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Obituary of Christopher Deuer Monteith
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Christopher Duer Monteith began his final rest on December 9, 2023 at the age of 59, after battling colorectal cancer. Chris was born on March 11, 1964 in San Francisco and grew up in Woodside. Chris excelled in both sports and academics. He participated in several marathons, running them at an astonishing under seven minute per mile pace. After high school, he had the option to play either college tennis or soccer. Chris chose to play tennis at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. Although Chris never entered a doctorate program, he succeeded in developing and teaching his own course on free trade at UC Berkeley, in addition to traveling around the country lecturing on the topic at numerous universities. Professionally, Chris was involved with a wide array of pursuits, from owning his own bike shop in Felton called “Vicious Cycle” which gave him the nickname “Vicious Chris,” to working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, to being an electrician and spending his summers leading kayaking and cycling tours across Costa Rica. But of all his endeavors, his later years working with the unhoused community in Santa Cruz County were by far his most meaningful and fulfilling. Chris started working at Housing Matters (formerly known as Homeless Services Center) after enduring a great hardship that landed him unhoused in Santa Cruz for two years. Chris worked his way out of houselessness by getting a job as a dishwasher at Housing Matters, and soon thereafter, obtaining a position as the Paul Lee Loft Shelter Program Manager. Within a year of accepting the management position, Chris also became manager of both the Winter Shelter Program at the Armory and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The majority of Chris’ work with the unhoused community was through the City of Santa Cruz. In his most recent position with the City as an Outreach Specialist, he collaborated with his partner, Jeremy Leonard, to conduct outreach to hundreds of unhoused individuals that were camping in the Benchlands. Together, they saved and transformed lives through administering and providing Narcan, linking individuals to addiction and mental health treatment, as well as assisting individuals in obtaining shelter services and housing. Chris and Jeremy also implemented the River Street Transitional Community Camp at 1220 River Street. The Camp is a highly participatory, trauma informed program where campers are involved in the management, upkeep, and case management services as part of their camping experience. Chris viewed this program as a viable approach to addressing houselessness in our community where there is insufficient affordable housing. He envisioned implementing similar encampment programs countywide. Chris loved his work and the people he worked with. Chris leaves behind his life partner, Kelly Curlett, and all those he touched and supported in our community. A memorial gathering is planned for this spring near where his ashes will be spread in Monterey Bay. He always wanted to be near the ocean. Please consider a simple act of kindness to honor Chris’ kind and generous spirit.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Christopher
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Santa Cruz Mission Chapel
Services for Christopher MonteithPlant a tree in memory of Christopher
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In Loving Memory
1964 - 2023
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