January 29, 1956 - April 29, 2023
In loving memory ~
With sadness, we announce the peaceful passing of Christopher Neil O'Connor in Kamloops. Predeceased by his father Neil in 1966 and his mother Dixie in 2008, Chris is survived by his wife Denise O'Connor and daughter Sarah (Cody) Brown, siblings Jenny (Jeff) Wright and Phil (Jo-Ann) O'Connor and his niece and nephews.
Born in Vancouver, Chris was raised in Coquitlam and graduated from Centennial Secondary in 1974. Throughout his youth, he played many sports including basketball and football for Centennial, as well as a year for the Surrey Rams football team. After completing his BSc in Forestry from UBC in 1981, he spent his career as a Registered Professional Forester. As a new graduate, he ventured to Smithers to work for the Bulkley Forest District. In 1983, Chris moved to Lytton to be the Woodlands Manager for Lytton Lumber for, what he thought would be, a few years. This turned into nearly forty years after he married the boss' daughter. They were uprooted suddenly from Lytton on June 30th, 2021, when they lost their home in the Lytton fire. His deteriorating health prevented him from returning to his beloved town, although he never gave up hope of living there again someday.
Those who knew Chris would describe him as "Larger than Life", who always loved to tell a great story. He was never happier than when his nose was buried in a book, He found joy in discussing the current political climate or surveying forestry lands in and around Lytton. He took great pleasure in driving people along the many logging roads to show them the workings of Lytton Lumber's operations. Chris was an avid baseball fan, playing in his youth and young adult life in Smithers and Lytton. He took every opportunity to watch the New York Yankees play, even planning a family vacation to New York around their baseball schedule. He enjoyed a broad spectrum of music from Big Band to Carlos Santana. He loved to dance and had an incredible rhythm,
Chris was very dedicated to his community being involved in many political and public interest groups for most of his adult life. For many years, he was Chair of the St. Bartholomew's Hospital Board and fought tirelessly for healthcare services in Lytton. Chris was, in some ways, ahead of his time when it came to developing relationships with indigenous and non-indigenous communities surrounding Lytton; in 2007, he was a co-founder of the New Pathways to Gold Society. Chris spent more than 15 years serving the Village of Lytton on Council, including 9 years as Mayor. He spearheaded Lytton's "Hotspot of Canada" brand and often engaged in playful debate with other mayors who claimed their community should hold the title.
The family would like to thank the staff at Royal Inland Hospital and Interior Home Health for the care they provided to Chris. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Diabetes Canada or Foundry BC.