In memoriam: Stephan Jarjisian, loved and cherished


Steve Jarjisian, shown here at Tilden Regional Park, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Berkeley on Dec. 12. Photo: Jackie Childers

By Jackie Childers

Stephan Garabed Jarjisian, or Steve as everyone knew him, was a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was known by many students, as he was a graduate instructor for several classes, including Animal Behavior and the Psychology of Sleep. He was finishing his doctoral dissertation under the advisement of Dr. Irving Zucker at the time of his tragic death.

He loved music. He loved playing his guitar on his balcony that overlooked the Bay, and he loved singing. When he whistled, which he did perfectly, you knew that he was happy in that moment (and he whistled often).

He loved jazz and listening to Rush, Taj Mahal, Pink Floyd (he once said that Dark Side of the Moon was the best album ever recorded), and Miles Davis. Every summer he would go to multiple Phish concerts near his hometown in Philadelphia with all of his friends, whom he cared for so much.

He loved cooking and had a special talent for creating culinary works of art. He loved fishing, here in the Bay as well as down in the Cayman Islands where he spent so much time with friends and family.


Steve with Jackie Childers in Big Sur. Photo: Jackie Childers

He loved reading, and especially admired the works of Kurt Vonnegut and Jack Kerouac. He loved watching films; his favorite movie was Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he got to enjoy watching on the big screen at the United Artists 7 Theater on Shattuck Avenue last fall.

Steve had a vibrant personality that no one could forget, and everyone he influenced was inspired by his intelligence, insight and, most of all, his generosity. He was very compassionate and empathetic toward others, and saw the good in everyone he met.

Most of all he loved life — with all of its trials and errors, he still saw the beauty in the world and embraced it. He was so loved and cherished, and those that had the fortune of getting to know him will always remember him and keep his memory alive in their hearts.

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” – Kurt Vonnegut


Steve and his brother Arthur in Big Sur. Photo: Jackie Childers

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  • shorty

    Have a safe journey, Steve….God Bless you…..

  • coldrainsnow

    Fare thee well, brother, fare thee well…

  • Loudly playing “Dark Side of the Moon” for you, Steve. I always wanted to get together and jam with you sometime on the guitar. While I didn’t know you as well as I would have liked, you will be sorely missed in our household. Safe travels, wherever you may be.

  • Howie Mencken

    This is the sort of man that makes Berkeley a special place. I grieve for your friends and family.

  • Heather

    Thank you for posting these kind of obituaries. Sounds like a lovely person, sending my best to his friends and family!