Christopher Adrian William Kurysh (Chris) took his final breath surrounded with love from his family on January 27 at Lakeridge Oshawa after a brief illness. Craig and Laurel’s only son, Courtney’s (Justin) not-so-little brother, and Ashley Cullen’s longtime love will be forever missed by his extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins from the Kurysh and Schollen families and wide circle of friends. His body needed the deepest rest, and his spirit needed to be finally free.
A natural comedian, Chris always had a perfectly timed one liner or witticism in his back pocket, known for turning a phrase like no one else. Who else would refer to a prosthetic limb as a “stick-on arm” or a psychologist a “talker to-er”? He also had the knack for ending up in unusual situations, known as ‘Chris Moments’. Laurel would tell Chris she was saving these stories to recount at his wedding.
He was a perpetual performer and lover of loud music, known for his lively dance moves and masterful air drum solos. Chris loved concerts. He never missed the opportunity to see his favourite bands when they toured in Toronto. He had the pleasure of seeing two of his top three drummers in concert: Danny Carrey from Tool, and Dave Grohl; the latter unexpectedly at a Foo Fighters concert with Courtney. His face lit up with disbelief when Grohl swapped his guitar for the drum kit. He texted Courtney from every concert to share videos of their favourite songs.
He was unafraid to use his booming voice when cheering on his favourite sports teams, especially the Toronto Raptors. Chris’s love of basketball began when Michael Jordan graced the screen in Space Jam. He signalled to Craig that he wanted to give up hockey and play basketball instead while in hockey school. Instead of shooting the puck, he’d turn to Craig and pretend to dribble a basketball.
He relished the summer months which brought long swims at the lake with Ashley, Blue Jays games with his best friends Jonathan Gray and Aleesha Skelton, and time spent outside working on his farmer’s tan and freckles. From the time he was a toddler, one of Chris’s favourite places to be was in the water. As a kid, he would stay in the pool all day with Courtney whacking each other with pool noodles and listening to Blue Jays games on AM radio. As an adult, he would stay in the lake all day with Ashley, swimming out to the dock and lying in the sun with her until it set. When he wasn’t at the lake with Ashley, he was lining up with Jonathan and Aleesha for the free Jays giveaways. One of his favourite swag items was the 2023 Blue Jays fan appreciation hoodie.
Underneath his larger-than-life personality and cool dude vibe was a tender, thoughtful, considerate, and bright man who loved to help and connect with others. Thanks to his keen intellect and natural charm, Chris was able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything, but his special interests included history, philosophy, literature, and arcane sports trivia. He had the ability to make you feel like you were the only person in the room that mattered, listening deeply to whatever it was you had to say. He loved our large family gatherings and ensured he engaged with everyone. Chris was compassionate and kind-hearted, particularly to his four-legged furry friends. Above all, Chris was a singular presence, a bright spark of life; he was genuine, authentic, and unabashedly himself.
We extend our sincere thanks to the health care teams at Lakeridge Ajax-Pickering, Toronto General, and Lakeridge Oshawa hospitals for their care of Chris. We are grateful for the many ways they supported us during his illness.
A celebration of his much-too-short life will take place on Friday, February 16, from 4 to 8 PM at The Simple Alternative, 1057 Brock Road in Pickering. A short program of remembrances will be held in the chapel at 6:15 PM. Dress casually in your favourite sports team, band, or Star Wars clothing. Memorial donations can be made to the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (https://caddac.ca/).
“The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends.” - George Carlin