Justin Ferrari - beloved son, husband, and father of two - was tragically killed on Thursday, May 24, as he was driving in Seattle with his parents and children.
Justin was born and raised in Turlock where, as a teenager, he spent summers working on the family farm.
Growing up, Justin played tennis and soccer, but the summer before his freshman year in high school he discovered his true athletic passion: water polo. Justin loved everything about the sport: the physical challenge, the camaraderie and the strategy. Under the mentorship of Turlock High School water polo coach, Steve Feaver, Justin excelled in the pool. When the time came to select a college, his desire to continue playing competitively led him to Brown University.
In the summer of 1991, after graduating from Brown as a computer science major, Justin moved to Seattle for an internship at Microsoft. He loved Seattle; the urban city, the vibrant music and art scene, the diversity, and the commitment to environmentalism and social justice embodied by so many of his neighbors. As a software engineer, Justin worked at Microsoft, Expedia, ViAir, Pure Networks, Cisco Systems, and Zillow.
Justin met his wife, Maggie Hooks, in Seattle in 1997, while she was doing her medical residency at the University of Washington. Among many common passions, they shared the love of the outdoors and spent time together throughout the Pacific Northwest, hiking, biking and skiing. They were married in 2002 and lived in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle with their two small children. As a family, they loved camping at Redfish Lake, Idaho, where Justin and Maggie had taken their first trip as a couple. This winter, the family spent every weekend skiing in the Cascades.
In Seattle, Justin continued his involvement with the sport of water polo. He played masters water polo and coached girls and boys water polo teams after work and on weekends at a local high school from 2004 to 2007. His players remember Justin as a mentor who inspired them to be good in the pool and better in the world.
Justin was deeply committed to conservation and stopping climate change. He was a man of great integrity and a tireless advocate for the environment, who led by his actions. He was a generous philanthropist, supporting many environmental, arts, education, and social justice organizations.
Justin loved his family and community and was loved by so many people. He will be remembered as a devoted and loving husband, father, friend, coach, teammate, brother, son, and colleague.
Justin leaves behind his wife, Maggie Hooks, son Will, and daughter Pepper of Seattle; parents Jeani and John Ferrari of Turlock, California; brother Damon Ferrari of Turlock, California; sister Paige Ferrari, of Brooklyn, New York, and countless friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 9 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1660 Arbor Way in Turlock.
In lieu of flowers, the things that would please Justin more than you can imagine would be to turn down your thermostat a couple of degrees and take the bus when you can. For those who feel so moved, donations in Justin's memory can be made to Rainforest Action Network, Brown University Water Polo, and On the Boards, a performing arts organization based in Seattle, WA.