Chris Connors led an extraordinary life, and when he died at 67 after taking on both Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s Disease), his epic obit did not disappoint.
PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2016
“Chris Connors died, at age 67, after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on Dec. 9, which cannot be printed here. Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking Veuve in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. The way he died is just like he lived: he wrote his own rules, he fought authority and he paved his own way. And if you said he couldn’t do it, he would make sure he could.”
The obit links to The Chris Connors Fund web site, which tells his story in greater detail:
“When Chris was a 21-year-old lifeguard he rescued a drowning child from the pull of the Atlantic he was watching. At 30 he watched from a solitary lifeboat, off the coast of Cuba, as the cold water swallowed his sailboat. After the death of his brother and best friends on 9/11, Chris decided it was time to live by the sea in York, Maine. There he watched the unmanned waters and quickly decided to start the York Water Rescue program, donating the coastal town’s first water rescue boat.”
News articles written about Connors over the years note he had been a New York investment banker who lost his brother, Kevin, and many friends during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; soon thereafter he moved to Maine. After he donated a rescue boat to the York Village (Maine) Fire Department, he was made an honorary member of the department as a thanks for his support.
His obit focuses on his lighthearted, fun-loving nature:
“As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1,000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor… His regrets were few, but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from an unmemorable convenience store in the summer of 1986.”
The Quincy, Mass. native is survived by his wife Emily Ayer Connors “who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together,” and children Caitlin Connors, 33; Chris Connors, 11; and Liam Connors, 8.