Omondi Alexis Obura died on April 30, 1989, in Kenya. An affable and outgoing person, Omondi was a member of the crew team, the rugby club, and Psi Upsilon fraternity as an undergraduate. He came to Dartmouth after schooling in Nairobi and at the Leighton Park School in England.
Omondi is survived by his parents, Drs. Christopher and Anna Obura, his brother David and his sister Soraya.
An engineering major, Omondi was a member of the crew team, the rugby club, and Psi Upsilon fraternity as an undergraduate. He also was known for being the foremost practitioner of bicycle polo on the Green.
He had an incredibly warm smile and a deep, hearty, contagious laugh. Ken Barrett remembers how Omondi taught his entire boat to count down in Swahili; even 30 years later, Ken can recall, “Moja, mbili, tatu, nne, tanu, sita, saba, nane”, with Omondi in bow usually starting the count.
His humor and natural warmth clothed a fiercely competitive nature and tremendous dedication to teammates. Steve Cook recalls Omondi being asked to row two grueling races back to back, switching from one boat to the other while still on the water. The first boat won, the second lost by only inches, and Omondi was devastated, feeling that he somehow had let the team down despite an obviously Herculean effort.
Steve Hochman describes “that lighthearted and disarming Omondi way that makes you want to drop everything you’re doing and help because this person is so totally positive and enthusiastic that at a minimum you want to be there to soak up the sunshine. Not one complaint ever; only joy and humor.”
Kate Haffner simply says, “He was my best friend of four years. The blessings Omondi placed on my life are immeasurable.” She remembers, on first meeting him, his grace and charm as he said, “We simply must know each other.” She remembers skiing with him for hours on the golf course, until they would “stop to watch the sunset by lying down on our skis and just look up at the beautiful sky.”
Most of us had no idea that the hours we spent with this wonderful soul would be so limited. With his death we lost a great teammate, a true friend, and a remarkable one-of-a-kind person. All of us who knew him will never forget the light he shined on our lives, and we miss him deeply, profoundly.