Tefik Mjekiqi, general mechanic assistant at Basin Electric Headquarters, died Nov. 2 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73 years old.
Mjekiqi worked for Basin Electric for 11 years. He and his family came to the United States after fleeing Kosovo in 1999, refugees from the torture of Serbian forces. Mjekiqi’s son, Faik, had been killed and Mjekiqi was determined not to allow other family to be killed as well.
Earl Pomeroy, former U.S. Representative (ND), played a major role in helping the Mjekiqi family get adjusted in America. Pomeroy spent time with Mjekiqi during his time in the hospital.
In an e-mail, Pomeroy wrote about Mjekiqi’s story of survival and success. “He was 61 years old, no English, no readily transferable employment skills and was the patriarch for a wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren who came with him. … Within five years he was a homeowner and at the end of his life, he and his family had become American citizens, self-sufficient and safe in their new country.”
Mjekiqi worked with the maintenance crew at Basin Electric. When a group of them got together this week to remember him, they talked about his incredible work ethic, generosity and sense of humor.
Once it’s published, you can read the Jan/Feb 2012 Basin Today for an expanded story on Mjekiqi.