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Christopher Ells

April 16th, 1958 - November 28th, 2022
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Chris passed away peacefully in Coquitlam, BC on November 28, 2022, after a courageous battle with ALS. He was surrounded by family and a champagne toast. He is lovingly remembered by his wife Lynda, his daughters Kristin and Jennifer and her husband Jordan, his brother Norman and his wife Laurie. Especially missed by his grandchildren Elise and Brennan. He is also fondly remembered by extended family members including in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Christopher Murray Ells was born in Montreal, Quebec on April 16, 1958. Chris worked for Bombardier in Montreal and then moved to Vancouver with his family. After many different jobs, he eventually worked for Birks Jewelers for 25 years in Loss Prevention.

Chris lived with ALS for 8 years and fought the battle with stubbornness, humor and support from family. He continued to push forward to be present for special events including his 40th wedding anniversary to Lynda, his 60th birthday, the birth of his grandchildren, and a final trip to Jamaica. Chris was a lifetime supporter of the Montreal Canadians, enjoyed watching baseball, NFL football and sitting at Timmies for coffee. He loved travelling with his wife to the Caribbean, Hawaii and any beach that had a chair and a glass of wine or champagne. In the last few years, he enjoyed visits with his grandchildren, going to the park with them and giving them rides and snuggles on his power wheelchair.

Our family would like to thank the ALS team at GF Strong and the ALS Society of BC for their care and support. Chris looked forward to the monthly ALS Support Group and sharing his journey with ALS.

The family are gathering for a private celebration. In lieu of flowers, we would appreciate any donations to the ALS Society of BC or the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada.


Suzie Hedden
December 24th, 2022

Dear Lynda and family

How very sad to learn of Chris’s passing after his brave fight.

I worked with him for many years at Birks and recall how his showing up at the door before store opening would instantly brighten up the day.He was always helpful, calm, and a gentleman who was genuinely interested in you. He had a great sense of humour and who could forget that beautiful smile and mischievous twinkle in his eyes
He loved the trips the two of you took and spoke proudly of the girls and seemed over the moon when his first grandchild arrived .
May his memories bring you comfort and a smile to you that was as big as his.
It was a pleasure to have known him, may he now be at peace.

Suzie Hedden

Dawn Purdy Karkut
December 14th, 2022

Lynda, My condolences to you and your family. I remember you telling me Chris was your high school sweet heart and I think about how many years you spent with the love of your life. I'm happy for that but feel sorrow for the loss you have endured because of the love you gave and received. Such a devoted husband and wife. I pray that you will not feel too alone in the next few months/years and hope you find comfort in recalling memories you shared and the family you have made. God Bless You, Dawn

Sonja McMahon
December 14th, 2022

I always enjoyed Chris's quick wit during his visits to Fair Haven. My heart felt condolences go out to Lynda and family. He fought a courageous battle!

Warren Brent
December 13th, 2022

My deepest sympathies to Chris's family and friends. Reading through these tributes it's clear the impact he had on all those who had the opportunity to meet and know him.

I met Chris at an ALS support group that I attended to learn to cope with my close friend's ailment. Chris was quick to come sit with me and offer his strength and a warm smile. As he helped me navigate those troubled waters, I couldn't help but be amazed at how truly positive and happy an individual he was. You couldn't help but be drawn in by his sense of humour, positive outlook, and strength. Although I'm pretty sure that he cheated at the trivia contests. ;)

While I only knew him for a couple of years as he fought the good fight, he made such a strong impact on me (and all those in the group) that I'll always carry him with me.

RIP my friend. You were truly an inspiration and will be sorely missed.

Hilda Li
December 13th, 2022

I met Chris through Lynda at work. He used to sit at the lobby of FH waiting patiently for Lynda to get off work. We always had a brief conversation and he was very friendly, a lovely person. My condolences to Lynda, Erin and Jennifer. RIP Chris.

Joy Parsons
December 13th, 2022

On behalf of the Board and leadership team at Fair Haven, I want to extend our most sincere condolences to Lynda and the family.

We appreciated Chris and his humour during his brief visits to Fair Haven, and always enjoyed his gigantic smile. We also thank Chris for sharing Lynda with us for so long. Lynda graced us with her presence for many years: she devoted so much of herself to the staff and residents at Fair Haven that I hope Chris and the family didn't feel left out.

Lynda, please know our warm and loving thoughts are with you now.

Dean Wells
December 7th, 2022

I first met Chris when I was in Major Crime and Brinks had been targeted for some armed robberies. We worked together on many files and the Robbery Conferences that he helped support. Chris shared the start of his ALS journey at one of our last conferences together. As was his style, he kept his smile and gregarious personality turned on high. He was a man that would light up the room and make you smile just walking in and saying hi.

Couragious to the end, he will be missed.

Rachelle Magano
December 7th, 2022

Dear Lynda and Family,
Sending love, prayers and deepest condolences to all of you during this very sad and difficult time. May your memories and love for him bring you some peace and comfort in the days and years ahead.
With sympathy, 🙏
Rachelle and Family

Corrie Bownick
December 4th, 2022
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I met Chris on my first day with Birks back in 2014. Coming from fashion retail, my eyes probably bulged out of my head when Chris started going over our Loss Prevention policies for high value items! One piece might have been worth a weeks' worth of sales at my old store!
Even though I was a green recruit, Chris was so patient and understanding. He always supported his managers with kindness and understanding. I loved his enthusiasm for sports and Tim Hortons. He reminded me of my dad, and all the typical "Canadian" dads that I knew growing up. He loved his wife and family, and especially his new granddaughter. When we heard that he had been diagnosed he stayed strong and optimistic as always. He also came to visit us all the way in West Vancouver even after he left Birks - I think he missed being served fancy coffee by pretty ladies!
I wish his family as much peace and healing as can be during this difficult time.

Eva Garcia
December 4th, 2022

Chris and I had the opportunity to repeatedly work together at Birks—he had a kind presence and approachability that was refreshing. Regardless of the scenario (which given his role, was often at difficult times), he stayed calm and positive.

As a young professional existing in what could feel like a daunting environment, I was impressed at how he combined earnestness and lightheartedness. That thoughtful and genuine consideration he shared left a very positive impression.

I was sad to see him (from afar) struggling after his health declined. I’m sending my kindest wishes while you celebrate and mourn his passage. My next glass of wine or bubbly will include a cheer for him.

Jim Boyle
December 4th, 2022

My sincere condolences to the Ells family, Chris was a true gentleman, and with many other members of the Birks family who had the pleasure of working with him, I was honoured to call him a friend. Your strength throughout your battle with ALS is a true inspiration, Chris you will be missed by so many, rest in peace my friend, always in our hearts, never forgotten.

Tom Andruskevich
December 3rd, 2022

My deepest sympathy goes out to Chris's family and friends.

Whenever I visited the Birks store in Vancouver I was always met with Chris's wonderful smile, which I will never forget. He always had a kind word for everyone and was eager to help people any way he could. Simply put Chris was a beautiful human being !

Although we are all saddened by his passing I am sure Chris is in a better place. And I know his family and friends will be comforted by the many incredible memories of all the happy times they shared with Chris which will bring a warm smile to their faces.

Eric and Nander Stevens
December 3rd, 2022

No words can express how sorry we are for the loss of Chris. Our heartfelt sympathy to you all at this sad time. May your precious memories of him bring you comfort during this difficult time. Rest in peace Chris.
Love Eric and Nander

PJ Halder
December 2nd, 2022

My sincerest condolences to your family, extended family and friends! Chris was one of those individuals that got along with everyone, that was kind, gracious, respectful and loved his family so much. He would speak of you, share pictures of his grandkids with such pride. I had the pleasure of working with Chris at Birks. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Louis Senécal
December 2nd, 2022

My sincerest condolences to Chris's family. I was fortunate to have worked with him when at Birks and I always enjoyed our conversations. We always had a laugh while getting work done; it was a genuine pleasure working with him. He was a good man and a friend. Rest in peace Chris.

Susanne Ventura
December 2nd, 2022

My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Chris's loving family and friends.
I was so greatly saddened to hear of his passing.
Chris was a wonderful friend and confidante to me and many others within the Birks organization. Always there when needed, ready to help; a credit to his profession and his professionalism.
His love for his beautiful wife, daughters, grandchildren and family had no bounds and he was so very, very proud to be Lynda's husband, Kristin and Jennifer's father and grandfather of Elise and Brennan.
'Christopher, it was truly an honour to have known you. Your strength, determination and dignity throughout your battle with ALS was profound.
I will miss our calls, our chats, our emails but most of all our laughs,,,,.....oh how we laughed ! Rest now my dear friend.'

Caroline Ksiazek
December 1st, 2022

My heartfelt condolences for Chris' family and dearest friends. Chris was the best part of working at Birks, he was our watchful eye that kept us all safe. He brought joy with him on store visits and comfort during the toughest days. Chris' contributions to the field of loss prevention impacted more than just his colleagues and clients. He befriended police services in all cities building relationships to ensure we were all looked after and presented about his strategies at international conferences for Loss prevention and robbery. Kristen is right, his stories were the best, of course after he had his Timmies. Rest in comfort and peace Chris. love Caroline and Halina

Karen Ranger
December 1st, 2022

Our sincerest condolences to Chris's family, immediate and extended ❤️
I haven't known Chris very long and we were not able to meet in person but from the array of pictures I have seen his smile 'sparkle' says it all. What an amazing, strong, loving and brave man! Rest in peace Chris - no more pain - always family 💜
Much love,
Karen (nee Ells), Jeff, Jordyn and Charlyse

Kirsten McLean
December 1st, 2022

My sincerest condolences to your family. Chris was a special person with a contagious smile and laugh. He was always willing to lend a hand when he was visiting your store, and I will never forget his stories… he always made me smile. Rest in peace Chris

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