Ringwald, Christopher D. ALBANY Christopher D. Ringwald, Albany scholar, author, and journalist
, whose humane spirit stretched from down the street to across the globe, died suddenly at age 55 on Monday, September 26, 2011. Often seen in his neighbor-hood wearing a sports coat and a fedora, Chris displayed an old-fashioned propriety and friendliness. When biking or driving Albany streets, he frequently pulled over to greet a friend or neighbor with a handshake. He always preferred intellectual conversation to chit-chat. Chris's life revolved around his family and his Catholic faith. He cherished his wife, Amy Biancolli Ringwald, and their three children: Madeleine, Jeanne and Mitchell. Chris filled his days deliberately, packing in work, exercise, reading, lunches with friends, dinner with family, school and sports events and civic engagements. But on Sundays, he rested. Chris had a deep intellectual understanding of Catholicism, and lived his faith. He was a devoted parishioner at St. George's Black Catholic Apostolate, St. Teresa of Avila, and then St. Vincent de Paul. Through the years, he taught carpentry in Peru, visited Albany homeless shelters, dropped in on friends in nursing homes, counseled alcoholics, delivered Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving food to needy families, and supported Emmaus House, an Albany Catholic Worker residence. Chris was born in the Bronx and was educated at Georgetown University, the Columbia School of Journalism and St. Bernard's Institute. He worked as a carpenter, building contractor and a human rights lobbyist. As a journalist, he concerned himself with faith and justice. He was the author of three books: "A Day Apart," about the importance of the Sabbath in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths; "The Soul of Recovery," which explored the role of spirituality in addiction recovery (both published by Oxford University Press); and "Faith in Words," a series of interviews with writers about their spirituality. He was a Kaiser Foundation Media Fellow in 1997 and, in 2002, was named the 37th Albany Author of the Year. Chris' work appeared in Newsday, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter. Compelled by a need to bear witness, he reported from Iraq in 1999 and, in 2005, on an insurrection in Uganda. Chris was a reporter at the Albany Times Union between 1989 and 1998. Inspired by a series of Chris' articles, the state passed a law in 1995 ordering substance abuse programs to be evaluated. He founded and directed the Faith and Society Project at The Sage Colleges, and was editor of "The Evangelist," a weekly Catholic newspaper, from 2008 to 2011. He most recently had worked at the (Schenectady) Daily Gazette. Chris was born in the Bronx to Margaret Furey and Eugene Ringwald. In addition to his wife and children, Chris is survived by his beloved siblings, Carl (Karin); Tom (Paula); Anne (Bob); Marie (Michael); three nephews, Christopher, Michael and Steven; and many close friends and extended family. Funeral services Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:45 a.m. from the Lasak & Gigliotti Funeral Home, now located at 208 North Allen St., Albany, thence to St. Vincent De Paul Church, Albany, at 10:30 a.m. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Relatives and friends are invited and may call Wednesday, September 28, 2011 4 to 7 p.m. in the funeral home. Contributions in his name may be made to the Albany Catholic Worker (Emmaus House), 45 Trinity Place, Albany, NY 12202.