by Rachel Swan
We were saddened to hear about the death of Steve Drobinsky, one of the pioneers of the creative reuse movement in Berkeley. Long before scavenging and foraging became trendy, Drobinsky had built a successful business on the idea of reaping gems from scrap. His company, Ohmega Salvage, traded in vintage or "unusual" architectural parts, culled hidden jewels from landfills, and offered DIY tutorials for fledgling preservationists. Its goal was to supply homeowners and contractors with the raw materials for beautiful and sustainable restoration.
Drobinsky, who was born in South Dakota and raised in Los Angeles, took over the company in 1986. An avowed ecologist, globetrotter, artist, and polyglot, he helped steer the sustainable building movement in Berkeley for several decades. Drobinsky died April 15 after a protracted battle with cancer, bequeathing Ohmega to his wife, Katherine Davis. He was 63. Family and friends ask for donations to the Steve Drobinsky Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers — check OhmegaSalvage.com for details.