BEMUS POINT - Mr. Charles T. "Chuck" Crist, 69, of Bemus Point, formerly of Ellicottville and Salamanca, died Wednesday morning (Oct. 28, 2020) at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, following a long illness.
Born Jan. 16, 1951, in Salamanca, he was the son of the late Charles "Bud" and Dorothy Solarek Crist. He was married on July 10, 1970, at the former St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, to the former Patti France, who survives.
Chuck was a graduate of Salamanca High School, Class of 1968, where he was a star athlete, playing football, basketball, baseball and track and field. He was named Most Valuable Player for all four sports. He attended Penn State University, where he played basketball with the Nittany Lions, and graduated in 1972.
He was an undrafted free agent into the National Football League by the New York Giants in 1972 as a defensive back, and went on to play for the New Orleans Saints, where he was the 1977 defensive MVP, and the San Francisco 49ers.
After retirement from the NFL, Chuck worked as the assistant coach with the Cattaraugus Central School from 1983 to 1985 and the Alfred Saxons football team from 1985 to 1991. He then moved back to Salamanca and was employed with the Salamanca City Central School, serving as principal for Seneca Elementary until his retirement in 2015.
He was inducted into the Cattaraugus County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, the Chautauqua County Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. He also went on to win the Holiday Valley Golf Club Championship six times.
Chuck enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and attending their sporting events. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, spending their winters in Hilton Head, S.C., and visiting lifelong friends. He had a passion for the game of golf.
For all that knew and loved him, please know how hard he fought to stay here and be with us.
Surviving besides his wife are a son, Scott (Shelly) Crist of Bemus Point; a daughter, Niki (Brady) O'Neill of Charlotte, N.C.; four grandchildren, Carson and Cameron Crist, both of Bemus Point, and Cole and Haley Sutherland, both of Charlotte; two sisters, Diane (Jim) Kochaniec of Salamanca and Jane (Wayne) St. John of Little Valley; two brothers, Dick (Julie) Crist of Jamestown and John (Debbie) Crist of Salamanca; and several nieces and nephews.
Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Due to COVID-19, a celebration of a life well lived will be held at the convenience of the family and will be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 1192, Jamestown, NY 14702, in Chuck Crist's name.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the O'Rourke & O'Rourke Inc. Funeral Home, 25 River St., Salamanca.
E-condolences can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
or posted to facebook.com/onofh.