Chris Tocky Christ
Battle Creek - Chris Tocky Christ, 91, of Battle Creek, MI passed away peacefully in the early morning of Monday November 16, 2020. Chris was born in Battle Creek, MI on October 1, 1929 to Greek immigrants John and Ellen (Nitsas) Christ. He was a retired attorney from the law firm of Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, PC in Battle Creek. As a man of family and faith, he was well known for his community service, advocacy and leadership. He has served on numerous boards and received multiple awards and recognition for his community service and leadership.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty Jean Christ, who he married on September 29, 1956 at the First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, MI. He is also sadly preceded in death by his daughter Teri Elizabeth Christ who tragically passed away from an automobile accident in 1983; his granddaughter Heather Moana in 2015; his parents John and Ellen Christ; his parental in-laws Nels J. (Tobey) and Mary Mason of Battle Creek, MI; and his sister and brother-in-law Mary (Kalopy) & George Dale of Indianapolis, IN. He is survived by his children John M. (and Jill) Christ of Battle Creek, MI; Kristin L. Christ of Troy, MI; Scott M. Christ (and Kenneth L. Kish) of Kalamazoo, MI; grandchildren J. Matthew Christ; Teri E. (and Adam) Noaeill and David M. (and Ashley) Christ; great grandchildren, Annabelle Noaeill, Skyler Noaeill and Frankie Christ; his brother and sister-in-law Peter and Carolyn Christ of Battle Creek; multiple nieces and nephews; and multiple grand nieces and nephews to whom he is lovingly known as "Uncle Tock."
Chris was an Eagle Scout, and in 1995, he and Betty jointly received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Southwest Michigan Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Chris graduated high school from Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN; a school he credits with his life of discipline and a school he pursued after seeing an advertisement in "Boy's Life" magazine. He graduated summa cum laude from Albion College, Albion, MI in 1951; and he received his law degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI in 1954. He also received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Albion College, Albion, MI in 1997.
Attorney Christ joined the law firm now bearing his name in 1959. He started his legal career as a trial lawyer and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and progressed to a specialty in estate planning. He was a former member of the American and Michigan Bar Associations and is a past President of the Calhoun County Bar Association. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Albion College, and a former Trustee of the Battle Creek Health Systems, the Battle Creek Community Foundation, and the Binda Foundation. In 2010, he was honored with the Healthcare Leadership Award from the Michigan Hospital Association.
Chris and his wife Betty were proud members of the First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, MI. He was a humble man whose purpose in life was to serve others. In his own words from a sermon he had presented at the church in 1977, he stated that his mission in life was to "…just try to do something with my life in a meaningful way every day - nothing spectacular, nothing earth-shaking, but maybe helpful to those who sought my counsel".
Of his numerous successes, some of his proudest professional accomplishments included his involvement negotiating the merger of two competing hospitals in Battle Creek, so that the citizens of Battle Creek could have better access to healthcare. He was also appointed to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he served as member and chairperson. There his communication and leadership skills were applied to a world stage. This afforded him the opportunity to meet with various world leaders to help establish problem-solving projects. This was a responsibility he took on with great pride. He and his wife Betty were also very proud of being cofounders with other community members for establishing the North Pointe Woods assisted living community. Chris and Betty also later served as co-chairs for this organization. This was an accomplishment which took Chris full circle, as the location of his passing.
As a music lover, Chris was an avid fan and supporter of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and would often treat friends and family to their concerts. With recognitions, awards, trusteeships, board memberships and community leadership roles almost too numerous to mention; he would note that his greatest accomplishments were as a loving husband, father, uncle, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. His life well lived is now complete with his heavenly reunion with his life partner, confidant and beloved wife Betty and his long missed daughter Teri.
A private family ceremony will be conducted at Memorial Park Cemetery. Due to the Covid-19 virus, a memorial service will be held at a later date when it is safe for family and friends to celebrate his life. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home and Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family can be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to:
Chris and Betty Christ Family Fund at the Battle Creek Community Foundation: 32 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49017 https://www.bccfoundation.org/fund/chris-and-betty-christ-family-fund
Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center: 6225 N. 39th Street, Augusta, MI 49012 https://www.shermanlakeymca.org/donate
Brass Band of Battle Creek: P.O. Box 556, Marshall, MI 49068