Christopher John Chianelli
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Christopher John Chianelli Christopher John Chianelli, a resident of New Fairfield, died of natural causes on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 in his home. Christopher was born in Mineola, N.Y. The late Russell Joseph Chianelli and Mervine Raphel Chianelli were his parents. He grew up in Cos Cob, and Stockbridge, Mass., and graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in geology. Christopher was married to Julia (Soriano) Chianelli in St. Peter Church in Danbury, and was a member of that parish. Christopher was a TV personality, industry icon, and the editor-at-large for Air Age Media in Wilton and host of The Radio Control Show. He was also the host of DIY Network's Radio Control Hobbies, Robot Rivals, and Workin' on the Railroad. He made guest appearances on NBC's TODAY show. He was involved in charitable functions for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tennessee Valley. He was also a rookie volunteer fireman for New Fairfield/Sher-man. Christopher was the recipient of the 2005 Hobby Ambassador of the Year Award from Hobby Outlook magazine and HobbyTown USA for promoting radio-control hobbies and for his charitable work. He is survived by his wife; his dog, Sophie; his mother, Mervine Raphel Chianelli of El Paso, Texas; his brother, Dr. Russell Chianelli of El Paso; and sisters, Margaret Chianelli of Penn. and Liza Bove of New York. Calling hours will be held in the Green Funeral Home, 57 Main Street, Danbury, Friday, January 23, 2009, from 5 to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, January 24, at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Church, 104 Main Street, Danbury. Interment will follow at St. Peter Cemetery, Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury. Online condolences may be made to

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Published in The News-Times on Jan. 22, 2009.
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27 entries
May 20, 2019
Never knew chris but I loved his shows and knowledge of the radio controlled world. He was the main reason I got into this hobby still enjoying it to this day. He seemed like such a fun person to be around wish I could have met him in person. So sad to hear he passed away so young. Rip
Anthony Guzman
February 19, 2009
I was very sad to hear of Chris' passing, while I didn't know him that well personally, we had talked many times at trade shows over the years I have worked in this industry, he was always smiling, and was always a pleasure to spend time with, and will be missed dearly by many.

The R/C world has truly lost a Great supporter & Friend, our sympathy and prayers to his family and friends.

God bless you Chris, and thanks for all you did for the Hobby industry.
Charles Charron
February 1, 2009
Thanks so much for the energy and enthusiasm you brought to our hobby. In particular the joy you brought to the many newcomers whom you inspired to take up the hobby. You will be missed, kind Sir.
Frank Jaerschky
January 31, 2009
Thank you Chris for everything you did for our hobby. I watched your DIY show religiously. I learned so much from you as many did. You showed how our hobby is not just for the young, is inexpensive to have fun with, and the educational value of the hobby which I carry into other areas of my life. Thank you for your enthusiasm, knowledge, and hard work to grow our wonderful hobby. You will be missed greatly. My deepest condolences to Chris's wife and family. God bless and God speed Chris and the entire Chianelli family.
Peter Criscuolo
January 29, 2009
I have never had the pleasure of meeting Chris in person. I always enjoyed watching him teach the great hobby of RC. He will be truly missed and my prayers go out to his family.
Ronald Rankin
January 29, 2009
Although I never met Chris, I feel like I have lost a family member. His personality and boyish grin kept me watching those DIY shows. My thoughts are with the family. He will truly be missed in the RC world.
Brian Crittenden
January 29, 2009
To the Guru of all RC may you rest in peace you will be missed by all
Shawn Wright
January 26, 2009
Julia, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. My deepest condolences.
Carol Rizza
January 26, 2009
I loved watching his show he was a big inspiration to me in the RC hobby world and i would have loved to have had the chance to meet him. I learned alot from him and will miss his shows. My sympathies go out to his family & Friends, may god bless you in this time of sadness.
Patrick Williams
January 25, 2009
I never met either of you in person, but I felt like I knew Chris well. When he would call for Dan, Chris was always so pleasant and full of happiness. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Danica Wayne
January 25, 2009
I am so sorry for your great loss. I worked with Chris at Air Age back in the mid-90's and got to know him then. He was so much fun and always smiling and laughing. He took life as it came and had such a great attitude. He was a wonderful man and friend. He will be sorely missed. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
Ellen Salerno
January 23, 2009
Chris I only new you for a few short years. I will miss seaing you at Joe and Mercedes BBQs. My condolences to your family
January 23, 2009
Chris, You taught me so much about R/C just from watching your TV show, and reading your articles. You will truly be missed in the hobby.
Gateway R/C
Jacksonville Florida
Bob Davis
January 23, 2009
Chris, you were amaing man, I always fought with my dad to give my DIY network channel just so I can watch you.

My heart goes out to you and your family.
Kuldeep Reehal
January 22, 2009
I enjoyed Chris on his DIY RC show ... he was always so full of energy and enthusiasm.

He helped advance our hobby to the many millions of viewers who might otherwise never have known what it was all about.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris' wife and family
Bill Horoszko
January 22, 2009
Julia, we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Serge and Francine Plante
January 22, 2009
I was deeply saddened to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.
Patrick Lewis
January 22, 2009
Julie, i am so sorry for your loss. Chris was always so full of life and was such a great old soul. Everyone who knew him was the better for it. My prayers are with you.
Li Agen
January 22, 2009
Julie, Vic and I are so saddened by your loss. Chris was such a character. The three of us went out to dinner on the night Vic proposed to me and Chris was there for the whole adventure. He stood up for Vic when we were married and was an important part of that celebration. Over the years I have listened to the conversations between the two of them and often wondered what they were talking about. In most cases it was all airplanes but from time to time they talked about the gifts they had in their lives and I know you were a very special gift in Chris' life. You were his center and kept him grounded. I recall the many times we spoke about Luna and lately about Sophie. I want to thank you for sharing Chris with us and letting him hold a place in our hearts. I know Vic has great memories he would like to share with you and will. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your famly. We will miss Chris deeply and the discussions we had in our home whenever he called. The tales we can tell - all airplane related! (did he ever tell you he wore the bottom of my wedding dress!) Our deepest sympathy to you. Love Melody and Vic
Melody Burns & Vic Olivett
January 22, 2009
Julia, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Laurie LePage
January 22, 2009
My sincere condolences for your loss. Chris influenced so many, including myself. his words were always held at the utmost respect, and his enthusiasm carried over to so many of us in the hobby world. On behalf of thousands who looked up to him, Chris will be very much missed.
Ron Mallison
January 22, 2009
I only knew him from television, but could tell he was a really nice guy. His programs encouraged me to begin a new hobby of RC flying. He will be missed....
Bil Sidwell
Bil Sidwell
January 22, 2009
The R/C community has lost a Great supporter and Friend, our sympathy and prayers to his family and friends.
Daniel Sauvageau
January 22, 2009
Julia, I was saddened to hear of Chris' passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. My deepest condolences.
Matt Paulsen
January 22, 2009
Chris was one who left every contact better for those who met him. He was an inspiration to many. I will miss our talks about everything.
David Deans
January 22, 2009
I am so very saddened by this. I knew him for 18 years and enjoyed working with him. Everyone who every met and spoke to him is a little bit better off for having known him. He will be missed
My sincere condolences go out to his family.
Gerry Yarrish
January 22, 2009
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Lynne Sewell
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