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.