John Christopher “Chris” Hall, age 68, passed away peacefully, Saturday, Feb. 27, at his home in The Villages, Fla. after a brief struggle with an aggressive cancer. He professed to the end that he was in no pain, and he died surrounded by the warmth of his loved ones.
Chris was born Dec. 6, 1947 in London, England, while his parents were on holiday from Jamaica. His brother, Danny, remembers his father frantically searching for a midwife while six-year-old Danny flagged down a London policeman.
He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and attended Calabar High School, an all-male school boasting high academics (five Rhodes Scholars) along with a strong emphasis on sports. After graduation, he studied at Guelph University near Toronto, Canada graduating with high honors and later pursued two post-graduate degrees in psychology and veterinary medicine. Chris excelled at his studies and quickly became proficient at wrestling, tennis, soccer, and rugby.
Chris wrestled for Canada in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, losing by one point to the silver medalist. He later became the director of tennis at the Palm Beach Polo Tennis Club in Wellington, Fla., and later served the same role at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart, Fla. for nearly 20 years. For more than 10 years, Chris taught tennis in the summer at Westhampton Country Club on Long Island, NY, and later offered seasonal instruction at Candlewood Lake Club in Connecticut.
Throughout his life, he played keyboards and sang at various nightclubs and restaurants. However, while Hall loved entertaining and coaching tennis, he found his real niche serving as director of facilities and new development at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla., a college for students with learning disabilities and ADHD. He loved the students and in addition to his job responsibilities, used his talents many skills and attributes working with the Performance Club, offering tennis instruction, and tutoring in the college mathematics program. Chris found his passion in life as he embraced the Beacon family. To the very last, he pursued his hobbies of tennis, golf, fishing, scuba diving, bridge, and chess while entertaining audiences with his music, and of course, dancing.
Chris is survived by his daughter, Aubrey Joanne Hall, son, Brandon Parr, brothers Danny and Raymond Hall, aunts, Vilma Dann and Lorna Hughes, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his father, Horace John Hall, his mother Dorothy Joyce (Hughes) Hall, his sister Joanne Hall, and brother Robert Hall.
All those he touched felt his charismatic charm, his enthusiasm for life, and his compassion and heart. His daughter Aubrey was the bright light in his life, and his son Brandon was a source of newfound strength and peace. Chris will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary at the Morrison United Methodist Church, 1005 W. Main Street, Leesburg, Fla. A luncheon will immediately follow at the same location.
To bring Hall’s life full circle to his roots, his daughter requests that attendees wear happy, colorful clothing to celebrate a happy, colorful, and rich life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Project Helping Hands, 305 NE 6th St., #744, Grants Pass, OR 97526 indicating “John Christopher Hall” on the check or to a memorial fund in his honor at Beacon College; (please contact Keri Jo Phillips, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org).