28 August 2008

In Memoriam- Dominic Ambriz

Otis is beginning it's 90th year it has not surprised me to find more than a few stories recently of our earliest alums and faculty members passing away. While the news is sad, I expect such things and can understand them.

When I heard the news about an alum that was only 28 however, I was caught off guard, and it does not make sense.

Dominic Ambriz ('02) passed away on August 16th from brain cancer. He was a graduate of the Toy Design program and had most recently worked as a Senior Designer at Mattel. I did not know Dominic, he graduated shortly after I arrived at Otis, but after reading a tribute to him in the Bakersfield Californian, I wish I had the opportunity.

Described as a rising young star in the toy industry, Dominic was also an active "weekend" athlete- completing in many events including finishing a marathon after he got sick...He coined the phrase "Bring It" as a rallying cry for battling his illness, a battle he fought for nearly twice as long as most people with his form of cancer. He illustrated a book, and the list of accomplishments goes on. You get the idea. Dominic did more while fighting a life threatening illness than many of us ever will.*

You can find a tribute piece to him on YouTube here and a blog here.

Otis is certainly fortunate to count Dominic as one of our family.

*Information about Dominic's accomplishments gleaned from Herb Benham's article

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