It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our wonderful husband, father, brother, friend, and “Papa”, Christopher Allan Patrick Kelly. Chris passed away peacefully, at the age of 71, from heart failure, with his wife by his side. Chris is survived by his wife of 40 years, Karin, his daughters, Tara (Peter), Shannon (Ben), Heather (Jordan), and Jessica (Eric), his grandchildren, Maddie, Mason, Lila, Lucy, Shayla, Audrey, Rowan, and Gabe, his sisters, Patti, Kathy, Tracy, Susan, Robyn, and Mimi, as well as his dear friends, whom he thought of as family. He is predeceased by his parents, Pat and Dorine Kelly, and his mother-in-law, Gladys Godden.
Chris was born on October 25, 1951, and grew up in Revelstoke. He looked up to his father and told his children stories of helping him deliver milk door-to-door as a child. It was in Revelstoke that he developed his love of the outdoors, of adventure, and of quiet thoughtfulness.
In 1978, Chris met his soulmate, Karin, in a chance encounter on an evening out in downtown Victoria, BC. From that moment on, the two were forever connected, and together, they built a family, a company, and a life together. They raised their four girls on a hobby farm in Campbell River. Chris was a loving and patient father and husband, and was very proud of his girls. In their adulthood, whenever a daughter came to visit, you could find Chris checking tire pressures and washing cars as a way of continually taking care of them.
Chris had an entrepreneurial spirit. After a short time of working at Coca-Cola’s bottling plant, where he made some of his dearest friends, he set off on his own, starting small businesses and taking calculated risks. Soon enough, one of his ventures stuck. Kelly Transport was a thriving transport company that grew into a large fleet. Chris and Karin worked together on the business in harmony until they decided to retire early, first on Quadra Island and then eventually settling near their girls in North Saanich, BC.
Chris was an avid volunteer all his adult life and dedicated his time to helping others right until his last year on earth. He was very active in B.C. Search and Rescue for 24 years and was honoured to serve as president of the association from 2014 to 2022. Chris had a big heart and was generous with his time.
Chris cherished his friendships and his standing coffee dates with his close friends. He kept a small, tight-knit group that was like his family. He had fond memories of “Classics” – golf and poker getaways—as well as trips away with Karin and friends. He was a thoughtful man who didn’t waste words, but he loved to be a part of warm social gatherings.
Chris was a strong and loving man. He faced life’s challenges head-on, and his courage and determination did not wane even when faced with significant health challenges. He greeted his wife and children with enthusiasm and warmth, even on his hardest days in the hospital. He will be dearly missed.
Our family would like to thank the amazing caregivers who supported Chris during his time at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.
As per Chris’s request, there will not be a formal service. To honour Chris, we invite you to toast him over a cold Lucky Lager, go for a walk by the ocean, or volunteer for a worthy cause in his memory.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s Greatest Need fund.
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