Kenny Zamora Damacion: Cherished friend, mentor, father

Kenny
Kenneth Zamora Damacion, who worked at Pegasus Books in Berkeley for nearly 30 years, died on Nov. 26, 2013. Photo: courtesy Pegasus Books

Kenneth Zamora Damacion, who worked at Pegasus Books in Berkeley for nearly 30 years, died at his home in Oakland, aged 59, on Nov. 26. Pegasus owner Amy Thomas shared the following obituary:

On Nov. 26, the Pegasus Books family lost a dear friend. He was a quiet, modest man, a brilliant poet, a loving father — and the most beautifully dressed man most of us will ever know.

We will miss so many things about him. Kenny was rock-solid reliable. He was a loyal friend, and an important mentor to more writers than any of us had realized. One old friend said, “Kenny poured the concrete of my confidence as a writer.”

Kenny left behind two beautiful daughters, Siobhan and Caitilin, whom he adored.

At the Mass for Kenny, held at Our Lady of Lourdes in Oakland, Kenny’s brother in-law, Jim Molnar, said it best, for all of us:

“Poet, brother, friend, we’ll miss your presence, but your voice and vision will always be with us. You shined a light on the world and illuminated the depths of your heart, but you never shied from darkness. Angels and demons danced together to the music of your words. Thank you for being a father. Thank you for it all. Monk and Chet, Lester and Bill and Miles provided your soundtrack. Now let Billie sing you to your rest … Body and Soul.”   

We will miss Kenny’s dry and dark sense of humor, his meticulous work with books, his elegant style – and the way the store came alive with the music of his saints — Coltrane, Chet Baker, Billy Holliday.

Damacion was a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA program in Swannanoa, NC. Beloved father of Siobhan and Caitilin, he is survived by his former wife Maura (Carey), his mother Luz, and brothers and sisters Danny, Carolyn, Virginia, Jim, Faziyah (Liz), and Carlos. He was a beloved uncle to many nephews and nieces and cherished by many friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Mamerto.

Pegasus will host a celebration of Kenny’s life at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 11 at Pegasus Books, 1855 Solano Avenue, Berkeley. We will be playing that music, reading his poetry, and celebrating his life. Our other stores will close early so that all the staff can gather, and we welcome Kenny’s friends to join us.

Feel free to share your messages of condolence and/or memories of Kenny Zamora Damacion in the Comments.

Berkeleyside is always honored to publish, at no cost, obituaries of members of the Berkeley community. Please email text and photo(s) to editors@berkeleyside.com.