Chris Mierzejewski died suddenly at Plum Village Monastery in France on January 23, 2012. A simple graveside service will be held at noon, July 2, at Evergreen Cemetery where his ashes will be buried near the graves of his parents. A celebration of life will follow at Savikko Park, Shelter #2, at Sandy Beach, from 1:30 until 5 p.m.
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Stanley Mark Mierzejewski was born at St. Ann's Hospital on February 27, 1957, to parents Tom and Ann (Dapcevich) Mierzejewski. Stanley later changed his name to Christopher C. Mierzejewski and was known as "Chris" to friends and family. Chris attended St. Ann's Parochial School, until, following his mother's death in 1968, the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after he graduated from high school in St. Louis, he returned to Juneau.
Chris attended the University of Washington where he studied languages, graphic arts, and printing. In the mid-1980s, he accepted a job in Paris, France, to teach typesetting. Soon after arriving Chris met and fell in love with Jérôme Chevy, with whom he was to share his life for over 25 years. During his early years in Paris, Chris earned a degree in language arts. Teaching English to French graduate students became his principal occupation. In recent years he also worked as an aide in a mental health hospital.
Widely traveled, Chris began taking a serious interest in Buddhism following a visit to Vietnam. In 2010 he entered Plum Village Monastery, in southwest France, founded and led by Thich Nhat Hanh, monk, poet, scholar, and peace activist. Chris was a novitiate monk at the time of his death.
His sister Lori remembers that from a young age, Chris had a gentleness about him and a way with people that brought peace and joy to many lives. "Chris was always searching for a way to heal the pain over the loss of our mother. Trying to find that peaceful place within, he reached out and healed others by helping them find the peace he was unable to find in himself- that was his gift. He left the world of his own accord."
Survivors include his soul-mate, Jérôme Chevy; his brother Ron, sister Lori Ferguson and nephew Ryan Ferguson; the Dapcevich family, including his aunts Vi Cope, Natalie Alton, and Helen (the late Bill) Dapcevich; uncles John Dapcevich (Jan) and Don (Carol) Dapcevich; cousin Denise Manning (Pete) Audap, and numerous other cousins; the family of the late Patricia and Vernon Metcalfe; and many, many dear friends.
For more information about the service, call or email 586-1166,
Condolences may be sent to Lori and Ryan Ferguson, P.O. Box 432, Entiat, WA, 98822, and Jérôme Chevy at 57 Rue St. Maur, 75011 Paris, France.C
Published in The Juneau Empire from July 14 to Aug. 13, 2012