Death Of Director Chris Englese Sends Shockwaves Through Jersey City: 'JC Was In His Blood'

Christopher Englese, an award-winning director and pillar of many communities across Jersey City, died on Monday, Nov. 13, at 44 years old.

Chris Englese

Chris Englese

Photo Credit: City of Jersey City

The City of Jersey City paid homage to Chris Englese, the face of its social media channels, with a video.

"If there’s been anything on this social media channel you’ve enjoyed — be it an entertaining historical video, an important look at a lesser known part of our city, a profile on a forgotten area of our past — you need to know, Chris Englese was behind it," reads a social media post.

"Jersey City was in his blood. Chris *was* Jersey City. His character embodied everything that makes this a great place to live. We will miss him endlessly."

Englese graduated from Hudson Catholic and Jersey City State University before earning his master's in philosophy from Scotland's University of Glasgow, his obituary says.

He was an adjunct processor in the Communication Arts & Sciences Department at CUNY Bronx Community College, and had spent many years working as the senior digital content director or the Jersey City Mayor's Office of Communications.

The owner of JC Daytrippers and Easy Riders, Englese co-founded and served as president of the city's non-profit, Bike JC, having played a major role in implementing bike lanes across the city, and was on the mayor's LGBTQ+ Task Force, his obituary says.

Passionate about film writing and directing, Englese's 2013 documentary "Political Bodies" was named Best Documentary Feature at the Austin Film Festival that year. 

This year, he earned the "Homegrown Documentary Award" for "Strength Through Visibility," which premiered this year at the Garden State Film Festival. The film shined a light on the 20-year history of Jersey City's LGBTQ+.

"He was always humble, kind, and genuine... a rare combination in this world," Catherine Hecht said in a tribute on social media. "He loved Jersey City and he is a big part of why it's a wonderful place to live. He made our community and the world a better place. I know his legacy in acts, deed, and the people he touched will live on.... but I so wish we had more time with him."

"He was make your belly hurt funny," Heather Fulcher said. "I can still hear your silly laugh in my head. He worked so hard for things was passionate about, I always really respected him for that... You truly lit up the room, and were kind beyond measure. Saying goodbye so early seems unreal. I miss you so much already my brother. I hope you're on your next big adventure somewhere."

Services were held Nov. 19. Cremation was private. Click here for Christopher Englse's complete obituary.

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