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Christoffer Hamming

Christoffer (Chris) Hamming

Thursday, May 28th, 1936 - Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
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Obituary

Christoffer (Chris) Hamming
May 28, 1936 – May 23, 2019

Chris was born in Groningen, the Netherlands, and was the son of Gerhardus Hamming and Maria van der Veen. He had four brothers: Henk, Tom, Keith, and Gerry; and three sisters: Margaret, Agnes, and Gerda. The family emigrated from the Netherlands to Smithers, BC in 1953. Chris was one of only 8 students graduating from the Smithers high school.

Although Chris had thoughts of becoming an accountant, he decided to become a teacher instead. He attended UBC for two years and then moved to Toronto, working for Manulife to save the funds needed for his junior and senior years at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He thought about teaching in the United States, but learned about a new Christian high school being started--Fraser Valley Christian High (FVCH). He returned to BC and became a member of the inaugural faculty at FVCH.

It was the sixties. Chris was a confirmed bachelor and rather set in his ways until he was caught by and married an accountant, Henrietta de Wit, on March 28, 1970. They were active members of the New Westminster CRC and founding members of the Coquitlam CRC (Tapestry Mundy Park). They lived in Coquitlam for most of their 49 years of marriage.

Chris is remembered by most as a teacher. He taught at FVCH for 38 years, in subjects ranging from French, physical education, and book-keeping to math and the sciences. Chris was also involved in many volunteer areas in the school: coordinating the school yearbook, judging Science Fairs, coaching cross-country runners, and organizing the Grade 8 Outdoor School where he initiated the legendary “Morning Dip and Run”. During the years Chris taught, most graduates cite the Grade 8 Outdoor School as their most memorable high school experience.

Chris looked for some areas of interest to pursue after his retirement in 2001. He regularly volunteered at Science World and the Tri-Cities blood donor clinics. He was pivotal in promoting “salmon in the classroom” for both the Tynehead and Hoy/Scott Creek Salmon Hatcheries, raising and releasing thousands of salmon fry each year. He also discovered the joy of dragon boating which became a great passion for him as a team member of the Dogwood Nothin’ Dragon Masters.

Chris was a physically active, life-loving person and passionate about many things: his love for God and His creation, the environment, the mountains (snowshoeing and hiking frequently in them), and meeting new and familiar people--especially children. His children and grand-children were a delight to him, and he enjoyed playing with and educating them while encouraging them to simply delight in any physical activity.

He leaves behind on earth: his wife, Henrietta, sons Jeremy (Teresa), Kevin (Cecilia), Bryce (Bryony), and daughter Janine (Adam), along with his much beloved grand-children: Chelsea, Brandon, Eleora, Sebastian, Mathias, Trystan, Tyler, Benjamin, and Dylan.

Chris lived a full and rewarding life, impacted many people, and influenced all by his example to be better stewards of themselves, nature, and Creation. Rest in peace and rejoice in His glory, Chris.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    The Tapestry Mundy Park
    Address
    2600 Austin Ave.
    COQUITLAM, BC V3K 6C4
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Pastor Samuel Lee

Donations

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Condolences

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Private Condolence

Robbin Whachell

Posted at 08:07pm
I was honoured to speak today at Chris' Celebration of Life.

I met Chris Hamming in 2014 when I joined the [Hoy-Scott Watershed] Society. It was soon after that I learned that Chris was one of the Society’s founding members.

The watershed society was formed in 2002 and is a not-for-profit, volunteer run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education and preservation.

While holding positions on the executive for many years, Chris was a daily feeder, which meant that for him, every Monday he came down to the Hoy Creek Hatchery to check on our salmon, take temperatures, record data and feed the salmon. It amazed me that he also did similar at Tynehead Hatchery.

Some may not know that Chris was pivotal in promoting “salmon in the classroom” a project where schools would raise salmon from egg to fry and then release them into a local stream.

After first watching Chris lead his salmon education performance at our annual Salmon Come Home event in Coquitlam, --- and I call it ‘a performance’, because no one taught the life cycle of the salmon like Chris, I introduced him after that as our ‘famous salmon educator’.

Chris had his audience glued to his every word. Children’s eyes would go as big as Chris’ when he would explain why you should never walk on the gravel in the stream during the fall... Because if you did...you could become known as... ‘a salmon killer!’ He knew how to make science interesting, fun and relatable. Did you know that salmon alevin carry their food in their yoke-sac stomachs like we carry lunch kits?

For the past two years I kept telling Chris that we must professionally video his salmon talk so that he could be remembered, and that we would have something to go on to try and replicate his magic. Sadly, we never got that done, although I was pleased to find a couple cellphone video snippets to send to Henrietta.

Chris certainly lived to teach, inspire, and share his knowledge.

In 2018 at our Salmon Come Home event, we were pleased to be able to honour and acknowledge Chris for his years of service, and his contribution to our society.

On a personal note, it was Chris that got me into dragon boating. One night at the hatchery he said he had to get going to ‘training’. When I asked him for what, he talked to me about dragon boating like it was the greatest sport on earth. He welcomed me to check out the team website, and perhaps give it a try. I went home and did just that. Today I’m the assistant captain of the Nothin’ Dragon Masters, and I’m proud to have known Chris ... by the stream and on the water.

On behalf of my society colleagues, we will miss his leadership, warm smile, positive attitude and can-do spirit, but we also have many fond and happy memories to cherish.

Robbin Whachell, President, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society
HB

Hennie Beugelink

Posted at 05:01pm
Our sincerest condolences to Henrietta and all the children and grand children.
Chris has always been very active and very athletic. I enjoyed your hiking pictures that came across my screen.
He has positively impacted many people around him. May his memory continue to live on.
When I hear the name Hamming, my mind goes back to the good days that we lived in Coquitlam.............
How many sleepovers Koenraad and Mirjam had at your house and Kevin and Janine at our house.
They even had their "own" beds at our house. It was not uncommon for Harry and I to come home after an evening out to find extra shoes by the front door..... oh..... the Hammings are sleeping over tonight.
Then the Air Cadet time..... shoe shining parties and uniform irionings.... drill practises.....
The many rides we shared over the years.
Our families were close, until we moved to Langley and became more involved in church there.
Out of sight, but not out of mind!
May the Lord bless you and uphold you all in these difficult days, week, months, and years ahead.
Love from...............Harry and Hennie Beugelink
KS

Kevin Smith

Posted at 11:45am
Losing Chris leaves a loving, exuberant, mustached hole in our hearts. Chris taught me to run - he simply assumed I was in, he didn't really ask. And he helped me train for my first (and only) marathon - Vancouver 2000. He also showed me every day that teaching is exciting because God's world and God's people are exciting. I'll never forget him.
Kevin (and Julie) Smith, FVCH 1999-2002
JH

Janine Hamming

Posted at 11:31pm
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Chris Hamming to:

Serpentine Enhancement Society
PO Box 35042
409-15940 Fraser Hwy
Surrey, BC
V4N 9E9
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