Christopher “Chris” Peter Blaxland has come to live with us at Caring House. We are honored.
Chris is married to Marcy and they are blessed with four sons (Jeff, Brandon, Danny and David).
Chris’ sister Wendy Blaxland shared the following story with the family, and they have shared it with all of us. Thank you Wendy.
Chris was eleven years older than me and was very tall as you all know: so, in my early years, I looked up to him in many ways. He was my big brother, but not as in the TV reality show or the book 1984. When Chris and I were walking our pet dog, Ruffy, the dog and I had to almost run to keep up with him because he had such a long stride. He was also, in my eyes, an intellectual giant. Chris was a member of Mensa – membership of Mensa is only open to people with an IQ score in the top two percent of the population. He had three university degrees in Pure Mathematics, Economics and Law. He was an accredited attorney in both Australia and California. Before moving to the US Chris already had a very successful legal career in commercial law and was a senior partner in one of Sydney’s leading law firms. Mum and Dad were extremely proud of their son and his achievements. In those years, with his then wife Jane, he developed business interests in commercial properties including a restaurant in central Sydney. These interests led him to the US.
Chris was, as you all know also a gentle, charming, generous, loving brother, son, husband, father and grandfather. Of course, like all of us, Chris had his faults, and chief among them was his tendency to put things off, to procrastinate.
Chris was born in Aldershot, Surrey, England in 1945 near the end of the Second World War. Growing up and later he was the object of unconditional love from our Mum and Dad. They doted on him but he was at times a handful. For instance, Mum told the story of finding him, as a toddler, on the windowsill of his second story bedroom proudly showing how he could clean the window. After that Dad made a lid for his cot to keep their beloved son safe when he might wake from his nap. This might now be considered unacceptable restraint for a small child.
Our Mum and Dad, Joan and Peter, met while working in a London hospital at the start of World War Two. Mum was a nurse, and Dad had recently qualified as a doctor – the first graduate ever in his family. Dad was soon made a captain in the Royal Air Force Medical Service and sent off to North Africa where he was in charge of a Field Hospital like MASH. Mum and Dad were married in December 1940 during Dad’s last week’s leave in England. This was in the middle of the blitz, the bombing of England and particularly London. He was away from Mum for four years, serving in the Desert campaigns. Mum continued to work as a nurse at St Mary’s hospital in London. Her patients, like Dad’s, included servicemen from both sides of the conflict.
After the War Dad qualified as a surgeon but job opportunities being limited in England he accepted an appointment in 1953 from the Australian Government as the first specialist surgeon in Darwin and the Northern Territory – Crocodile Dundee country. In fact, Darwin hospital had in its grounds a resident salt water crocodile, kept safely in an enclosure.
So, Mum, Dad, Chris and our sister Jenny came by ship to Darwin in tropical Northern Australia. Of course this meant leaving family and friends behind. Chris loved life in Darwin, had a pet baby kangaroo and lots of adventures in the Australian bush. I was born in Darwin in 1956.
Educational opportunities were very limited in Darwin so in 1957 Mum and Dad moved the family to Canberra, Australia’s inland capital city, when Chris was 12 years old.
Dad had a long and distinguished career as a surgeon in Canberra. On his retirement the operating theatre suite at the Royal Canberra Hospital was named after him.
Like his parents before him Chris lived his adult life in two countries, Australia and the USA. Chris was last in Australia in 2004, when he attended and spoke at our sister Jenny’s funeral. We enjoyed several visits to LA in more recent years when Chris and Marcy showed us the sights. Chris was always fascinated by America: its achievements, its people and its politics. There he found Marcy, the love of his life. As you know, he loves his and Marcy’s boys: Jeff, Brandon, Danny and David.
Through good times and bad we know that Marcy has shown unwavering love, care and support for Chris.
Chris, your Australian family love you and miss you.
To quote from Shakespeare:
‘His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, This was a man!’
We are glad that Chris is with us at Caring House. We look forward to caring for this brilliant international man, husband and father.
Chris died on April 13, 2019. Honor him. Remember him.