Passed away as a result of a car accident on Sunday July 1, 2001. Chris just turned 25 years of age on May 13, and recently graduated with honours from George Brown College to start a career in financial planning with TD Waterhouse. Lovingly remembered by John and Elaine, Heidi and Liesl Quanz, Randy, Geri, Ben, and Lauren Grainger. Cherished grandson of Walter and Ruby Quanz, Roy and Ann Parker. Chris was buried at the Dixon Hill Cemetery near Markham, Ontario.
John Quanz, son of John and Elaine, was born on May 13, 1976 at Toronto
General Hospital. He was a bright-eyed beautiful boy with a full head of
hair in a hurry to start life. When he was 3 months old his big brother
Randy entered his life and a special bond developed between them that never
wavered through the years.
Chris was an inquisitive boy being able to pick up ideas and concepts very quickly. This started with a Gadget box, that his father built for him when he was 2 or 3 years old, that required Chris to select a series of switches to turn on lights or make a sound. For some of his school science projects he put this inquisitiveness to use building a telegraph set and a solar energy display. He only had a tiny bit of help from his dad.
Chris and Randy were joined by sisters Heidi in 1979 and Liesl in 1982. It was also in 1982 that Randy married Geri and moved to their own home.
When Chris was 7 years old he received a model train set for Christmas and shared a love of trains with his dad. They often went to model train shows together and loved to climb around on old locomotives in museums, as I am sure you saw in some of the pictures in the collages that Heidi and Liesl put together.
He attended Anson Taylor Public School and Albert Campbell Secondary School in Scarborough. It was during his final year of High School that he developed an interest in business. The course of study included setting up his own clothing design business that he called "Granny's Duds" because his Grandma Quanz kept telling him to "get his duds on" when he was supposed to get dressed. In this business he designed shirts and hats for skate-boarders, another passion, and had them manufactured in Toronto and sold in Ontario and British Columbia.
Chris took several years off before starting his post secondary education. He worked as a stock boy, counter sales clerk and telemarketer sometimes working all three at once. He moved away from home working in Vancouver for a short time and then spent several years in downtown Toronto. In 1999 he decided to go back to school to study Financial Planning at George Brown College. He graduated with honours on June 15, 2001. Through his work placement he had a job at TD Waterhouse as a stock trader licensed to trade across Canada and internationally. He was proud of his achievement and excited about his work.
Chris had several hobbies that included "Techno" music, trains, a coin collection, his stereo and cars.
Chris moved home in December 2000. It was a fun time for him being back at home again with most of the family there. Several times during the last few months he enjoyed his favourite desert, elderberry pie, made best by his mom for any conceivable special occasion.
Last weekend Chris went to a cottage with some of his friends. He was driving home on Highway 6 late Saturday night so he could work his Sunday evening shift. At about 11:45 PM his car went off the road south of Tobermory. The first call to 911 went in before midnight and rescue and ambulance crews arrived promptly but there was nothing they could do. Chris was already gone.
Chris is sadly missed by all.
The following tributes were given at the funeral on July 6, 2001 at the Markham Missionary Church.
A Tribute from A Friend
Heather Thurton Carmichael
I was thinking of you this week and all these memories came flooding into my mind.
Just think I have been your friend for your entire life. I don't think I can say that about anyone else, well except for Heidi and Liesl but you were the first. My parents have a picture of me holding you a few days after you were born. What an awesome thing to account for, 25 years of friendship. We have quite a strong bond. It is quite unique and there is something so comforting about the fact that we have walked through the different stages of life together.
We really were something when we were little. Real partners in crime. There are those two stories that we seem to have become infamous for. That fight we had about our dads and who was better. I said my dad owned the church and you told me that your dad paid my dad so he was better. Then there is my favourite story, me knocking my front teeth out on your forehead. Only we would come up with the idea to race around the church in opposite directions with one coming from the door on the right and the other coming from the left and we ran into each other in the middle. It has been a long time since I was a head taller than you. Oh and by the way I do not believe that the scar is still visible. I mean come on it has been 20 years. I on the other hand am sure that is why my front teeth look like Chiclets.
You were pretty strong-headed back then and I don't mean literally. Things always had to get done your way, but I am sure that when you tell stories about us I turn out to be the stubborn one. Ok, I’ll compromise we both liked to get our own way.
There was one thing we could always agree on and that was how to build a good fort. We used to build the best ones in my basement. We would spend hours on them. Oh remember that New Years Eve when your family came over for the evening so our parents could play board games and you guys ended up staying for 3 days. I am sure that was the world's longest Trivia Pursuit game or was it Monopoly. Anyway the fort we built that time took up my whole rec room. We must have used every sheet and blanket my mom had. Ah, those were the days, when life’s enjoyment could be found in the construction of a good fort.
But life went on, puberty hit and life got more complicated. Those days were a little harsh on us. I mean those glasses we used to wear, could they get any bigger and what was with my hair. Big mistake!
That was about the time we started going to camp. We had some good times at Stayner and then at Mishewah too. James was telling me a story about advance a couple of days ago. Remember that house that had the swimming pool next door to the campgrounds? Well you should because you, him, and a bunch of guys from your cabin snuck into their back yard for a midnight swim. I can’t believe you guys did that. Actually I can. You and James together back then would definitely be a wild time. You guys and your baggy pants, skateboards, and those hats with the pom-poms on them that you bought at Stedman’s in downtown Stayner. There was something about a Karaoke Bar too, but I won’t go into that one.
It was that same summer that I was bummed out over this guy and you took me aside and told me how pretty I was and not to worry over it. I don’t think you knew how much that meant to me. At a time when I was really insecure about who I was you really came through for me. Thank you.
I think you also had blonde hair that summer, or was it red, or was that the summer of orange. Man Chris you coloured your hair more than I did. Of course you managed to find your way back to your natural colour. I on the other hand am not sure if I have a natural hair colour anymore.
But through all the stages of adolescent experimentation we managed to grow into mature, fashionable, good looking, well rounded adults. (Hee hee, yea right, at least that’s what we want them to think).
Seriously though you are a really great young man. I can say that because I am older and wiser. You have always had a smile for me. My greeting always consists of that amazing grin that always made you look like you were up to something, your classic head nod, and then a great big bear hug. You have never been stingy with the hugs. You have a kind and gentle spirit that made it comfortable to be around you. Your laugh has never changed and I can hear it in my head right now. I can’t even explain it but it certainly was contagious. You have a tender heart Chris and in this day and age that is a beautiful quality for a man to have.
A couple of months ago we had breakfast and I could tell you were really coming into your own. I am so proud of you for your determination in finishing college. Good thing it was with honours because I am toying with having you do my portfolio. That morning we spent hours being philosophical about life. We talked about how so many people get lost along the way. You said how glad you were for your upbringing and the example your parents set for you. How they instilled good and real values and morals into you. You were glad that they gave you such a rich and godly heritage. You were thankful for the Christian principles that were engraved on your life.
I am proud of the wonderful man you are. I am proud that we have been friends for 25 years and that no matter what road we were travelling on we always managed to find each other along the way.
They say blood is thicker than water but for us, the water runs thick. I miss you
A Tribute from His Grandfather
I want to share with you some Grandpa’s glimpses from the past, a tribute to my favourite grandson – my only one. This is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted for the simple reason that the roles are reversed, he should be making the comments.
These last few days our hearts have been broken over the loss of one we held so dear. What we have left now are memories of the good times we have had together. As has been said Chris was a fun loving guy, with a cheery smile and lots of friends and he enjoyed practical jokes. As a small boy he used to tease his Aunt Jo’s toy-poodle something terrible. He’s the only person that that poodle would stay clear of until he turned his back and then the poodle would make a dive for him. As he grew up he went from driving his little toy Case tractor to sitting on his grandpa’s knee and driving the largest Case 4-wheel drive tractor they produced. At one of the Palmerston’s parades we had the toy tractor in front with a piece of string between him and the big 4-wheel drive. There’s nothing like a Case.
Heather mentioned a fact that the Quanzes are known to be a little stubborn; we call it strength although a lot of people call it stubbornness. I knew in his early childhood that the financial field was a natural for him. Grandma always took him shopping one day in the fall before school started. On one of those occasions he had made his purchases and Chris was down to his last 10 cents. We had passed a Farmer Jack Grocery and he had seen an ad for “Eggs – 10 cents a dozen” but underneath it said with a ten dollar purchase. He said to Grandma “I like eggs”. We had supper and breakfast to go in the motor home before we came home. Grandma came to his rescue.
On another occasion I took him fishing to one of those “pay-by-the-pound lakes”. That was a mistake too. I soon found out who was the best fisherman.
Chris, as has been stated, was a skateboard nut. Scrapes and bruises didn’t stop him. Not even pleading advice from his grandfather. And so the next trip we took we went to Niagara Falls and he had an address of some place in the US that he wanted to go. He looked it up on the map and we drove and drove until we found the street but there was no such number on that street. With more research Chris found a street with the same name on the other side of town. We drove over there. We found it in about the roughest part of Buffalo in an abandoned factory with the windows boarded up and a little sign over the door with the name of the place he wanted to go. I begged and pleaded with him not to get out of the motor home. The strength came through. I’ll tell you who went into the building first and it wasn’t me. I wouldn’t let him go alone. Inside were two of the sharpest young fellows with a great business providing good quality skateboard clothing and skateboard parts. I instructed my wife to keep the motor home running, with the door locked, and only to open it if we came running out and if she seen anyone else to drive away and pick us up when we passed her somewhere.
On another occasion I put a tape in the tape player and asked Christopher to listen to a favourite speaker of mine with a tremendous message. He didn’t seem to be paying much attention so when it was through I said Chris I’ll give you five dollars if you can tell me what he said at a certain part. He looked at me and I think he missed one word. It cost me another five bucks.
One summer he came up. He had to make some money. He was just a young fellow. He painted our fence, he cleaned the yard, he painted the fence and cleaned the yard. You know they have a way – granddad pays them once and grandma pays them once. Then he went out to Murray and Elsie Nelson’s to help unload bales of hay. This was a tough job for a young kid from the city who is not used to it.
One Christmas holiday, Chris, Heidi and Liesl came to Florida for their holidays and we picked them up at the airport. I won’t tell you how long it took me to persuade myself to take him home. It was orange Heather it was orange. Can you imagine me taking him to a senior’s retirement village where they have a guard at the gate and we all wear name tags? He went for a walk and the next thing we heard over the public address system was that there was a stranger in the park, beware. The camp manager came out and I went up to him and said it was my grandson. He looked at me and we both had a laugh.
As I said Chris liked to laugh, he liked practical jokes, like the time he called me on the phone, he said who have I got? I recognized his voice so I said “The smartest man in Ontario”. He said sorry I must have the wrong number.
Chris was an example of love as so many of his friends have shared with us. A love at home, many times when we were there so often we saw a new or different face and they all seemed to be filled with love. But he learned that love at home, a home that is filled with love. The kind of love that Jesus displayed when he died on the cross for you and me. It’s a love that a lot of people today don’t know anything about.
Then Chris went back to school and when he did he finally found his niche in life. I think grandparents can boast a little bit. We were proud when he graduated with honours in Financial Planning. Having talked with his supervisor yesterday, he made the statement that no matter what challenge they threw at him Chris met it with flying colours. The staff and members at TD Waterhouse showed their support as some 20 of them showed up yesterday; it spoke volumes and he spoke a lot about them.
It was just at that point where Chris seemed to have a great future ahead of him and it came to an end. As a grandpa, to all my grandchildren, and I include in that all of Chris’s friends, Heidi’s friends and Liesl’s friends, a few words of advice for you. You have a great future ahead of you. Set your sights high and aim for them and strive to reach them. You can do it. Choose a good lifestyle. Watch those late hours, those travel times when sleep would catch up with us or when distractions would take your eyes off the road. The Bible says that the road is straight and narrow, we need to keep on it.
There is not one of us here today that would not exchange the best day we have ever had to have him back with us. Let’s cherish the thoughts we have and the good memories.
With all my love, Grandpa. See you in the morning.
This picture was taken on Sunday May 13, 2001,
Chris’s 25th Birthday and Mother’s Day
L to R: Chris, his mom Elaine and sisters Heidi and Liesl
A Tribute from His Brother
I had the privilege of first knowing Christopher when he was born to John and Elaine in the spring of 1976. A baby boy that was for a short time a stranger to me but whom I quickly came to love as a brother and was proud to call him so. I listened to his cries as a baby that kept the entire house up at night, turn into his first words of chatter. I'm sure now that there were times when I think Christopher just wanted to make sure someone was listening to his voice of independence that would become a strength later on in life.
I watched as his first crawl turned into first steps that made everyone so proud, a pride that I would have for him always. There were the evenings around the dinner table when we would talk about our daily events while giving Christopher … Topher as he was often referred to... a spoonful of his food and watch him make a mess as he played with it, or threw it on the floor. I would laugh at this, as it made him laugh he thought it was great fun.
Christopher experienced the outdoors at a very early age when he went on his first camping trip with the church Youth Group when he was only weeks old. He attended many such events and trips including many Pitch and Praise weekends, and quickly gained the reputation as the youngest person to attend. Through this Chris became very well known and loved across the church community that has lasted to this day.
It wasn't long before Christmases and birthdays passed and Chris graduated from his first ride toy to his first tricycle and then bicycle. He started to show his determination when he insisted on riding around the neighbourhood on his own although he wasn't quite old enough. Not wanting to listen to big brother he did it anyway as I chased him down the street calling after him.
Soon the time came for the family to grow, and Chris was joined by sisters Heidi and Liesl. It was Chris's turn to take on the role of big brother, a role that Chris would excel at and take much pride in over the years.
Early on when Heidi had her eye accident Chris walked around with one eye covered so that he could experience what she was going through. He even took the time to look for Heidi's eye in hope of finding it so that she could see again.
Later, Chris knew all the right ways to annoy Heidi and Liesl but also knew how to be a counsellor and a protector. Chris wanted to approve of things that were going on in their lives, especially boyfriends. He was always willing to share his experiences in dealing with life's issues. For Liesl this made it easier for her to deal with Mom and Dad about her own mishaps. Chris always wanted Heidi and Liesl to be a part of his life and they had become great friends. He loved them dearly.
As Chris moved into adolescence his independence and individualism flourished. He had a way of expressing himself verbally and always said what was on his mind. He always had a certain sense of humour in his expression; he liked to joke with people and yes sometimes had to have the last word.
As a teenager Chris expressed his desire to be himself and an individual through his clothes, music and even his hair. We often wondered if he was ever going to settle on a colour, but he was just happy to have hair to colour. Another expression was his skateboard. For a time it was part of his identity. He would take it with him wherever he went, or ride it up and down the street while Heidi and Liesl would wax the curbs with crayons to make it slide better.
His expressions were not rebellious. I believe he just wanted to show us who he was. In fact, he knew what was expected of him; an expectation that came by the example set out by his mother and father in a Christian home that Chris always came back to as a refuge and anchor for his life.
There were times later on when he left us wondering where he was going. At times, some may have thought the path he took looked somewhat crooked, to him it was straight and narrow, and he did have vision in life, it just wasn't clear to us yet.
Chris often lived outside of the box where he found his creativity and the vision for the things he wanted to achieve. Chris always wanted to work for himself to support his needs. Chris took his expression of fashion one step further by creating his own company, Granny's Duds, a line of embroidered clothing with his own unique design. Chris also did some modelling on the side and even went to New York for a photo shoot.
He wanted to have a life experience; he packed some things and took a trip out west with a friend. He found an apartment and took a job and was able to support himself for quite some time. To Chris this was another achievement of his independence and determination to be his own person.
Chris had a special place in his heart set aside for his mother who nurtured him from an infant and guided him through childhood adolescence and finally adulthood to the strong person that we are all proud of today. Chris could confide in his mother with the greatest of trust. In return, without a second thought, he would do anything for her. To Chris Mom was more than a mother; they were the best of friends.
To Chris his father was someone he looked up to, his mentor and teacher, his companion. He was inspired to be like him; he knew he had big shoes to fill, as the bar seemed high. From his father Chris learned right from wrong, strength from weakness, he learned about caring and compassion. He learned how to grow from a boy to a man.
When my own family went home to John and Elaine's, Chris went out of his way to be there to see us. We talked, laughed and shared our experiences, as a family would do. It seemed like Chris had something new going on every time we talked to him. Chris had a fondness for children. Whenever we came over he would play with Ben and Lauren just as I played with him. Ben insisted he sleep with Chris whenever we stayed over, Chris was always willing to accept. Geri will miss Chris's quirky emails; it made her feel special knowing Chris thought to include her. She really enjoyed their conversations, and always got a kick out Chris telling her just how “buff” he was. Just next month we were all looking forward to Chris visiting us in Nova Scotia.
Chris respected and looked up to his family and relatives, his parents and grandparents and others that were close to him. He looked to them for example, wisdom and direction. What he found in them he offered to others. He also valued the example Pastor Thurton set out for his own life.
Chris valued his relationships with his friends. And he has so many. He stuck by them in their time of need and offered a helping hand in a variety of ways that you can't imagine. He often paid them a visit; sometimes long other times just a quick hello. Or he would often call them up just to check how things were going or to decide on a place to meet. He loved to be with friends as he felt a sense of belonging with them.
It was easy to be a friend of Chris's because he made it easy to connect with him. He would greet you with a firm handshake; a warm embrace and a smile that made you feel at ease. He could light up a room, and when he walked in the party started.
Just a few short years ago Chris's vision was now clear to us, we knew where he was headed. He pulled it all together. He was off to college to take Financial Planning. I watched him from afar as he worked through this and achieved his goal. And what an achievement he made. He passed his Canadian Securities course and he graduated from George Brown Collage with Honours only a few weeks ago. This was to be his final achievement but it also brought completion to his life.
I am awe-inspired by the number of family members, relatives, close friends, childhood friends, high school friends, classmates from college and co-workers that came to see Chris yesterday and that are here today. This in itself is a tribute to Chris and an example of how well he was known and loved. I know that Chris cherished his time spent with family and friends.
Our Dearest Christopher, we can only thank God for bringing you into this world, if only for a short time. Yet you accomplished so much and touched so many of us in ways that I know are still yet unknown or unseen. We cannot know the reasons why you have been taken from us; only God who holds the key of life knows this. In life you inspired us, and now I look up you. In death you will be a comfort to us as we remember you always.
So long until we meet again my Brother.
This picture was also taken on Sunday May 13, 2001,
Chris’s 25th Birthday and Mother’s Day
L to R: John, Liesl, Chris, and Heidi
Thank You for Your Support
John and Elaine Quanz
There can be nothing more difficult than losing a son or daughter. A piece of us dies with them leaving an emptiness that can only be filled by God, and by the loving memories that we share with those around us.
I don’t know how Elaine and I could have made it through the past week with out our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The comfort God has given us has eased the pain we feel.
We want to express our appreciation for the support that all of you have shown to us during the last few days.
Chris’s friends have come today to share our grief and to mourn the loss of a special friend. Jayme, Rodney, Liz, Janet, Nina, Phil and everyone else. Thank you for being here. Thank you for looking after our son when he wasn’t with us.
Chris’s friends and colleagues from TD Waterhouse; We are overwhelmed with your response. So many of you came to the funeral home yesterday and here again today. He was really excited about working with you. It was a dream come true for him. Thank you for your support today and for being here for Chris.
My friends from Sony, Your friendship and support are really appreciated. I don’t know if you remember, but Chris worked at Sony a few weeks on a project. He was so concerned about how his appearance would reflect on me so he wore his glasses instead of his contact lenses so the frames of the glasses would hide his eyebrow ring. Chris travelled to Japan with me one time when I was going there for meetings. We went out for a Shabu-shabu dinner with the Sony staff the first night. I thought my career was finished when I saw Chris sit beside our Senior Vice President Pat Whittingham and I was too far away to intervene. Chris and Pat got along incredibly well though as they talked about cars and stereo systems. Thank you again for coming today.
Our church friends from Markham and all across Ontario; Thank you for being such an incredible support with your prayers, your expressions of concern, the food you brought over and the love you expressed. Peter and Doreen, thank you for being there with Heidi and Liesl when they were first told about the accident and then helping to reach us. Winston and Lois, Heather and Chris, as always, you were at our side with your support and love. Our families are closer than friends. Thank you.
Our family; Our parents, our brothers and sisters, The Parkers, The Quanzes, The Ecksteins and the Bramhills, We are so blessed to have such great families to help us share this loss. It is with you that we share most of the memories of Chris. Thank you for coming to our side. Thank you for sharing those memories over the last few days. Thank you for sharing the laughs and the tears. On Sunday morning it was much more bearable as we had Elaine’s sisters and brother-in-law at our side at Mishewah when we heard the news. It helped even more as you gathered around us coming from New Dundee, Palmerston, Jan & Gary and the girls driving up from North Carolina, David, Bethany and Faith-Ann driving all the way from Nova Scotia, and Mark & Sarah-Lee driving over from Ottawa. Thank you for the sacrifice you have made. Thank you for the love you have shown us.
Heidi and Liesl, you have been so strong and supportive as we have cried together, as we laughed about the things Chris did to you as you were growing up, and as we planned the funeral. I wish we had been with you when you first learned of his death. We love you and we’ll be together as we get used to a house without Chris.
Randy and Geri, as any son would do, you and Ben and Lauren, immediately came to our side. You and Chris have always had a special bond right from those early days when you cared for him if for no other reason than to get some sleep.
You are our son. We love you. Thank you.
A cousin in England wrote us an email Wednesday. In it Peter wrote "You need to weep and pray at the moment but try to smile, too, when remembering the good things you experienced together. Christians believe in Heaven. Sometimes God takes a young life, like a gardener picks a flower coming into bloom and we don't know why". Why is a question I have asked many times over the last few days but I know God loves us much more than any gardener cares for his flowers so I will trust Him.
Chris; we love you. We miss you – your smile, your bright eyes, your hugs. But it will only be for a while. When you were a young boy you gave your heart to God and accepted Jesus as your Saviour. I look forward to seeing you again in heaven and having you greet me - with a big smile, a gleam in your eyes and a welcoming hug.
See ‘ya Chris.
- End -