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The live stream will begin when the Celebration of Life starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 14th and can be found through this link: https://www.facebook.com/MuehlebachFuneralCare
My "big" brother Chris sadly passed away peacefully, be it much too young, on Wednesday, 08/04/2021 at Kansas City Hospice House with his nephew and myself by his side.
Chris was born on 05/18/1957 in Cape Town, South Africa to the late Ed & Essie Fourie.
Chris spent all of his teen years in Durban, South Africa and after school served the then compulsory two years in the military. He successfully completed the grueling one year officer's course at the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn and afterwards as platoon leader saw action in the Angolan war where the troop carrier he was in got blown up by a landmine. Chris was most passionate about guns and had great collection of sniper rifles, a prized AK47, as well as handguns. At least once a month youd find Chris at the gun range having an absolute blast, literally!
Chris was a quiet and somewhat unassuming person and enjoyed his own company but thats not to say, he couldnt enjoy a good party with friends especially if there was heavy metal music on offer! In his mere 64 years of life, Chris lived his life to the fullest and pushed himself beyond 100% in pretty much everything he took on. Most certainly not a bad trait to have but this also made him one of the most impatient people Ive met! At times this drove me and many others bonkers but Chris would never compromise! If you for some reason decided not to go for a run or bike ride because of inclement weather or for whatever other reason, hed just tell you straight up "Youre a lazy sack of beans!" and to get out there.
Chris was intelligent, smart and witty and had many interests and passions. Amongst his favorite pastimes was reading history books and with that he had the uncanny ability to recall historical facts as well as technical details as well as "join the dots" for the uninitiated! He had an acute understanding as to how history shaped the world we live in today and, therefore, also had strong political views.
In his mid-twenties and now in Johannesburg, Chris started on a successful career in Information Systems and became a Cobol developer and architect specializing in Hogan, a core banking application. Chris worked in Johannesburg, Buffalo, St. Pauls Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle and more recently, at UMB in Kansas City. Chris loved his job and maintained that it was more like pursuing a serious "hobby" and getting paid for it! His work ethic was second to none working many, many weekends and late into the night even after he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer! Just a further example as to who he was!
It was in Johannesburg where Chris started his "love affair" with all things motorcycles and motor car racing. Chris owned a number of motorcycles and attended many Formula 1 Grand Prix's and was able to get up-close to the likes of Niki Lauda, James Hunt and other F1 Grand Prix icons!
When Chris settled in Los Angeles he bought himself a yellow Ducati motorcycle which he enjoyed riding around the surrounding mountains. On one ride, he even had the pleasure to join up with Jay Leno and his entourage! It was also in Los Angeles that Chris met Sherri who he was married to for ten years. Here Chris also started sailing again and became a certified Yacht Master and qualified scuba diver.
Chris loved the outdoors, be it cycling or running, hiking or skiing in the mountains or sailing the oceans. Having been brought up in South Africa its no surprise that he also had a close affinity with nature and a real love for wild animals.
Then there was Chris the competitive be it, extreme athlete. From his early twenties Chris competed in a number of road races, bicycle races, triathlons, Iron-Man and Ultra-Man events in South Africa as well as in the US. For the Ironman and Ultra-Man events he won silver medals. In road running, Chris completed numerous marathons as well as a number of ultra-marathons. He achieved a PB for 10 km (6.2 miles) of under 31 minutes and for the half-marathon (13.1 miles) a PB of 1h18min which is less than 6 minutes per mile! Chris once remarked that he would not even bother to "get out of bed" for a mere 10 km (6 miles) training run!
Whilst in Seattle, Chris told me how he use to wake-up at 05:30 and cycle 40 km to the office (and back again!) at least three times per week! It was also here where Chris became a cycling coach to many newbies, leading groups of riders into the mountains. At the age of 42 Chris even won the Seattle half-marathon for his age group!
It was during 2010 that Chris was first diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), an incurable disease. Chris was admitted to hospital where the top lobe of his right lung was removed. During his illness Chris made a study of NSCLC and available treatments to help educate himself and also, challenge his medical team.
In early 2012 Chris secured a new position at UMB, MO and relocated to Kansas City. Here Chris continued his career as well as sporting activities, be it non-competitive. Chris also bought his dream car a Porsche GT3RS and became an active Kansas City Porsche club member. Chris still had his yellow Ducati which he started to convert into a track bike and then later also bought his dream motorcycle a Ducati Panigale V4S Corse. Approximately two years after being diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer they found a tumor on Chris's sacrum which immediately elevated him to Stage IV cancer. His prognosis was poor and Chris was given four months to live!
However, we're talking "tough-as-nails" Chris here as he had no intentions of giving up anytime soon! Chris was always known to be a fighter and that's how he approached what most certainly was the most challenging time of his life. In fact, Chris once proclaimed that, "every race I entered, I did so with only one goal in mind and that was to WIN!...not to come second or third or do my best, but to WIN!!
Chris continued to live his life to the full as best he could in spite of days or even weeks of being fatigued or just lacking energy either from radiation and/or chemo treatment. For Chris it was never enough to just be alive for the sake of being alive, he had to be alive to live life! Given Chris's inner strength and fighting spirit he gave us an additional precious eight years during which we enjoyed many happy holidays together be it in Europe or the US, which left us with wonderful memories of times together!
During the second quarter of 2021 the cancer had metastasized to his L4 vertebrae and later on after being hospitalized, also to his brain. Chris was given a couple of weeks to live and we took him home for just over a week after which Chris was placed in hospice care. During the latter years of his illness, Chris more than once said to me, "this must end now, I have had enough!" Chris, youre finally free from your pain and may you forever rest in peace.
Well always love you and shall never forget you and will treasure our precious memories of times spent together. You've undoubtedly been an inspiration to us all and were so very proud of you!
In loving memory
Your brother and nephews Alex and Nicolas
Celebration of Life Muehlebach Funeral Care
Saturday, August 14, 2021
6800 Troost AvenueKansas City, Missouri 64131
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