It is with deep sorrow that the family of Javier Jerez shares the sudden passing of our beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson. Javier was born on August 5, 1999, in Hartford, Connecticut, son of Ernesto Jerez and Laura Chomentowski. He was a student at Michigan State University in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, and he died in East Lansing at the age of 21 in early December 2020.
Javi was raised in West Hartford where he attended public schools. He was spirited, curious, and enthusiastic as a young child, known for his curls, big blue eyes, and engaging personality. He was a regular at Ms. Dee’s story time at the main library and delighted in identifying the instruments he heard in songs. He especially loved Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker. Music was dear to Javi and he hummed tunes as he romped around the house with his older sister Daniela. He was always by her side as they grew up together. Javi loved animals, sprinting towards dogs he saw on walks, and gave full body hugs to reluctant cats. He enjoyed visiting the animals at Westmoor Park and summer camp at the farm.
Javi sang in the Inter-El chorus, was a member of Odyssey of the Mind, and danced in the annual talent show at Charter Oak Elementary School. He was very active and sampled multiple sports in the town sports leagues. He enjoyed traveling with his family and exploring new places. On a trip to Alaska with his family, he refused all footwear but flip flops. In middle school, he bonded with his uncle and cousins for a summer in the mountains of Vermont at Grandma Anna’s house. He was a playful, fun, and loving big brother to little sister Virginia Maria, eleven years his junior.
Javi graduated from Conard High School in 2017 where he was a member of the Conard football, hockey, and lacrosse teams and participated in Unified Theatre. He then matriculated at MSU.
He is survived by his parents Laura and Ernesto, step-mother Virginia, sisters Daniela and Virginia Maria, maternal grandmother Anna Dustin and many uncles, aunts, and cousins, including his uncle Walter Chomentowski and aunt Catherine Lindell of East Lansing and their children Madeline and Hugh Chomentowski. Javi was pre-deceased by paternal grandparents Angel and Dulce Jerez and maternal grandfather Thomas Chomentowski.
We will love and miss Javi for the rest of our lives. The family will hold a private memorial service. Memorial donations in Javi’s name may be made to the Ana Grace Project (anagraceproject.org).