Cal Polly alumnus Jordan Maler will be remembered for many wonderful moments, but his love for music was unforgettable.

“There’s so many dimensions to his life, but the music just keeps coming through as one of the core pieces of who he was,” Jordan’s mother Renee said.

“I think the world has lost an amazing, incredible life changing, world changing person,” his mother said.

Jordan graduated from Cal Poly with a business administration degree in 2015. He went on to work for Facebook and Pinterest before passing away in his sleep from natural causes Tuesday, Nov. 12, according to his mother.

“I think the world has lost an amazing, incredible life changing, world changing person,” his mother said. “I am so honored and grateful for the 26 years I had with him because he always made me want to be a better person,” his mother said. “If I could live my life even half as well as he did and make other people feel half as well as he did, then I will have done the right thing.”

Renee said her son was an “old soul” who had a pure heart. She said in the days since his passing, many people have reached out to her expressing their gratitude for his friendship and his thoughtfulness.

“I knew that when he passed there would be an outpouring of love for him, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that this many people would just come out and say how much his love and his guidance and his total support of them and his nonjudgmental attitude … affected all these kids in this way,” Renee said.

Renee said Jordan made wonderful connections during his time at Cal Poly and he and his friends from freshman year remained close throughout college and after graduating. Renee Maler | Courtesy
Renee said Jordan made wonderful connections during his time at Cal Poly and he and his friends from freshman year remained close throughout college and after graduating. Renee Maler | Courtesy

Jordan, who grew up in San Ramon, came from a lineage of Cal Poly alumni and San Luis Obispo was the family’s home away from home. Two of his uncles and his parents attended Cal Poly.

His mother said she met Jordan’s father, Arnold, when she was 14, but they began dating while in college. She said she fell in love with his father in part because of his passion for a variety of music, and they passed that love onto their children, Jordan and Amanda.

“We really were an influence to both Jordan and his sister,” Renee said. “They’ve been going to concerts since they were little, they were exposed to all different genres.”

Jordan and his parents, Renee and Arnold, all graduated from Cal Poly and called San Luis Obispo their home. Renee Maler | Courtesy

Renee said Jordan frequented music festivals. He loved Outside Lands and Lightning in a Bottle in particular.

“Music was his way to release and be with his friends and enjoy,” his mother said.

Now, Jordan’s parents are working with the Cal Poly Music Department to create a scholarship or fund for music majors. His mother said nothing has been finalized yet, however the family would like to start a scholarship foundation in Jordan’s memory.

Jordan’s mother said she is speaking with professor and Music Department Chair India D’Avignon for a better idea of where the money will go towards. 

“The news is tragic, that goes without saying,” D’Avignon said. “We are very honored to have his mom think of us … and continue that light shining.”

Renee said the family chose to lay Jordan to rest in San Luis Obispo County because it is a place the family has called home for many years.

Visitation will take place Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Los Osos Valley Memorial and services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at his grave site.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. at The Penny, in downtown San Luis Obispo. Renee said Santa Maria style barbecue, Jordan’s favorite San Luis Obispo meal, will be served.

This story has been updated with the correct time for The Celebration of Life.

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