Chris Elder

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Christopher (Chris) Brownlee Elder was born on Saturday March 27, 1976 to Debra Ann (Cain) and Bryan Douglas Elder at Owen Sound General and Marine Hospital. Chris was very fortunate to have the majority of his grandparents and great-grandparents present in his life from a young age. He was the first grandchild for many of them. At the age of four he welcomed a little sister, Marcia Jean and then later in life a brother, Adam Lloyd. 

His first years were spent in Chatsworth where he later attended Holland Chatsworth Central School. In time, his parents went their separate ways and he and Marcy moved with their mother. Chris then became a student at Sydenham Central School before later moving to Bradford, Alcona Beach, Aurora and Barrie. He began high school at Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School in Aurora. Chris decided to leave school early finding a number of places in which to dedicate his time and energy.

He spent time at Granny Tarts Factory, Bacon Basketware Ltd., a drycleaner, and ZieBart Tidy Car. In 1997, Chris and Marcy moved out on their own, sharing an apartment as Marcy was attending school and Chris working. Sadly, it was at this time whereby Chris was already beginning to struggle with alcohol abuse.

He soon moved back home with Debbie and began a new job with Irwin Steel. Here Chris learnt how to weld. In short order, Chris was promoted to Lead Hand and then Foreman, which he did for fifteen years. Unfortunately, his boss died, which meant he had to look for another job opportunity. Luckily for Chris carpentry was another area of expertise. Whether it was flooring, drywall, crown molding, or anything in between Chris was quick to make use of his talents. He was very talented in carpentry and welding. Many of his woodworking products were something he could be very proud of. 

Chris enjoyed playing hockey and baseball as well as soccer. He had a heart of gold and was willing to do anything that was asked of him and would do an amazing job at whatever he began. Chris had a soft spot for children and animals. He loved them all especially his five nieces and nephews who he loved dearly. Chris also had a stray cat who he adopted and called “Kitty.” Kitty lived in their garage for quite some time and with some coaxing Chris finally got her to come out of hiding. She then had a special place in the house and was a wonderful pet. 

Chris was a good cook and loved to prepare big meals, even for a crowd. He loved steak, corn on the cob and could cook a mean pot of chilli or anything he attempted. The family recalled a past Christmas whereby he and a cousin had a pie eating contest. It was a new recipe called Pumpkin Praline that was almost sickly sweet but very good. The winner was promised $5 and they both ate the better part of a pie until they appeared green and had to go to bed with a belly ache. Both boys were awarded five dollars in the end.

He had a love for anything John Deere, all country music, especially Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids”. He had a contagious belly laugh that was easily recognized as it seemed to originate all the way from his toes.

Sadly, Chris lived a life full of pain and suffering as he dealt with alcoholism for the past two decades. Thankfully life changed for Chris in September of 2017 when he realized that his life was worth living, without the need for alcohol. He sought treatment, and with the love and support of his new family at G & B House in Owen Sound, Chris just celebrated seven months of sobriety. His family and friends were all so proud of this amazing accomplishment, knowing it was no easy feat for Chris.

Just a couple weeks before his death, Chris had transitioned from the G & B House to his own apartment. He was close with his sponsor, also named Chris, and attended support meetings regularly. Chris had recently started back to work at Vokes Furniture Inc. in Owen Sound and was slowly working his way back into a new and regular way of life. Sadly, Chris' past lifestyle caught up with his body and he suffered a fatal heart attack at home on Saturday, March 17, 2018. He would have celebrated his 42nd birthday next week, a man too young to die.

Cherished son of Debbie Smith of Newmarket. Loving brother of Marcy (Jeff) Kerr of Newmarket and Adam Smith of Toronto. Beloved uncle of Ethan, Avary, Kyle, Esme and Olive. Chris will be fondly remembered by his grandparents Doug and Evelyn Elder of Chatsworth, Aunt Penny (John) Crawford, cousins Darryl (Leanne) Hampton and LeeAnn Hampton (Chris Wells) and their families. Chris was predeceased by his stepfather Lloyd Smith and his grandparents Brownlee Cain and Lila McKay.

A Celebration of Chris' life, including laughter, stories and food, will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 11 a.m. Inurnment in Hillcrest Cemetery, Tara.

Memorial donations to G & B House, Owen Sound would be appreciated. Chris’ family will be forever grateful for all the love, support and guidance he received during his time there.

Chris, we love you dearly and miss you already. God has gained another angel. Rest in peace.

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Deb Hepburn
March 22, 2018
My thoughts are with you and your family. This touches very close in my heart, as I have dealt with the same in my family. My deepest sympathy!
Joe Nugent
March 21, 2018
Too Soon, much too soon,
I met Chris a few months ago
and was able to see him grow and loving his new life, smiling all the time.
He will not be forgotten,
My condolence to his Grandpa Doug and the rest of his wonderful family.
Joe Nugent
Evelyn Mattonen
March 21, 2018
Debbie and family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my throughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time xoxo
Zak
March 21, 2018
Chris was living the righteous life. So sad. You are in my prayers, brother.
Tish
March 21, 2018
My deepest condolence, I was lucky to know Chris at his worse and at the beginning of his recovery journey. He made great changes and fought battles that allowed him to stay sober. Please know that you and family are in our thoughts and prayers
Nancy pringle
March 20, 2018
I am so sorry for this sad news .I have fond memories of Chris .and remembering the talks .so proud of his accomplishment for this change he was making in his life .Hugs to the Family .????????????????
Carolyn Bowers
March 20, 2018
Taken way too soon. I will always hold fond memories of Chris as a nephew, and my condolences to Debbie, Marcy and Family at this difficult time.
Leeanna & Shawn Fisher
March 20, 2018
Our Deepest Condolence to all the family.
Debbie my Heart aches for you may your Son rest in peace
Karen
March 20, 2018
Still in such shock that you have left us. Our Family truly loved you. Always the first one to offer help where ever and when ever we needed it, a kind kind Heart .. Im so proud of you Chris . To make that change for your life is truly incredible and something i always hoped would find its way to you. I will never understand, and find it so unfair that after all you accomplished these past 7 months, ended this way.i couldn't hug you to show you just how proud i am of you. Our Family will always and forever feel a void by your absence . I loved you. And will never let our good memories disappear. You became my best friend. I hope you are free of a world that let you down. Love Forever Chris

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Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

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Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.

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All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

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