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John Christopher Kockritz

1941 - 2019
John Christopher Kockritz Obituary
John Christopher Kockritz (Chris) passed away on March 8, 2019 with his wife and daughters at his side, one day after his 78th birthday.

Chris was born on March 7, 1941 at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He and his younger sister, Andrea, were raised by his parents Hubert and Miriam, who were talented professional musicians. Chris attended Hughes High School, where he began his lifelong passion for playing the French horn. The band was a known point of pride of his high school and the Cincinnati public school system at the time. He attended the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied French horn and voice. He met Kitty Hawk, the love of his life, in 1963 at a Frisch's restaurant parking lot, where he nearly ran over her foot with his car! They eloped on January 26, 1965. Enlisting in the Navy in 1968, he proudly served his country for four years. He then worked for City of Cincinnati in the water department until his retirement in 2001. For this new chapter in their lives, he and Kitty moved to Venice, Florida where they spent the rest of his years.

Chris was an avid collector of model trains and cameras. He was the official family photographer for countless dances, holidays and other special events. A passionate man of the water, he taught sailing while in the Navy, and was an active member of the Venice Power Squadron for four years. Music, however, was in his blood and he listened, played and conducted (with headphones on at his stereo while waiting for his teenage daughters to come home on weekend nights) every single day. After many years of hanging up the French horn, he picked it back up in his retirement and joyfully played in several concert bands throughout the year in both Cincinnati, OH and Venice/Sarasota, FL.

Chris was a dedicated family man who worked night shifts so he could be with his precious daughters while they grew up. He helped cook and clean, changed the oil in the cars and could fix anything. He coached his girls in soccer, and he attended every sporting event, performance, ceremony, and graduation. He was a quiet source of strength and support in a busy house with three strong women. His wife and daughters remained at the center of his life, until the addition of seven grandchildren whom he cherished beyond measure. Being a grandfather was his heaven on earth.

Creating memories for others was his specialty. Every Christmas Eve in Cincinnati, he would run around his tight-knit neighborhood in the middle of the night with sleigh bells. He hid eggs every Easter for the kids to find. He was a generous, caring, emotional and loving human being. He also had a huge sense of compassion for animals, opening his heart and home to dogs, cats, turtles, chameleons, hermit crabs and sea monkeys.

Chris is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years Kathryn (Kitty) (nee Hawk); adoring daughters Karena (Ron) Garriques of Lake Forest, IL and Kristie (John) Wolterman of Sarasota, FL; loving sister Andrea Wiot (Cincinnati, OH); and seven precious grandchildren Hannah, Lauren, John Taylor, Alec, Gunnar, Xavier and Kaedon.

A military service will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Route 72, Sarasota, FL on April 8, 2019 at 2:30 PM. Reception immediately following at Kristie's home, please email [email protected] for further details.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301. Or donate online at: https://secure.dav.org/site/Donation2?df_id=9420&9420.donation=form1&s_src=1402DRWEB01
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