Michael Evan Jurist
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A Selection of Tributes to Michael
In Memory of Michael, Toronto

Tributes > In Memory of Michael, Toronto

Michael Jurist Memorial Service: Celebrating his Life
Upper Canada College, Toronto, August 7, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

“ … In speaking of Michael, the word “special” comes up time and time again among everyone… Besides many outstanding qualities – Michael was granted a grace of spirit that set him apart … this grace was the plumb line that kept him centered, fed the calm, steadfastness that drew people to him. Made them feel safe, find and be themselves, without prejudice….”

- Sharon Balsys, family friend

“… There are no words that can do justice to the tragic loss of such a dear friend… Mike’s history is of an individual who lived life to its fullest, and took everyone around him along for the ride… we should all be students of Mike: love life, love learning, do your best at whatever you do, love being with your friends and family, and have a good laugh along the way… Mike was surely going to achieve great things … I feel saddened for myself, his parents, and his friends. But especially for all those people who had yet to meet Mike, or those who never got to know him as well as we did …”

- John Cameron, very close personal friend

“ … Michael was a phenomenal human being – genuine, caring, fun, kind, confident and so smart. He was an impressive tennis player, an amusing story teller, a huge politics nerd, an enthusiast for novel experiences, a true gentleman and a surprisingly good cook. He was also the owner of the most incredible smile I have ever seen…. Mike was like a star who shot through my life and changed my world …. He lived intensely, loved, laughed, travelled and played like a champion. He made incredible friends and established relationships that many are not lucky enough to even form.

In celebrating his life, it is impossible not to mourn his death and question why such a phenomenal human being would leave this earth so early. Hopefully, he is somewhere where The Office plays every week, where he can eat good steak, read great books and enjoy cocktails at sunset.”

- Carolina Brochado, girlfriend

“ … I first met Michael in January 2004. He was a First Year student at Georgetown and was in my introductory course in the Study of Religion. I knew Mike for five months and “liked” him. When it came to Michael, “liked” had thickness, density – included “admired, enjoyed, respected and esteemed”. Michael was smart in my class and earned an A – but I don’t think my class was his favorite class. His interests took him somewhere else. I missed him. Not only was he intelligent, steady, reliable and impressive, he was mature, self-possessed, someone who seemed to know his own mind.

These too were part of the density of my liking. Michael left my class in May of 2004. Other faculty had the benefit of him. Professor Mostowfi of the Persian Studies and French Department said in an email how deeply she liked Michael, meeting for lunch at the French Embassy and for coffee at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Dean Emeritus Peter Krogh spoke of having Michael in two courses when Michael was a Second Year student and everyone else was in their Fourth. “He was fighting above his weight class” Dean Krogh said. Dean Krogh also “liked” Michael, intellectually and personally, inviting him to his home, playing tennis, introducing and including Michael in many political, stimulating luncheons.

There is much more to say of Michael at Georgetown – all valued his company, simply, densely, because they “liked” him so much …..”

- Frederick J (Bud) Ruf, Associate Professor,
Theology Department, Georgetown University

Poem by Thomas Gray

“… If I should die and leave you
Be not like others, quick undone
Who keep long vigil by the silent
Dust and weep

For my sake, turn to life and smile
Nerving thy heart and trembling
Hand to comfort weaker souls than thee
Complete these unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort thee “

- Recited by Chiara Fish,
friend from Georgetown University

We Were Good to Life, Jacob Phillip Rudin, Gates of Prayer

“ … when you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”

- Recited by Rick Cella,
friend from Georgetown University

“ …. I only met Michael 2-3 years ago – he was already at Georgetown – and yet I knew him intimately… while I initially got to know him through stories and anecdotes from his parents. The Michael I got to know personally was a remarkably poised, accomplished mature your man who had an understanding of life deeper than his years… the Michael I got to know was ready to build on the depth of his experience and success; ready and able to make a difference; ready for the possibilities of life. Michael we will miss you and the life that would have been …”

- Alan Schwartz, family friend and
neighbor in Toronto, Canada