Cris VelazquezAge 37 (born 24 Jan 1986)
12 Oct 2023
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
Cris identified as nonbinary and died by suicide on Thursday 12th October.
Their spouse Yoli had passed away on Monday 2nd January.
Christopher Alexander Velazquez, known to their loved ones as Cris, died of their own volition at home on October 12, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the age of 37. Born on January 24, 1986 in Newark, DE, Cris was a vastly charming individual who made a significant impact on the lives of the people around them, regardless of the length of the relationships. This holds true whether they had spoken with someone just once, or had known them for years.
Cris is survived by their beloved dogs, Mishka and Moriarty, and their cat, Maeve. They are survived by a great number of friends, chosen family members, and members of their biological family, all of whom do and will continue to sincerely miss them. Cris was preceded in death by their spouse, Yoli Abreu. Their absence will be keenly felt by those who loved them.
Cris possessed so many beautiful attributes. Their amiable disposition, smart wit and can-do spirit are well-known. Always seeking new experiences, their adventurous spirit drove them to take many different courses in life. Cris led a full life, and those who were lucky enough to know them could find joy in their loyalty, their creativity, their mischievous humor, their dance and movement, and their compassion.
Having served in the US Marine Corps from 2004 to 2012, Cris very well knew the costs of war. Their military association was an integral part of their life, and they spent many years openly discussing the harm of military service, in collaboration with other anti-war veterans, allies, and accomplices, often in conversation with young people. They were incredibly dedicated to making the world a kinder and more just place, with hopes of abolishing war, and educating others about the correlations between militarism and climate crisis.
Cris lived many lives, and wore many different hats. They dedicated significant time and energy towards Gamers for Peace as part of Veterans for Peace. Cris frequently found themself in leadership positions, whether as a store manager, sports club manager, personal trainer, in service to other Disabled American Veterans, or in organizing efforts. They also worked in film, and a variety of other venues over the course of their life.
Cris will be remembered for their commitment to making a difference, their curious and playful spirit, their loyalty and ability to put others needs before their own (often to a fault), their ability to find whimsy in the darkness, their nerdery, their desire to always grow and learn, and their tireless hope and rage channeled to building a world in which people do not have to fight to survive. Their presence is, and will continue to be, deeply missed. They are so much more loved than they could have ever known, and their memory will be cherished by so many of those whose lives they touched.
In December 2021 Cris had spoken out about their work with Veterans for Peace opposing the military using gaming to try to entice young people to enlist.