Friends and family of Oleg Talamai, a 24-year-old tennis instructor who was killed after being punched in the head during a fight near a downtown Palo Alto bar will gather for a memorial gathering tonight, Jan. 15, at the Russian Orthodox Church Hall, 3475 Ross Road, Palo Alto from 7 to 9 p.m. The service is open to the public.
Talamai, a native of Belarus, spent summers in the U.S. since he was 7 years old, where he learned English and about American culture, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his friends. His childhood dream was to be a professional tennis player. He returned to the U.S. as a resident in 2012 to pursue his dream.
Talamai, who worked as an instructor at Kim Grant Tennis Academy in Palo Alto, sustained severe brain damage on Dec. 21 after being punched once in the head and fracturing his skull on the pavement following an argument with four men near The Patio bar on Emerson Street. He did not regain consciousness and died at 4 a.m. on Jan. 9 at Stanford Hospital, according to friends. His mother and brother came to the U.S. in time to say their goodbyes, and he is survived by his wife of two years, Yana Kornienko.
Friends have started a fundraising effort to help his family bring him home to Belarus and for his burial. More information is available at www.gofundme.com/touchfaitholeg. Check donations are payable to "Oleg's Fund."