A life of laughter, love, art: 6 remembrances of Montclair’s Jordan Tassy
Jordan Tassy loved his pit bull-husky mix, Dakota, and his friend's guinea pigs. He loved photography, videography and digital art. He loved making people laugh.
And he was loved, deeply, by friends who recounted what it was like to know the 22-year-old in the letters published below. Tassy died March 25, after being diagnosed with COVID-19 10 days earlier. His death is among the nearly 70 coronavirus fatalities in Montclair since the start of the pandemic, just over one year ago; he’s also among the youngest lost. Stories of several others are shared at MontclairLocal.news/lovedlost.
Tassy became known to many of his Montclair neighbors during the recent recycling pickup suspension, when he put out an open call online to drive residents’ recyclables to the Community Services Yard for a small fee. Councilman Peter Yacobellis, who’d been in touch with the Tassy family and who’d suggested a GoFundMe campaign for medical expenses that has since raised more than $50,000, was among them: “Jordan didn’t ask what this town could do for him. He stepped up and asked what he could do for this town. That’s who we lost. And it’s devastatingly heartbreaking,” the councilman wrote in a Facebook post.
The letters below are submitted by some of Tassy’s closest friends, a group of friends who call themselves “the Wolfpack.”
“The Wolfpack resembles a group who sticks together no matter what. Jordan was the leader of the pack, with his characteristic charisma, always initiating meet-ups and checking up on everyone,” He always enforced that we all remain close and enjoy life with one another. Jordan knew that Wolfpack is family and we will forever be grateful for him giving us this powerful name,” Imran Khawaja, who collected the letters, told Montclair Local.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair expects to announce arrangements for services once they’re made.
— Louis C. Hochman
Jordan was our ‘social glue’
“My name is Jordan Tassy. I am 22 years old and I was born and raised in the greatest town in the world, Montclair, NJ.” This is an excerpt from a cover letter Jordan recently submitted for a job posting that encapsulates the love he had for his hometown. He is gone too soon and loved by those who were lucky enough to feel his embrace.
Jordan was a self-aware man who knew how to bring out the best in people: his friends, family, and his teammates. He was a two-time state championship football player for Montclair High School, in the class of 2016. After high school, he explored his love for photography and created his brand “PoloFilms,” coined after his nickname “JPolo.” He excelled as a photographer and videographer and truly loved his career with every fiber in his being. This translated into his ever-present encouragement for his friends to pursue their passions and remain open-minded with their futures.
Jordan was what we called “social glue.” He fit in in every situation and made everyone’s opinion around him feel valued. He was funny, witty, and carried a charm that caused those around him to gravitate to his personality. Jordan was also selfless and did all that he could for those that he cared about. Whether it was friends with home troubles, or simply needing a ride to the train station, he did all that he could to brainstorm solutions and aid his friends so they could succeed. That is one element we will remember the most. Jordan truly cared.
Along with his mother, Norma, and his late grandmother, Catherine, Jordan loved his pit bull-husky, Dakota. In his last few months, he surprisingly grew a love for guinea pigs!
The amount of people that have shown their love for Jordan leaves us in awe and is a testament to who he was and his ability to brighten anyone’s day.
We love you Jordan. Forever and always.
Neshe Munim and Imran Khawaja
Jordan had your back
At every hangout, campfire, FaceTime call, or any other communal event, there hasn’t been a single time where he hadn’t made us laugh. His comedic personality always brightened the mood. He was caring and reached out to anyone who was feeling low just to lift their spirits and do what he can.
When you think of a friend who has your back, that man was Jordan. No matter what it was, he would be so supportive and encouraging. His mindset was that if anyone messes with you, they messed with Jordan, too. He truly was one of a kind and an inspiration for all.
Jordan is not the type of person you can forget. His humor and love for us will forever be with us, no matter where he is. Jordan was more than a friend or a best friend, he was family and we will cherish him just as he cherished us.
Love you, brother.
Always proud to rep the ‘M’
Jordan Tassy was by far one of the funniest and sociable people I have ever met. I’m not going to sit here and say the man was perfect, but he truly was someone that I admired in that he did what he loved and always pursued his passions. Regardless of if you were having a fantastic day or a terrible one, you could be sure that he would put a smile on your face.
Of all the people I have met in Montclair, I have never met anyone who was prouder to rep the “M” than Jordan. Anyone who attended the high school sports events can certify that he ruled the students’ section and truly lived in the moment. He was a proud father of a beautiful pitbull-husky named Dakota and is the reason that my family adopted a beautiful German shepard-husky named Ghost. In classic Tassy x Khawaja Dynamic, the two dogs are best friends.
Although he is no longer here with us today, he is here with us in our memories and is truly an unforgettable staple of the Montclair community. Other than my family, I have known Jordan Tassy longer than anyone, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to have grown side-by-side with him for the last 18 years. As he has mentioned to me many times, now that he is gone I will try not to mourn him, but to celebrate the time we had with him.
Full Tassy treatment, always
I met Jordan in the most classic Jordan way: He was three hours late to pick us up for a concert. But on that first night, he didn't treat me like a timid friend-of-a-friend or stranger-he-just-met. He treated me like he had known me my whole life. That night at the Wellmont, I was given the full Tassy treatment: jokes, freestyle raps, big bear hugs. Since day one, he welcomed me into his big friendly embrace like I was his family.
This is the kind of energy that Jordan could not help but bring to every person he met. People are often hesitant to cross-pollinate their social circles for fear that they just won't mix, but I never had that fear with Jordan. He would show up (three hours late, of course) dancing his way into the room to whatever song was playing in his head and immediately bring the room to life. People would gravitate to his charm, and he would strike up a conversation about his passions: photography, videos, music, food, and even some wildcards like 3D printing, digital art and drones. If there was a single strand of connection that could exist between him and someone else, he'd find it.
Jordan loved bringing people together. In the time since he's left us, the outpouring of love and memories that people have shared about him is forging a new community as we speak. He's survived not only by his mother and beautiful, loving dog Dakota, but also by his extended family around the corner, the Khawajas. I could never thank Imran enough for introducing me to such an iconic, golden young man, and I hope to keep Jordan and his legacy in my heart until I cease to exist.
Blessed to call him ‘brother’
I met Jordan when I first moved to Montclair in middle school. We’re part of a group of guys that ran around South End like we owned the place. Jordan always stood out to me as one of the most kind men I have ever met. Through the years it was like I had two brothers. I’ll never forget attending Bonnaroo with Jordan. At that point in life, I hadn’t seen him much and it still amazed me how fearless and full of life he was. The past couple of months I had the pleasure of playing “Call of Duty: Warzone” with Jordan and a group of our friends. Every day there was something new to talk about and I always thought of him as the leader of our group. We are all truly blessed to call him our brother. I will forever cherish the time that I had with Jordan, a.k.a. “Polo.” For the rest of my life, I’m going to live by a motto. Yolo for Polo. I will continue to spread the love and compassion that Jordan did every day. I will live life to the fullest in the name of my brother. I love you Jordan. Rest easy
Jordan inspired happiness
Jordan Tassy: Someone I could always trust and count on to be there for me. One thing about Jordan is that he always kept it real. No matter the situation, he was always himself. Jordan would always show love and was quick to make me laugh and smile if something was bothering me. Jordan made change in the world around him with his personality and passion. I will always be grateful for all the good times and laughs we shared together. Jordan, you inspired me to be happier in life no matter the circumstance. Your inspiration will be with me for the rest of my life. I love you Jordan, your spirit will always be with me.