‘An irreplaceable presence’: UC Berkeley student Sei Won Lim dies at 21

UC Berkeley senior and environmental economics and policy student Sei Won Lim, who also went by David, died after a motorcycle accident on campus Oct. 17. He was 21.

After the accident, which took place near the Campanile on South Drive and Carillon Road, Lim was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries. A ceremony for Lim was held in El Cerrito on Monday morning to honor his legacy.

According to Lim’s close friend and roommate, campus senior Aaron Lee, Lim was active in the Asian American Association and Korean American Student Association while at UC Berkeley. Lee added that Lim also played tennis in his free time and maintained a rigorous academic schedule.

“He was the hardest worker I knew,” Lee said in a Facebook message. “He embodied the definition of ‘rise and grind’ and ‘get that bread,’ constantly staying up late into the early morning studying so he can ace his classes and/or successfully go through his multiple interviews during recruitment season.”

Lee described many moments he shared with Lim, reminiscing on an “amazing” trip they took to Los Angeles with a group of friends last winter break. Lee said in a message that even when they were doing something “mundane” together, they had a great time exchanging jokes and stories.

The two had a “moment of bonding” when Lim confided in Lee about his insecurities and worries after losing his mother earlier this year. Lim is an “irreplaceable presence to the community,” according to Lee, who added that he is currently feeling sad about losing him.

“My apartment has one less person, my room is now isolated and I see and feel his shadow everywhere, emphasized by the fact that he’s not here anymore,” Lee said in a Facebook message. “But I also feel proud to have been his friend and to be able to have memories to recall of him in the future.”

According to Lim’s friend and campus senior Rachel Trujillo, Lim was one of the top posters for the Berkeley meme page. His posts would yield about 45,000 likes, she said.

Even if people didn’t know Lim personally, Trujillo said he interacted with and affected the student population in a positive manner through his good spirit, wit and memes. She added that he made many people smile and was an inspiring person to be around.

According to Lee, Lim was loyal, generous and would make his presence known with his friendliness and contagious laughter that could be heard through the walls.

“He always made us feel important and that we had potential,” Lee said in a Facebook message. “Even in moments where we hit our respective lows, he would always be there to remind us that we are not our failures; but rather, we are our successes and opportunities.”

Contact Stanley von Ehrenstein-Smith [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @von_ehrenstein.