Michael Jerryson 1974-2021
HOWLAND — Michael Jerryson, 47, passed away 9:45 p.m. Friday, July 9, 2021, after battling ALS.
Michael was born Michael Frederick Kessler on May 10, 1974, at Evanston Hospital in Illinois, the son of Rhella Kessler and the late Jerry Kessler.
He was a graduate of New Trier High School (1992). He received his undergraduate degree in Western philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1996).
Upon graduation, Michael enlisted in the United States Peace Corps and served as an English teacher in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia as an M8 (1997).
He continued his education with a master’s degree in languages and cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (2001), and Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2008).
Michael worked as an assistant professor of Asian religion at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (2009-2013), and as professor of religious studies at Youngstown State University (2013-2021). During this time, he was the author or editor of nine books, which are visible on his website www.michaeljerryson.com. He created the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence unit at the American Academy of Religion and served as a consultant for Fo Guang Shan.
He enjoyed cooking, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and weightlifting. He also enjoyed teaching and reading good books of many genres.
He is survived by his wife, Fawn Jerryson, whom he married July 14, 2001; his children, Parker Jerryson and Sienna Sundee Jerryson; brothers, David Kessler, Michael (Sven) Alberti, Blake Harper, Daniel Cottrell and Rocky Jones; sisters, Aysha Hidayatullah and Deborah Mower; and mother, Rhella Kessler.
Following a private burial, a service open to all will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Foxfield Preserve, 9877 Alabama Ave. SW, Wilmot, Ohio 44689. Unvaccinated guests are asked to wear masks and adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
For students, there will be a Youngstown State University memorial following Labor Day weekend, with details to follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to Venmo account @InMemory-ofMichael.