By Nicole Hamilton
Enquirer staff writer
EASTGATE - Simon Kinsella's first book was going to be on a subject he knew well - the Irish family. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he wanted to share with the world his experiences of growing up in a family rich with wit, humor, and passion for music and writing.
"The kitchen table is a part of Irish lore. Every night after dinner, we'd sit around the table and have these great debates, and he was just great at those," said his father, John Kinsella of Eastgate. "He was somebody who just attracted people. His greatest gift was in making friends, and those friends remained with him forever and they became soul mates and they melded into the family as part of their own."
Simon Peter Kinsella died in his sleep Wednesday at his home in San Francisco, possibly from sleep apnea. He was 29.
Recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master's degree in journalism, Mr. Kinsella was writing for the East Bay Express and freelancing for the San Francisco Chronicle. He had started his book on the Irish family but had not completed it.
"He made words beautiful," said his father, a technical writer, who summoned his son to help him write his most recent book. "He made my very strict technical writing have common sense."
The Kinsella family moved to Cincinnati from Dublin when Simon was seven weeks old.
He graduated from Walnut Hills High School and attended Cincinnati Technical College before earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati, where he was an editor for the News Record campus newspaper.
After graduating from UC, Mr. Kinsella was offered a full scholarship to Berkeley. There, he wrote for a college publication, California Living.
An accomplished rock guitarist, he played in the Walnut Hills High School band and in rock bands in Cincinnati. He also received numerous awards for his writing.
Besides his father, survivors include his mother, Jean Kinsella of Eastgate; a sister, Deidre Kinsella of Eastgate; three brothers, Taigh of Lawrenceburg, Ind., Brendan of Kansas City, Kan., and Jonathan of Eastgate; several aunts, uncles and cousins; one niece, and one nephew.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday at George H. Rohde & Son Funeral Home, Linwood & Delta avenues, Mount Lookout.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Saint Veronica Church, 4473 Mount Carmel-Tabasco Road, Mount Carmel.
Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Montgomery.
Memorials may be made to the Simon P. Kinsella Scholarship Fund, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, 121 Northgate Hall, Berkeley, Calif., 94720.
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