credit: African Development Center)

(credit: African Development Center)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A memorial fund has been set up for the family of Hussein Samatar, the first Somali elected to public office in Minnesota, who passed away over the weekend after a long struggle with leukemia.

The nonprofit AchieveMpls announced Thursday that it set up a fund for Samatar’s wife, Ubah, and four children with Bremer Bank. Contributions can be made out, a press release said, with checks, money orders or cash to the Hussein Samatar Memorial Fund.

Samatar was elected to the Minneapolis Board of Education in 2010. Prior to that, he served on the Minneapolis Library Board of Trustees and founded the African Development Center, a nonprofit focused on developing and sustaining businesses in Minnesota’s African community.

“I am heartsick about losing him,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, “but I will look for solace in knowing how many people he helped.”

While serving on the Board of Education, Samatar was known to be a voice for immigrant students. He had considered running for mayor until he was diagnosed with cancer in December. He died of complications of the disease Sunday. He was 45.

AchieveMpls is a nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools.

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