Timothy Joel Kamanga
Age 30, of Hector, passed away on August 11, 2018. Tim was born on December 18, 1987 to Joel and Keness Kamanga of Malawi. He is survived by his brother Joel Kamanga of Zimbabwe, sisters Rose and Thokozani Kamanga of Malawi, and Maria Kamanga of South Africa. Tim’s parents passed away when he was a boy and he was supported and loved by the Malawi Children’s Village in Mangochi District. Tim moved to Hector, New York in 2005 as a Rotary Exchange Student at Watkins Glen High School and resided with the Fitzsimmons Peters family until his graduation in 2006. Tim returned to the United States in 2007 to pursue higher education and became a son to the Atwill family who provided hearth and home to him throughout his college tenure and into adulthood. He was a beloved brother to Shane Absalom. Tim earned associate degrees from Tompkins Cortland Community College in Liberal Arts and International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Hobart and William Smith College. Tim was a member of Phi Kappa Tau whose mission of brotherhood, learning, ethical leadership and exemplary character was integral to Tim’s nature. Tim was the former Assistant Manager at Seneca Springs Resort where he was renown for his warm hospitality and impeccable landscaping. Tim’s story in America is one of great love and community support. In 1997, a former Malawi Peace Corps Volunteer, Dorothy Elizabeth spoke to the Watkins Glen-Montour Falls Rotary of the devastation from HIV/AIDS in Malawi. She told of the thousands of children who no longer had mothers or fathers to care for them and of the efforts of the Malawi Children’s Village to provide for the orphaned children. Rotary was stirred into action and to this day, is a partner in the care for Malawi’s children. In 2005, the Watkins Glen High School Interact Club (the student affiliate of Rotary) determined to provide an exchange experience for a student without resources from a developing country and raised the funds to do so. Tim Kamanga, a top student and devoted helper to the younger children was chosen to be that Rotary Exchange Student. Tim arrived in America with a handmade guitar, a small backpack, and a brave and beautiful heart. Each day was filled with wonders and the boy who came from a small African village without electricity and plumbing was enthralled by each experience. Tim was a serious and devoted student with an excellent command of English and a powerful love of music. The students and staff at Watkins Glen fell in love with the brilliant, soft spoken, and warm hearted boy who taught them all of Malawi and opened their eyes and hearts to another world. Rotary provided monthly support, exchange weekends, fund raising and guidance. Tim had family, friends, schoolmates, and community. His happiness was profound. He loved Hector. He loved America. The Atwills navigated the world of college applications, finances, visas and transportation with Tim and he flourished in the world of academia. His remarkable mind and his thirst for knowledge were paired with a mighty work ethic and he studied long into the night. His interests were deep and varied and he had a command of world politics, religion, language, and science. He was a gifted communicator who listened with deep interest and offered his ideas as an invitation. He played the guitar, the drums and the keyboard as music was essential to his being. He was inspired by Bob Marley and jammed happily with his friends from every venue. Tim loved the people of Hector and they loved him. He was a celebrity in the community where his gentle soul, genuine affection and respect for humanity made him a son of Seneca Lake. He was a gift to all who had the good fortune to hear his greeting of respect and feel his light. Tim spent his final years living with the family of Mitch and Debra Turner where he was welcomed as son and brother to Jesse, Robert, and Jake. Tim’s family sends their gratitude from Malawi and thanks the entire community for the love that has been shown to their brother. A private burial will be held at the Seneca Union Cemetery where Tim will be laid to rest over his beloved Seneca Lake. The community is invited to join in a Celebration of Tim’s life at Damiani Wine Cellars on August 25 from 4-7. Please bring a dish to pass. Contributions for funeral expenses and a Memorial Fund for the Malawi Children’s Village may be sent to the Timothy Kamanga Memorial Fund P.O Box 101 Burdett, NY 14818 or to gofundme.com/timoteo-a-friend-and-a-brother You may “Light a Candle of Remembrance” or express condolences online at www.RoyceChedzoy. Arrangements entrusted to Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.