Christopher W. Vann left us as the sun rose over Cayuga Lake, on the morning of October 1, 2020, the first day of bow season, in the palliative care unit at Cayuga Med, with his wife holding him close... the golden light of the morning bringing well-earned peace.
Chris tirelessly battled Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy... only recently diagnosed, this dreadful form of dementia had been messing with him for a while. That, combined with underlying cardiac issues, set the dominoes falling. He passed peacefully after a short time in hospice care.
The third (and most handsome) son of the late David and Donna (Smith) Vann of Trumansburg, his smile is sunshine and his eyes were bluer than the water on Frontenac Beach, where he grew up in the loving eyes of his many, many, many, many, many family members.
Born on December 16, 1957, Chris lived his life setting the standard for compassion, kindness, and "good form". A blond, bushy-headed, bi-spectacled graduate of Trumansburg's Charles O. Dickerson High School Class of 1976, Chris was legendary for his charm and personality. He gave so much of himself to his community and causes, it would literally take up a hundred more pages of this newspaper. Some of these organizations have really long names.
Armed with a BS/AAS from Rochester Institute of Technology (1981), Chris followed his heart's True North. His dedication to his work is evident in the recognition he received both publicly and personally. So many awards, so many board seats, so many accolades, so many plaques, so many honorable mentions... he was honored with the designation of Ithaca Board of Realtors' REALTOR® of the Year in 2002, served as Board Chairman/Director for Better Housing of Tompkins County in 2005, and he dutifully fulfilled his role NYSAR Regional Vice President (Southern Tier) in 2006. Many people may not know this, but he was also a close second for People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2000. Okay, a distant close second… that beautiful smile, though!
His decades in Real Estate as Associate Broker at Warren Real Estate meant so much to him, many people think his middle initial, W, is for Warren... actually it's Winston - he had it legally changed when he married his wife on a sunset cruise on New Years Eve, 2000, in Key West, Florida.
Chris loved the weather, the water, the wind, and his wife (not necessarily in that order). And, of, course his dogs! Rare is a photo of Chris without Beebe, Spud, Oliver, or Dodger by his side. He also loved Cayuga Lake, Key West, Lakeside, Ohio, and New York City, his wife's hometown.
He will be ridiculously missed by his friends and family... personal and professional, democrat and republican, vegan and meat-eating... here, there and everywhere in between. These people include, but are in no way limited to, his wife of almost 20 years, Stephanie Winston Vann; brothers Jeff (Marcia) Vann and Sam (Diane) Vann, numerous aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws, cousins of in-laws... people who don't even know they're related... people who just think they're related. Really we are all related, aren't we?
The family knows that these are unprecedented times, and respectfully understand the dilemma presented regarding an evening of calling hours. Calling hours will be held from 4:00 to 7:00pm on Monday, October 5, 2020, at Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg. Please understand that wearing a real mask, and wearing it properly, is non-negotiable.
Donations will be gratefully accepted in his name at these organizations that were near and dear to his heart: Ithaca Free Clinic/Ithaca Health Alliance, PO Box 362, Ithaca, NY 14851, (607) 330-1253 or Camp Barton c/o Baden Powell Council, BSA - 2150 NYS Route 12, Binghamton, NY 13901; During the camp season: Camp Barton, BSA – 9640 Frontenac Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886, (607) 648-7888. Please remember to specify Camp Barton in your communication.
And whenever you are encouraged to have a conversation about Dementia, please do so... it's a game-changer. Thank you, Chris. Your love will never die.
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