Christopher Peter Tonkin (Chris)
March 1, 1952 – October 1, 2021
Our love story is on pause. We will press the play button when we meet again behind the veil.
Chris passed away peacefully at home with his beloved wife Kathy holding his hand and his much-loved dog Loulou by his side. Chris faced pancreatic cancer with bravery, mental strength and unending optimism. He amazed his doctors by living an unheard of two years after his diagnosis.
He will be missed by his four children Ruth Tonkin of Winnipeg, Steven Tonkin (Pam) of Barrie, Mary Hull (Dennis) of Hanmer, Allan Tonkin of Kenora and by his stepsons Darren Greenough (Tara) of Kitchener and Chris Greenough (Kailey) of Toronto. Chris was very proud of his Grandchildren Jimmie and Holly Tonkin, Lauren and Rachel Hull and Chloe and Autumn Tonkin who affectionately called him Grandfer. Chris is survived by his siblings Tim Tonkin (Barb) of Timmins and Alison Monette of Winnipeg. Chris was predeceased by his dad and mom Peter and Dawn Tonkin of Timmins and by his sister Jane Edward (Steve) of Hanmer. Chris is a loved and admired uncle and cousin to the Tonkin family.
Chris was born and raised in Timmins Ontario the eldest of four children. His lifelong love of music was nurtured in a musical family. His mom and dad sang in community and church choirs and Chris studied piano for many years before moving to saxophone and clarinet. In High School he sang in the school choir, community choir, church choir and even in a high school musical. Over the years he took opportunities to sing with The Thunder Bay Symphony, at Trent University and in Community choirs in Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Arnprior. But most importantly, his love of music led him to the love of his life when he met Kathy while singing in a church choir.
Chris loved his job as Operating Manager at Ontario Power Generation (OPG). He was an accomplished leader and mentor and worked tirelessly to bring the best possible value to his customers and partners. He started his career humbly as a Power Station Operator and through hard work, dedication and smarts, worked his way up the ladder. As a valued member of the management team Chris received commendations for exceptional contributions, excellence and outstanding performance. He retired in 2010 after 38 years of dedicated service with many great stories to tell about his years with the company. Water management remained a source of interest and wonder for him until the end of his life.
In his retirement Chris spent time: puttering in his workshop fixing things for friends and neighbour; fussing over a perfect lawn, garden beds and immaculately manicured shrubs; entertaining friends at home with Kathy; and travelling the world. He and Kathy were blessed to visit many countries around the globe. They made new friends wherever they went. But the bulk of Chris’ retirement was spent as a volunteer in the service of others. For 11 years he served on boards and worked in choirs and community musical theatre. His last posts were on the Executive of both the Arnprior Community Choir and Two Rivers Musical Productions. In these organizations he managed facilities and equipment, booked venues, bought insurance, designed and built sets, managed production lighting – oh yes – and even found time to sing.
Chris shone his brilliant light on all. He gave his love unconditionally, generously shared his many talents and brought his boundless energy to countless projects. Everyone he met was a benefactor of his love, kindness, positivity and enthusiasm. And who could resist his charm and handsome smile?
Kathy offers her heartfelt thanks to Dr. Susanna McCarthy for her extraordinarily compassionate care. She is indebted to cherished family friend Maureen Dyck who provided every possible care and support in Chris’ final three weeks. To the dedicated, caring team of nurses from S. E. Health, who made it possible for Kathy to provide hospice care at home, she is forever in your debt. And finally, to the countless friends who fed and tended Chris and Kathy in body and spirit for the two years of Chris’ illness she is eternally grateful.
Please join the family for an open visitation on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pilon Family Funeral Home, 50 John St N, Arnprior. Regrettably, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tribute service in honour of Chris’ life will be by invitation only.
For those who so desire, donations in Chris’ memory can be made to The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation