August 23, 1962 – November 13, 2012
She lived out loud!
It is with profound sadness that the family of Chris Klein announces her passing on November 13, 2012. Chris graduated from the University of Alberta with an education degree in 1986 and married Murray that summer. After two years teaching Jr. High in Vimy, Alberta she took time off to start a family. Although she enjoyed being a mother, her calling as an educator was strong and she was back teaching English at Archbishop MacDonald High School the following year where she continued her career until illness prevented her return to class in September 2011. A gifted and passionate teacher, Chris' ability to engage all types of students in a subject that many find difficult to get excited about endeared her to students, colleagues and administration. Her career as a high school teacher also enabled her to pursue her passion for travel via a number of school trips with students that she organized over the years. Outside of school she travelled regularly with friends and family and even found time for trips to Maui and Phoenix in between cancer chemotherapy treatments.
In her later years she discovered a new passion, Horse Jumping! Starting with a lesson package at Blarney Stone Farms, Chris progressed quickly and soon purchased a horse of her own. As usual, Chris did not approach jumping half-heartedly spending many hours each week riding, jumping and grooming her horses. Through a combination of hard work and natural ability she found herself winning more than her share of ribbons at the horse jumping shows she entered. Although passionate about her career and horses, she placed a priority on family revelling in regular get-togethers to celebrate holidays, enjoying family at her cabin or just being together. She also took the lead in planning once in a lifetime events like the 'One Big Happy Family Cruise'. As with other facets of her life she faced the challenge of a terminal cancer diagnosis head on and was often heard to say, "Cancer may take my life but it will not take my days." She refused to lay blame or wallow in self-pity instead vowing to do as much living as possible in the time she had left. Her cancer diagnosis reconfirmed her philosophy on life which can be summed up by the following; "Say what you think", "If you love someone, tell them", "Don't wait for tomorrow" and "Nothing is as important as family and friends."
Chris leaves with no regrets and was profoundly humbled by the outpouring of love she received during her illness. Predeceased by her parents Paul and Angela Matemisz and extended family member Alex Thomas-Haug, Chris leaves to cherish her memory, her loving husband Murray, sons Brett and Evan, brother John (Judy) Matemisz, sister Genevieve (Brian) Thomas, nieces and nephews CarrieAnn (Dennis Dykes) Thomas, Scott (Erin Tessier) Thomas, Alicia (Erik) Dmytruk, Michael (Michelle Baker) Matemisz, Dr. Laura (Dr. Jeff Zorn) Matemisz, grand-nieces and nephews Griffin, Aedan and Nolan Dykes, Annabelle Dmytruk and Jaxen Matemisz, extended family Phil Haug, Lorna Thomas, Ken Thomas and Cayley Thomas-Haug, George and Dorothy Klein, Wes and Shelley Klein as well as many friends, colleagues, former students, neighbors and acquaintances.
Chris rarely failed to leave a lasting impression on anyone she met. Her cancer journey brought the strength of community to the forefront and the family wishes to express their sincere thanks to all who offered help, meals, thoughts, prayers and love. The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Michael Sawyer, Dr. Sharon Watanabe and all the nurses and staff at the Cross Cancer Institute for their excellent medical care. The compassionate staff at the Cross made a difficult journey tolerable. Thank you as well to Dr. Bhavlene Panesar for her ongoing care throughout Chris' illness, the homecare nurses who visited Chris regularly, Dr. Vince Bain for his help at the time of her diagnosis and Dr. Jason Voldeng and his wonderful staff at the St. Joseph's Hospice Palliative Care Unit where Chris, the once aspiring equestrian rider, spent her final days on a ward named Spruce Meadows. Coincidence?
Visitation will be held between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home, 10011 - 114 Street N.W. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 2:00 p.m., on Monday, November 19 at St. Joseph's Basilica, 10044 - 113 Street N.W., with a burial to follow at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at Holy Cross Cemetery, 14611 Mark Messier Trail N.W. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cross Cancer Institute c/o Alberta Cancer Foundation or Catholic Social Services Sign of Hope.
For condolences please visit www.connelly-mckinley.com
Published in The Edmonton Journal from Nov. 16 to Nov. 17, 2012