Michael JurasNovember 12, 1954 ~ September 7, 2017 (age 62)
Columbia, S.C. Michael Stanley Juras, inspirational environmentalist, permaculturalist, cyclist, and civic activist, died at 62 in Columbia, S.C., on September 7, 2017 with his loved ones by his side. He had collapsed the day before doing one of his favorite things – cycling through the streets of Columbia. First-born child of the late Stanley and Agnes Juras of Augusta, Ga., he is survived by his partner, Priscilla Preston and his siblings Bill (Gabriele)Juras, Anne Marie (Jim) Johnson, John (Kristen) Juras, David (Melissa) Juras, Elizabeth (Garry) Legnani, and Philip (Beth Gavrilles) Juras, and many nieces and nephews.
Michael was a dedicated public servant and an ardent environmentalist and civic activist, working tirelessly for nearly four decades on behalf of the people of his adopted home city and state. Through his roles as an employee of DHEC and as a community activist he moved Columbia and South Carolina forward on fighting climate change and preparing for its impacts – promoting environmental protections throughout the state; advocating for alternative transportation at the state and local level; serving as a leader of Columbia Resilience, inspiring many to join him in his search for sustainability and helping the Columbia region adapt to dislocations in regional agriculture. He drew on his deep knowledge of permaculture to rehabilitate the Community Orchard at Owens Field Park and helped create gardens all over Columbia, including a community garden at the Columbia Friends Meeting house, where he was a regular attendee.
Michael’s joy was in sharing his knowledge and expertise with others as he strove to make the world a better place filled with hope and love. May we, his family and friends, honor him by continuing his work.
Donations in Michael’s memory may be made to Columbia Resilience, 119 Loch Rd., Columbia, SC, 29210.