Michelle Anne Njeri Ndwaru, age 21, passed away on Monday, August 6, 2018. She was born on August 6, 1997 to Irene Ndwaru and Stephen N. Gicheru in Nairobi, Kenya. Irene brought Michelle to Wichita, Kansas when she was 3 months old and the family moved to Corpus Christi when she was four years old.
Michelle graduated in 2015 from Incarnate Word Academy with honors. She went on IWA mission trips and was active in the IWA Mock Trial, serving in various capacities and participating with the team in State finals competitions. Michelle was enrolled as a Senior at Austin College in Sherman, TX where she was a proud Roo. She was involved in Black Expressions, an active member in the French Club, Activators a Christian youth group, and an environmental club. She was a true activist at heart and had a passion for social justice.
Michelle was very active in the Parkway Presbyterian Church Youth Group and attended several mission trips, and served as an elder of the church. She was a member of Mission Presbytery Mid Winter Planning Team, counselor at John Knox Ranch and attended the PCUSA Triennium at Purdue University to name only a few. Michelle was a leader and people gravitated to her. She was an inspiration not only to the youth and children but to adults as well.
Michelle also had a passion for food. A true foodie at heart, she loved to share that passion with everyone she met. She could turn anyone into a broccoli lover and could cut 20 pounds of leak onions without sunglasses. She didn’t have to worry about tears when doing what she loved. Michelle loved baking, a love that was passed down from one of her various grandmothers, so much so that at the age of 13 she put together a plan for a cupcake shop with a full menu of an assortment of different cupcakes and named it Chelly Cakes, using her nickname. She co-authored a cookbook of her favorite Kenyan recipes with her mom Irene.
Michelle never met a stranger and therefore she has been claimed by so many and could truly be called “child of the village”. She always went an extra step to make those around her feel included and loved. Her compassion will never be forgotten.
Michelle will always be remembered by her friends, community, and her Kenyan-Texan family for her energy, quick wit, humor, her kindness, empathy, compassion, and her million suns smile. Michelle would light up a room anytime she walked in. She was never afraid to paint outside the lines. She truly marched to the beat of her own drum, and did so with grace and ease.
Michelle is survived by her parents Irene Ndwaru and Stephen N. Gicheru, siblings, Caroline Ndwaru, Jackee Ndwaru McGlamery (Gabriel McGlamery), Fred Ndwaru, and Pauline Wakonyo Ndwaru (Bob Ruprecht), and a very large and loving extended family which included many in the Corpus Christi community. We will always remember our dear Michelle with love.
Visitation will be held from 6pm to 8pm on Friday, August 10, 2018 at Seaside Reid Mausoleum. The burial will be held at 2:30 pm at Seaside Memorial Park, 4357 Ocean Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78412, followed by a Memorial Service at 4pm at Parkway Presbyterian Church, 3707 Santa Fe, Corpus Christi, TX 78411.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkway Presbyterian Memorial Fund for youth counseling in memory of Michelle Ndwaru.