Senior's Zeal, Spontaneity Will Be Fondly Remembered

Photo: Alex Irani
Alex Irani

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UC Berkeley Senior Alex Irani was found dead in his apartment by a friend Feb. 16. He was 22.

According to Dan Apperson, a supervisor for the Alameda County Coroner's Office, a report stated that Irani suffocated himself with a plastic bag. He was found in the apartment that he shared with three other people after the Presidents' Day holiday, which was also marked by the suicide of Junior Lawrence Park, who was found dead Feb. 15.

A Sacramento native, Irani came to UC Berkeley in 2006. He planned to graduate this spring with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

A memorial service will be held March 4 from 8-11 p.m. at International House.

UC Berkeley Junior Gregory Lam said he and Irani became friends after meeting each other in Unit 1, where they lived on the same floor.

"He was warm and friendly from the beginning," Lam said in an e-mail. "Alex was easy to talk to, always sharing interesting stories with the rest of the floor."

Recalling their time together in the dorms, Lam shared a story that he said highlighted Irani's fun spirit.

"He would get some crazy ideas," he said in the e-mail. "For instance, wanting to take a group of us from the floor to a cemetery down College (Ave.) and use a Ouija Board to see what would happen ... good times."

Lam added Irani had fallen on difficult times since last year, including taking time off from school to work as a waiter.

Junior Jocelyn Rivera, another friend of Irani, said he was known for his spontaneity.

"Once he somehow convinced our floor to go to the beach somewhere in San Francisco late at night," said Rivera in an e-mail. "I still don't know where we went and how we got there, yet we had a lot of fun telling ghost stories around a fire for the better part of the night. It's a memory that I will always cherish."

Rivera added that Irani was also known for his passion for music, particularly Aladdin's 'A Whole New World,' which will be sung at his memorial service.

"He would find any opportunity to sing "A Whole New World" and as of lately I've been playing it repeatedly because it reminds me so much of him," Rivera said in the e-mail.

Senior Nikki Sareen, another friend of Irani, said she has made a music playlist in his memory and has been writing in a journal he gave her as a birthday present two years ago.

"I have been writing letters to him in the journal since he died," she said in an e-mail. "Addressing letters to him makes me feel like he is still around."

Rivera said that Irani's death is a very sensitive subject, and that she is going to miss the trust he placed in her and the talks they had about their "adventures together."

"I miss him so much, but I know in my heart that he has found the peace that he has so long sought out," she said.


Contact Katie Nelson at [email protected]

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