By Erin Woo
Hundreds filled Stanford’s Memorial Church on Friday to celebrate the life of Eitan Weiner ’22, who died one week ago in his on-campus residence.
Speakers remembered him as a vibrant member of his freshman dorm community, Arroyo, and his fraternity, Theta Delta Chi (TDX).
“Without him, the world is less bright, colors are less vibrant and Stanford is less like home,” said Mià Bahr ’22, his former dormmate in Arroyo.
Weiner planned on majoring in history and worked at the Hoover Institution on campus. Passionate about hip-hop and rap music, he was working on producing an album.
He also loved soccer — enough to hang a banner of his favorite team, Real Madrid, in his freshman dorm room alongside his poster of Vladimir Putin, his freshman roommate Callum Tresnan ’22 remembered, to laughter from the hundreds assembled.
At Friday’s service, Tresnan called Weiner his best friend, telling the story of one night in their freshman spring when Weiner convinced a group of friends to dress up in rally gear and head to L&L, a 24-hour Hawaiian barbecue restaurant a few minutes off campus. Even as the friends got strange looks from other diners, Tresnan remembered, Weiner was undaunted.
“He could turn any night into a random and crazy adventure,” he said.
Weiner’s sophomore roommate in the TDX house, Muhammad Khattak ’22, described him as a “gentle, curious and loving soul” who had strong opinions but loved learning about others’ points of view: someone who would say “that is so interesting” and genuinely mean it, Khattak said.
Weiner, though stubborn in his principles and convictions, had “the gift of opening hearts and minds,” added his older sister, Ya’el Weiner ’19, describing how he would create spaces for conversation in “couches, classrooms, the backseats of moving cars.”
In one of the last conversations she had with him, Ya’el said, he was driving her home from the airport when he told her he had gotten an A- in a class he had raved about all quarter. When she asked him jokingly why it wasn’t an A, he explained that it was because he hadn’t turned in a rough draft for one of his papers: “I don’t do rough drafts,” he told her.
“He had no room for rough drafts, half-baked thoughts or convictions not his own,” said Ya’el.
In addition to his older sister, Weiner’s parents are heavily involved in the Stanford community. His father, Amir, is an associate professor of history and his mother, Julia, is an associate vice provost for medical center development. His younger sister, Naomi, attends school in the area.
On Friday, Julia spoke of her son as “beautiful, brilliant, loving, loyal, thoughtful, compassionate and principled.” Weiner was deeply devoted to his sisters, friends and girlfriend, she said.
But Julia also implored those he left behind to cherish and protect their lives, saying she could see Weiner not only in the ways they were “bright, beautiful and full of promise” but also in the ways they were “reckless and brazen.” She called her son’s death, whose cause the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office is still investigating, “senseless and stupid.”
“Don’t let his memory be meaningless,” she said.
Ya’el urged attendees to remember her brother as they kept living, too. Weiner would have wanted, she said, for his girlfriend to fall in love again, for his friends to continue to seek comfort in each other, for his teachers to ignite a spark in their students the way they had in him.
“We have the opportunity to finish Eitan’s final draft,” Ya’el said.
Contact Erin Woo at erinkwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.