The city of Oakland confirmed in a press release Sunday that UC Berkeley alumnus David Cline, as well as Nick Gomez-Hall and Donna Kellogg, who both worked in Berkeley, were victims of the Oakland warehouse fire that took place Friday.
Friends of 24-year-old David Cline remember him as a creative and curious individual with a friendly and funny personality.
Cline went to Santa Monica High School and recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in cognitive science and computer science. Cline was immensely passionate about music, having played clarinet for many years, according to a Facebook post from his former music teacher Amanda Walker, and he regularly attended electronic music shows in Oakland.
While living in Stebbins Hall, a Berkeley student cooperative, Cline was known for his creativity through videos and music, according to his friend Kelsey Baisch.
“He was just such a great personality,” said former Stebbins social manager Thea Brown, who was a friend of Cline’s. “It’s sad to see someone who is always lighting up the room to be lost. … Those are the people you want to hang onto.”
In high school, Cline helped his volleyball team win the California Interscholastic Federation championship title and created the Canball Club, based on a game invented by his childhood friends where two teams try to shoot a volleyball into a beach trash can. Cline was also a valedictorian candidate and a member of the California Band Directors Association All-State Honor Band.
“There aren’t enough positive words I can come up with to describe David, but the impact he’s had on the people who knew him is profound,” said Cline’s high school friend Azia Calderhead in an email. “He truly knew how to live and be in the present and had a way of making you feel like that moment was all that mattered.”
Friends of Cline also described him as highly intellectual and quirky. According to Baisch, Cline would often change up his hairstyles and “rock them with such ease.” Baisch also recounted a time when Cline purchased an enormous bag of almonds instead of buying a variety of snacks for a hike with friends, calling it a “very David moment.”
After the news broke of Cline’s death, his brother Neil Cline released a statement on behalf of his family.
“David was an incredible man, an amazing brother, a perfect son and an inspiring friend to everyone who was fortunate enough to have him in their lives,” Neil Cline said in the statement. “David, we love you. Forever.”
25-year-old Nick Gomez-Hall worked as an administrative assistant at the West Berkeley publishing house Counterpoint Press and was a seasoned musician, according to friends.
Originally from Coronado, California, and a graduate of Coronado High School, Gomez-Hall attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island — the hometown of his band Nightmom, according to its Facebook page.
Gomez-Hall played guitar and sang with his friend Travis Lloyd, a drummer and singer, in the band — a self-described “rattlesnake-rock duo.”
Asante Sefa-Boakye, who attended the same high school as Gomez-Hall, remembers him as a “class-act” who was incredibly friendly and approachable and who demonstrated remarkable intelligence.
“I remember him as very subtle, very soft-spoken,” Sefa-Boakye said. “Just very kind and gentle.”
Sefa-Boakye added that Gomez-Hall was known as a talented guitarist, recalling a video of Gomez-Hall that showed him playing guitar while having his hair cut.
“You almost never heard anything bad about him,” Sefa-Boakye said. “Every time I saw him he was smiling.”
In a statement on Facebook posted Monday, Lloyd said he had uploaded unreleased music to Bandcamp that he and Gomez-Hall had created together, where people could listen for free or make donations that would go toward Gomez-Hall’s family.
“you’ve brought so many people together and inspired so many lives,” Lloyd said in his post. “all my friends are your friends. all my dreams are your dreams. all of us will continue to love each other and believe in the lives we think are possible. you will be proud of us.”
32-year-old Oakland resident Donna Kellogg is remembered among friends as a vibrant and compassionate individual with a immense love for music, art and film.
Kellogg worked as a barista at Berkeley’s Highwire Coffee Roasters, and was working towards a culinary arts degree. She was also a graduate of San Francisco State University. Before going to college, Kellogg attended Chico High School.
“She was as vibrant and deeply loving and complex a soul that I have ever known,” said friend Michael Deane in an email.
According to Deane, Kellogg was immersed in the Oakland art and music scene as a drummer who often played music with others involved in the area’s music culture.
“I know that it offered her a special place of extraordinary value, meaning, and community,” Deane said in the email.
Deane recalled fond memories of his time working with Kellogg at the California Theatre in Berkeley, in which the two would take late-night bike rides home after screening movies.
“She touched many people’s lives, all for the better,” Deane said in the email. “She possessed a true light about her, and she was known for hugging everyone and offering love wherever she was.”
Contact Revati Thatte and Sydney Fix at [email protected].