Neighbors hold silent vigil for Berkeley marathon runner

Luminaria

Luminarias were lit by neighbors on the 2300 block of California Street in memory of Kenneth Speirs who died on Dec. 11. Photo: Phyllis Mace

Neighbors of a 49-year-old former UC Berkeley lecturer who died on Dec. 11 after collapsing during the city’s first half marathon on Nov. 24 last night held a silent tribute with lumanarias in the neighborhood he called home.

Kenneth Speirs was an English lecturer at Cal and had recently begun working as a full-time professor at Diablo Valley College, according to the Daily Californian.

Speirs, who had been in the hospital since suffering a heart attack while running the marathon, was also an assistant Little League coach locally. “He was a big part of what made our special 2013 team so special,” said Dave Monk who coached Albany Little League AA Red Sox team. “He was super encouraging to all of the kids on the team and was a great dad. A great man.”

Speirs

Kenneth Speirs, who died Dec. 11

Sunday night, the 2300 block of California Street in Berkeley lit up with the soft glow of luminarias in memory of Speirs. Neighbor Phyllis Mace said local residents wanted to “quietly acknowledge the tragedy as a neighborhood.”

Speirs is survived by his wife; two sons; his mother, Joan Speirs; his brothers, Garrett and Dan; and their families.

Memorial services will be held in Berkeley and in Los Angeles in January.

Read the obituary in the Daily Californian.
Visit the “In memory” Kenneth Speirs site.

Related:
Two Berkeley runners win city’s first half marathon race (11.24.13)

To get breaking Berkeley news from Berkeleyside follow us on Twitter and on Facebook, and download our free iPhone app.

Print Friendly
Tagged , ,
  • Elisabeth

    I wish I had known. We don’t live in that neighborhood anymore, but we will sincerely miss Kenny. He was a wonderful man and we want his family to know we are thinking of them…