Beloved Berkeley Student Food Collective, or BSFC, community member Raymond “Tony” Scriber has died.
Scriber frequented the BSFC, a campus-based cooperative grocery market that aims to connect students with the Berkeley community. A celebration of life for those who knew Scriber will be July 26 in Downtown Oakland at Tamarack Oakland.
According to J. Noven, a friend of Scriber and full time staff member of the BSFC, Scriber grew up in Maryland before eventually moving to California to work in the fine dining industry in Palo Alto. Noven said Scriber’s early life was a difficult one, filled with poverty and hardships. Despite the darkness he faced, Scriber’s bright personality never failed to shine through, they said.
“Tony was very much forged in the furnace and I think that was an energy that really came through, his joy for life, his theatrics and his presence was this beautiful diamond that had come out of some really, really harsh fires,” Noven said.
A friend of Scriber’s and owner of UC Hair Salon and Waxing, Shadia Dabit, described him as a kind person with a nice heart. Dabit said Scriber was an intelligent man who would help campus students and fellow Berkeley residents if they were ever in need.
As a gay, Black and poor man, Scriber represented many of the communities of Southside. For students volunteering at the food collective, Noven said overcoming the “Berkeley bubble” is key to understanding the neighborhood. They noted the volunteers’ interactions with people like Scriber, who come from a different background than most students, are an important method of “breaking out of that bubble.”
Scriber loved the Berkeley community and formed valuable intergenerational friendships with campus students. According to former BSFC policy director Zen Trenholm, this intergenerational community represented more than just the campus student population, but Berkeley as a whole.
“He always showed up for everything that was going on without making a big fuss about it,” Trenholm said. “He’s kind of what it means to be a community member.”
Outside of his frequent visits to the BSFC, Scriber was an artist with a passion for performing and music.
According to both Noven and Trenholm, Scriber loved both making music and listening to it. Trenholm said his favorite memory of Scriber was going to a concert in San Francisco with him. Trenholm added that it was a chance to get to know Scriber outside of “a day to day basis.”
“He was someone that had just a wealth of lived experience,” Trenholm said.