Chris Staton passes at 55

Wed. March 2, 2016 6:31 PM by Jay Shaff

chris staton

photo credit // roscoe's
Chicago, IL - Longtime Boystown pillar and friend Christopher Jay "Chris" Staton passed away on February 27, 2016 in Stockton, IL. He had been suffering from liver cancer and was just 55. Multiple Facebook postings of grief and love followed the news being released Sunday evening.

Chris was born on May 10, 1960 in Terre Haute, IN. He spent his childhood in Millersburg, IN and graduated from Fairfield High School.

Chris resided in Chicago for most of his adult life, graduating from Columbia College. He found and immersed himself in a strong community that accepted and loved him, and that he loved back. Chris accepted people for who they were, faults and all. He saw the good in everyone. In recent years, he'd begun to tire of the big city and began spending significant amounts of time in a home he purchased in Stockton, IL, where he delighted in all the daily work to make it his dream home - house projects big and small, gardening, cooking, and visiting old and making new friends nearby.

For over a decade, Chris was part of the Roscoe's family. Brenden Chrisman, General Manager, said: "During Chris' time as an Administrative Assistant at Roscoe's he was crucial to our behind the scenes operation. Many of the systems and forms we use to this day are a direct result of his hard work, creativity and attention to detail. Chris loved everything life had to offer: whether it be music, travel, food, a good book or his beloved nieces. He was a compassionate friend with a good listening ear. Even after leaving his position, we all looked forward to when Chris would stop by for a glass of wine to share stories and a laugh."

Chris took a position with the Archdiocese of Chicago after leaving Roscoe's.

Sean Smith, a longtime community member and close friend of Chris offered: "Chris was a dear friend and one of the kindest people I knew. He was smart, funny, and multi-talented but what I will always remember first is his deep kindness and his infectious laugh. I wish I could have been half the friend to him that he was to me, and I know many people feel the same way. He touched so many people's lives in so many ways. He always made sure everyone he came into contact with was heard and valued. The world is surely a lesser and less kind place with his loss.

"I'll miss Chris every day. I am so grateful that I was blessed to be one of his dear friends. Losing Chris is like losing a member of the family. I will do my best to live my life with the love and generous spirit that Chris showed in good times and bad - and I will always try to remember to laugh in his honor.

"What a great man and a tremendous loss. My heart goes out to all of his family and friends in this time of grief."

Chris was kind, gracious and patient with every person he met in life. Chris was a Renaissance man in the truest sense: accomplished musician with original works performed on stage and still in production; master chef famous for delighting family and friends with surprising new dishes; gardener with an eye toward both beauty and palette; an effective and expressive writer both personally and in his varied professional endeavors; an unbelievably intelligent person whose curiosity knew no bounds. Chris received a Joseph Jefferson Award for best musical direction of a non-equity show for Pippin with The Boxer Rebellion Theatre in Chicago, IL.

Chris reveled in being Uncle Chris to his nephews and nieces - Madison, Jordan, Lulu, Leo and Gabe. Chris is survived by his mother (Marge), brother (Eric), sister-in-law (Robin), nieces (Madison and Jordan), sister (Lisa), nephew (Gabe), brother (David), sister-in-law (Lauren), and niece (Lulu) and nephew (Leo).

If you wish to remember and acknowledge Chris, please make a donation to the Center on Halsted in Chicago, IL or the Wounded Warrior Project.

Writers note: I had the privilege of knowing Chris both professionally and personally. He always greeted with a warm smile, twinkle in the eye and a kiss. Laughing with him was the highlight of my day. I will miss him immensely. I thank Chris' brother David for the input and information he shared with me.