In Memoriam: Christopher Chairez-Quezada

Christopher Chairez-Quezada

Christopher Jovannhy Chairez-Quezada was on his way to pick up his graduation suit when he was in a fatal car accident June 14. He was 22 and had just completed his bachelor’s degree in criminology, law and society.

His family said he was a loving, playful son, a dedicated student, who always cared for his family. His passions were soccer, basketball, spending time with his friends, and traveling.

In a message to the School of Social Ecology, Dean Nancy Guerra wrote: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of our student Christopher Chairez. He  was active in the PrisonPandemic project, among other goals and interests. Our hearts go out to Christopher’s family and friends. He will be missed.”

PrisonPandemic is a digital archive project collecting stories from people incarcerated in California carceral facilities during the pandemic.

“It was a real pleasure and honor to work with Christopher this year,” said Naomi Sugie, associate professor of criminology, law and society. “Christopher was in my SE195W class, and we met nearly weekly to discuss his research and writing. He was also a valued and active member of PrisonPandemic. He was dedicated to his fellow PrisonPandemic team members, his studies, and his academic commitments, and he approached all of these areas with an open and empathetic heart. We are all devastated by this terrible tragedy.”

Students who are grieving or who could use additional support at this time can contact the Counseling Center. To make an appointment, go to: The Office of the Campus Social Worker also is available, as are Wellness, Health, and Counseling Services.   

Friends have set up a Go Fund Me account to help the family with expenses.

Chairez-Quezada, who was born on Dec. 9, 1998, is survived by his parents, Jaime and Maria Elena Chairez; his sisters Cinthya and Kimberly; and his younger brother Christian; as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Public memorial services will be held July 2 and 3.

A church service will take place July 2 at St. Christopher Parish, 25075 Cottonwood Ave. in Moreno Valley, from 9:15 to 11 a.m. The funeral will be held July 3 at Miller-Jones Mortuary, 23618 Sunnymead Blvd. in Moreno Valley, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by a gravesite farewell at Montecito Memorial Park, 3520 E. Washington St. in Colton. The family requests those who attend to wear white to the funeral. Attendees will be encouraged to share memories of Chairez-Quezada.



Mimi Ko Cruz
Director of Communications