Our Chris left us suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep during the early morning of March 4th. He was only 43 and packed much living into such a short time.
He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents Ken and Sheila Mead-Miller and his paternal grandparents Herbert and Jenny Hambleton and step grandfathers Henry Parquereau and John Carpenter.
He is survived by his fiance, Monika Leibel and her daughter Sabrina of Penticton; his sister Jenny (Bill) Geddes and their children Cameron, Reghan and Brynn of Port Alberni. Also by his parents Sheila and Howie Hambleton of Qualicum Beach. A myriad of Uncles, Aunts and Cousins. Many, many great friends. And, yes, there was also Yoda the Cat.
Raised in Chilliwack BC, Winnipeg, Man., Victoria BC, and Ucluelet, BC, Chris was valedictorian of the Ucluelet Secondary School in 1985. He graduated from the University of Victoria in 1990 with a teaching degree. He subsequently received his Masters Degree in Education from Gonzanga University. He taught for ten years in the Fort St. John area (Upper Pine) and has been teaching and administering in the South Okanagan since the year 2000. He taught at Osoyoos Elementary, Cawston Elementary, was Vice Principal at Osoyoos Elementary and most recently Principal at Tuc El Nuit Elementary School in Oliver.
Chris was a respected educator and leader. Organized, fun and very musical. He loved teaching and enjoyed challenging his students to make them better scholars and better people. He was the consummate entertainer and had an innate ability to fit in with any crowd. He particularly liked to host friends. He made his guests feel special and did his utmost to spoil them. In turn, they always managed to spoil him. Smart guy.
Chris overcame the physical challenges in his life with and unprecedented zeal. He was born with significant heart damage and never used it as an excuse (unless it was not to do yard work when he was a kid) and never allowed to it slow him down. His intellect was outstanding and he was a very caring person. Two traits that he often tried to hide.
Life can sometimes be so unfair. He met the love of his life two short years ago. He and Monika should have had a lifetime together. Their wedding was planned. They were so much in love and so very well matched and that has significantly exacerbated our grief and our loss.
A Life Celebration will be held at Sonoma Centre, 8505 68th Avenue in Osoyoos on Saturday, March 19th from 1 to 3 pm. Everyone is welcome.
Chris would not want flowers nor donations in his honour. He would, however, be delighted with some positive action on his behalf. So, maybe, we could all take a moment in our busy lives to do something nice for someone else on a regular basis. Perhaps call it a Chris moment. And, at the end of a day….when we have a drink with friends (something that he really liked to do)…. we could continue to say “Cheers” but think the word “Chris”