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Christopher Erlam Christopher Erlam

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Christopher Luke Erlam

March 14, 1969 - July 5, 2021


Chris was born March 14, 1969, in Whitehorse, Yukon, but he grew up in the Kootenays. He attended the two room Proctor school for his primary education after which he moved to Trafalgar and LV Rogers in Nelson.


In the early ‘90s Chris completed a two-year Fine Woodworking course at Selkirk College. Honing his skills, he crafted beautiful furniture pieces: sun-burst cedar blanket boxes; a sleek coffee table set; and, when a towering juniper was felled nearby, he used the milled lumber to build a custom, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, glass-fronted bookcase for his grandpa Bob’s book collection.


There were years of good times and good friends. He constructed an A-frame home/workshop for himself on his grandparent’s Longbeach property. Enlarging it over the years he always included a pet door for a succession of well-loved cats. Chris continued with carpentry/fine woodworking, plus, he developed a successful sideline of sewing – making sails, canvas boat-tops and camo hunting gear. Word of mouth brought order requests from friends and neighbours. He rarely said no.


In any spare time Chris would tinker on his ‘65 Chevy El Camino, and he created fantastic sculptures made from found objects. He admired Yukon artist Ted Harrison and painted many colourful, Harrison style, acrylics. He loved sailing and enjoyed wild catamaran rides on the West Arm or long, Kootenay Lake cruises aboard his blue and white sailboat.


He had a wonderful sense of humour and a quick smile for everyone he met. His Grandma Rusty remembers: “Every time we were together he made me feel good. He was always joking.”


Sadly, Chris’s carefree, outer disposition masked an inexplicable mental battle he fought throughout his life. It was an ever lurking darkness he could not himself explain and no amount of outside intervention brought him any lasting relief. And so, for many years, he resorted to one of the oldest forms of self-medication.


Addiction is a terrible, powerful thing. There can be such personal turmoil created by not being able to live sober, and not wanting to live as an alcoholic, that it can finally become not wanting to live at all.


Chris died in the early morning of July 5, 2021. He was 52.


He leaves to mourn, in confusion and heartbreak, his immediate family: Grandmother, Patricia “Rusty” Erlam of Nelson; father, Paul (Maryann) of Vancouver; mother, Deryn Blackmon of North Carolina; brother, James Erlam of Nelson; half-brother, Garth Erlam (Joni) of Vancouver; June Hutton (Tony) of Vancouver, and many relatives and friends in Nelson – and beyond.


As was his nature, and, as he would have preferred, there will be no public service. Cremation has taken place and the ashes will be scattered by his family.  May he rest in peace.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Linda Burns
Relation: Long time friend.

May you find the peace you have always been looking for, Chris. I wish the same for your family and friends.

From: Rene Rachelle Zdebiak
Relation: LVR girlfriend in 1985 will ask friends if they have any photos

So sorry to hear about Chris. When we were 16 he asked me to move to Whitehorse with him. We laughed so often that I chipped my front tooth when we kissed. I will remember his smile always so sorry for your loss. For he was my first love.

From: Jessica Pierce
Relation: childhood friend

I am very sorry and upset by this. Chris was my friend since elementary school. We always had fun times when we were together which was not that often. I last hung out with him probably 30 years ago. But I have great memories of our times. I do remember that he did have troubles back then but he hid them.
I send my condolences to the family, he will be missed.

From: Jennifer Watson
Relation: Friend - and friend with James

Jmy – I am so sorry to just read of this now. Please know I am thinking about you.

From: Owen Hughes
Relation: My nephew. I met him briefly near the dawn of his life.

We share your heartbreak. What more can I say? Uncle Chips.

From: Kathy Barnes MacDonald Reese
Relation: Was with my sister for 7 years

I’m so sorry to hear this tragic loss . Chris was part of your lives for many years he was with my sister . We just heard about his passing and we are very sorry and sad we know it was this past year . Our love to the whole family . Love The MacDonald Barnes family in the Yukon .

Service Schedule

  No Service by Request

As was his nature, and, as he would have preferred, there will be no public service. Cremation has taken place and the ashes will be scattered by his family.  May he rest in peace.

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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