Dan McAllister

As I was thinking about what to write about all the good times I’ve had with Chris over the years and in our business travels, I realized it would be impossible to pick out just one. Chris was always ready with a smile, funny story or recommendation and always seemed to have a few friends to introduce you to in any city or country he was in. I’ve was fortunate to have great times with Chris in Canada, the US, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, London, Italy… and probably a few more places I can’t recall. How many people do you get to know in your life like that?
Dan

Simon Neary

Dear Jude
I first met your Dad at University in Aston.
He immediately marked himself out in my mind as someone who was determined to be at the centre of everything and not to miss a thing.
This proved to be an enduring trait and your Dad was forever bemoaning the fact that he was double, triple or quadruple-booked. People wanted him with them and he wanted to be there – but there just weren’t enough Chris Elsmores to go around!
Whenever I heard that Chris was going to be at one of the many get-togethers we had since leaving University it always made me look forward to it even more. He was someone you wanted to be in the company of – as others have already said he was the life and soul.
The number of tributes to Chris from family, friends and colleagues is testament to the warmth, fun, laughter, generosity and light he brought wherever he was.
That’s why I’ll miss Chris, and why I’m writing these words with a lump in my throat, – but it’s also why I always smile when I think of him.
I guess Chris’s love of life is a lesson for all of us – including I hope for you too Jude. Don’t just have a life….live a life as fully and as completely as you can.
My love and thoughts to you and your Mum.

Simon (or “Brucie” as your Dad continued to call me despite my efforts to re-brand myself!)

Chris

Regan Frances Clark

Hello Jude, you are one special child. The apple of your Dad’s eye and much, much loved by him. Here’s your father at my birthday party with my husband and his brother. We loved your Dad. We met him when he moved into the house opposite us in Camberley and became our neighbour. The day he moved in he came to say hello and stayed for five hours, we all got on so well. I got him two cats soon afterwards, Fibber and Charlie and Chris had such a big heart that despite only wanting one- he took on two rescued homeless brothers who couldn’t be seperated. We laughed til we cried on many occasions together and you should know by now from all the other posts here, that Chris was a brilliantly funny storey teller and things that were hilarious, just kept happening to him. Our favourites were the time he scalded a friend at Unni, on the back of his hand, by touching him with a teaspoon he had just stirred his hot tea with. In shock the hand knocked the teaspoon flying into someone’s face and knocked their front tooth out, a tooth that your Dad had to pay for! ..a practical joke gone wrong but so funny in the re-telling.
The the time he hugged the bride in the wedding line up and spilled a whole pint of beer down the back of her wedding dress……(apologies if said bride reads this but it’s a true classic). He loved my stories about passengers on my flights and always wanted to hear them….being such a traveller himself. For my party, I sent your Dad a message saying I needed someone to stay up all night with me and watch the sunrise with….and I got back “I am that man!” Bless Chris.
We can’t believe we will not sit down together again in this world. This has hit us all hard Jude, your poor Mum and you most of all. Jerry and I have been so upset by this loss. …Jude, for your Dad…..we are here for you….always, Regan and Jerry. Xxxxxx

Chris

Amar Gor

Dear Jude,
Unfortunately, we’ve never met, but I (like many of the people that have posted on this site) first met Chris at Aston University in 1988. We were on the same engineering course and became good friends almost immediately. We used to buddy up for coursework and we both worked for Shell in Chester for our industrial placement year (where we shared a house). We were given the nicknames “White Bread” and “Brown Bread” as we were the “sandwich” students!

As I’m sure you’ve gathered from all the other memoirs, time spend with Chris was always incredibly exciting, fun and spontaneous. I’ll never forget a very drunken weekend in Stoke where I think I learnt every rude Stoke FC song there was. We ended up staying with your great-granddad which was another unforgettable experience. Then there was the day he went out to buy a pot plant and came back with a computer (which in 1988 was a rare thing). I also will never forget a weekend spent in a static caravan in north Wales where he tried to teach me to say “Axminster carpets” while burping. And another day where we spent more than 8 hours changing the car horn on a red fiat panda that he had borrowed from your granddad. In fact, (as everyone has testified) most of the times spent with Chris were unforgettable. There are so many stories (not all involving alcohol), but most of them will have to wait until you’re older!

I’ve included a few pictures from our time at Aston University (don’t we all look young?).

Your dad was a very special man who bought humour and love to everyone he met. I guess you will have difficult moments in the years ahead, but you have your dad’s genes and he wouldn’t want you to be sad, just celebrate all the things he was. There are 3 things I’ll always remember about Chris; his love of life, his love for his family and friends and his terrible cheesy grin! I think you should adopt the first 2 only!

I wish you and your mum all the best for the future, your dad may be gone but he will never be forgotten.

Amar.

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Jenny Xenos

Hi Jude,

I met Chris about 12 years ago, while I was living in Sydney and he was based out of Singapore and we both worked for Business Objects. I don’t remember the day we met, but I do know that there wasn’t a visit to Sydney after, that we didn’t go out and do something fun together. Chris loved connecting people. He was a mingler that’s for sure! I’ve met some great people through Chris, including Adrian, Nick, Karen and Julian, and of course, your mum, Simone. Chris was so good at staying in touch – phone, skype, in person. Your dad was a very good friend, and wherever we moved to in the world, he was always there for me if I needed him.

I was blessed to be able to have fun and share good times with Chris in places all over the world – kayaking in Deep Cove in Vancouver and taking a helicopter ride down in to the Grand Canyon are some of my favourite times…

What they all have in common is Chris and everything he brought just by being himself: fun, cheeky sense of humour, smart conversations, silly poking and prodding, lots of hugs, strategy sessions, heartfelt soulful snippets, occasional dress ups (or down in school clothes, depending on how you looked at it wink emoticon ), lots of laughter, honesty, authenticity and simply the freakin awesomeness that he was!! You knew his love and caring was genuine and that’s what I will always remember him for. That and his infectious grin! grin emoticon

I created this collage in his honour. You can see how much fun he was! smile emoticonHe will always be loved by all of us. XO

Chris

Andy Cobbold

Hi Jude & Simone
It’s so difficult to know where to start to describe Chris! His sense of fun and mischief are well known to all his friends many of whom have already described so many of those adventures enjoyed with him. We all have many more stories to share but I will now try and share those that stand out in my memory, but I look forward to sharing many more with you in person, as you grow up……

As with everyone that has posted here, your Dad and I were great friends and over the years have gotten into many scrapes together but the thing I will always remember is his legendary ability to connect people and just how very kind he was to everyone….always. There are few better lessons for any of us to learn.

Famously he introduced me to my future wife Andi Smiles, on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean immediately following he and I singing ‘California Dreaming’ by the Mamas and the Papas stood on top of a piano in the ballroom of the ship! You couldn’t make that kind of thing up but that was just the kind of fun that always happened when in your Dads company and no matter what we were doing he always would know so many people and was always connecting people – so much fun and so many great people – it is little wonder that there are so many fun stories posted here.

Your Dad played such a big role in my life – not only because he introduced me to my future wife – and not only because we both got married a few months apart and then had our boys (you and Max) a few months apart – but because I learnt so much from him about how to be a good bloke! I am a much better bloke for having known your Dad!

We started working together in July 2006 – Your Dad had just returned to the UK from Singapore to take up a position on the European management team of Business Objects – his first day on the job was also my first day on that same team and by the end of that first day we had already had many laughs, a little too much to drink and a great friendship was born.

We spent much time together over the years that followed and travelled all over the world together – never have I met anyone before that would go so far out of his way (read diverting via a different country) just to catch up with you, but that was your Dad. Our families became the focus after we both got married in 2010 and our boys (you and Max) were born in 2011 and we took many vacations together from which there are many treasured memories. (Some of my favourite photographs with you both are attached below).

As many people that have posted here have already mentioned, Chris was a close friend to so many of us and was dearly loved by everyone and is very much missed by us all. He really didn’t make enemies and made a difference to so many people in so many different ways. I will always be here to remind you both of not only some of the fun stories but also just how damn good he was at his job and what a terrifically inspiring person he was to so many of us.
With much love – Andy

Chris Chris

Janet Wood

Hi Jude, like many have mentioned already, it’s been really difficult to put ‘pen to paper’ about your wonderful, warm, one-of-a-kind, father, but I’ll try my best.

I met your dad when we were both at Business Objects. Chris was part of my global Alliance team leading our EMEA organization. From the moment I met Chris I liked him – he was smart, funny, successful and our business partners LOVED him. In business it’s important to work hard, bring value and know what your’e doing, but it’s also important to build relationships and Chris was phenomenal at that. The best I’ve ever worked with and the most impressive thing was that he was so genuine and that’s why everyone loved working with him.

After a few years I changed roles and eventually Chris left SAP but we stayed in touch. Your dad made a point to stay connected with people all over the world and he had such a warm engaging personality that we all loved keeping in touch. I think everyone who has written feels that Chris was one of their closest friends…what a gift that is to make hundreds of people feel they are a really important part of your life.

I love seeing the pictures your mom is posting on FB. You look alot like your dad….especially your personality which jumps off the page! I, like all your mom and dad’s friends, look forward to seeing your adventures over the coming years. You have such incredible DNA between your wonderful mom and dad, I know you’ll be successful in anythiing you put your mind to.

So, if you ever want to talk about your Dad and the rock star he was as a colleague and a leader let me know. Being we were work colleagues rather than school or university friends I don’t have quite as many crazy, funny stories as some others but I can share how good he was at what he did, how great he made his colleagues feel and how much he meant to all of us

Take care Jude and Simone and I hope to get to see you on a future trip to London.

Fiona Keene

Dear Jude,
It’s Doctor Fi here and I have been struggling to put into words how utterly devastated I am about your Dad being taken away from us so young. I sincerely wish I could have prevented it. He was a brave, kind, generous, funny guy who, as you can tell from all these posts, was loved by everyone and loved you and your mum very, very much.
Life is so unfair and I wish he was still around to take you to the park and give you big hugs and watch you grow up. What I think you can take away from this is that your Dad was an utter gentleman and a seriously cool man with a very deep heart. He will always win the ‘best fancy dress prize’, in my eyes, and the ‘funniest stories prize’ too – one I heard about a skiing holiday and a prize he won on several days made me cry with laughter!
I hope we can all tell you loads more fantastic stories over the years- I have a few good ones about your mum as well who was my ‘pasture’ buddy one night in Hampshire! Let’s get the roof down on the car soon and don’t press the red button….
Love Fi xxxx

Tessa Walsh

Hi Jude,
Tesser here. What fun we had!! We all loved Chris …
I met your Mum when she moved to London and thankfully moved in with my friend Sarah Lafferty in St Stephens Gardens on the strength of Sarah’s ad in Time Out magazine. Their signature colour was red!
I met your Dad when he arrived on the scene shortly after Alexei Leveneintroduced him to your Mum and saw their relationship and love deepen.
I was at Chris’s 40th when he proposed to Simone, at their New Yearwedding, at the concert in Hyde Park when your Mum was expecting you and Sir Paul McCartney sang ‘Hey Jude’ and saw the joy your arrival brought.
Your Dad was one of the funniest, kindest, most empathic and warm men I’ve ever met. He lived large, always had fun on the way, loved a party and was an incredibly loyal generous friend who would go out of his way to help.
He could laugh at anything, most often himself, and certainly had plenty of material!! His self-deprecating humour, however often hid his intelligence and deep insight into people which was one of his biggest skills.
These pictures were taken at your Dad’s first Notting Hill carnival at our favourite sound system – KCC and the Rocking Crew. Your Mum and Dad always used to go away to avoid being besieged by revellers, but you could tell Chris had a hankering to revel and we finally managed to convince him to come one year, wasn’t too hard!!
That’s Nick Evans in the photo of the two of them with your Dad sporting my white shades. The group from left to right is me, my sailing friend Lindsay, Nick, your Dad and Crispin Gordon.
We had a blast and we adored Chris, much as we adore you and your Mum. I loved our dance party, I can see where you get it from,
Big love,
TxXx

Chris Chris

Clare Braithwaite

Well I’ve been struggling for weeks now to think of the words to talk about Chris. Where do you start? I’ve been so moved to see how widely loved he is across the globe with some fabulous stories here and at the funeral. But if I don’t do it now I never will so here goes!
I first met Chris in my 2nd year at uni. He was part of a big group of friends who came back for their final year after placement. Rach, Annabelle and I soon became great friends with them all and there were many ridiculously funny nights at The Guild or at our house. Chris was always at the heart of all the fun but always there to look after us too! So many stories that like everyone else I can’t possibly share here!!!
After uni everyone went their separate ways but there were lots of parties and weddings which brought everyone together with lots more fun to be had.
Then as the years passed living “up north” means I’ve had less contact with the group as a whole but Chris always kept in touch. Rach and I had a fabulous few days in San Francisco with Chris, Simone and Jude and it was great to see such a happy family. Even then there was a story as Chris managed to get stopped by the Highway Patrol as he took Rach and I on a tour of the vineyards in the Napa Valley!
Chris was a fabulous friend to so many people including me as all these stories show. He always had time for everyone. Chris and I have adjacent birthdays of the 26th and 27th September so we would always email every year and catch up. My one regret is that I didn’t take his invite up to get a visit in the diary as I had so much going on!
Going to Chris’ funeral was such a mix of emotions. Devastatingly sad to say goodbye but so lovely to have a mini Aston reunion! It was great to catch up so many people who haven’t changed at all (well not much!) in the 15 years or more since I’ve last seen them. The Aston crowd should be proud of themselves that they still are such good friends after all this time and keep in such regular contact. They all did their beloved friend proud on the day and am sure will continue to keep his memory alive.
I hope that the promises made that day to get a date this year for the wider group to get together do happen. It would be so good to have a happier occasion in which to raise a glass to our friend Chris.
I still can’t believe you are gone but will forever remember the love and hugs and friendship xxx

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Mark Bolland

Hi Jude, we have met a couple of times, the first time with you and your Dad when you were only a baby (a big baby mind you) and then more recently for lunch with your Mum and Dad when you also met Flávia, my wife.

I first met your Dad when we worked at Business Objects and within minutes of meeting him, I knew I would enjoy working with him and only a few hours later when we were in the pub I knew we would also be good friends. Your Dad was a warm, friendly, funny and smart guy and it’s no surprise to hear and see the huge number of stories and memories shared from people who loved him. He, in turn, had lots of love for his friends but it was no secret that you and your Mum were absolutely top of his list.

You’re already showing a lot of similarities to your Dad and if you continue to take after him when it comes to dealing with people, this will stand you in good stead throughout life. One word of warning, your Dad did have a dodgy taste in shirts sometimes, so try to keep that in check. wink emoticon

A small example of your Dad and his typical generosity.
I was abruptly woken, one Saturday morning, on my birthday to boot, by my phone ringing. Who in the name of the wee man is waking me at 7.30am on my birthday? I thought.
Guess who? Only your Dad! “MATE! How’s it going? Do you fancy a hospitality ticket to the Rugby this afternoon at Twickenham” Wow, fantastic offer. I was sorely tempted to say yes, as I knew a day out with your Dad at the rugby would have been a great day and memorable for some reason, no doubt! However, in my still half-asleep state, I thanked your Dad profusely for his kind offer but told him that Flávia, my wife, (I’ll tell you another time the story about the day you met Flávia!) had lots of plans for me starting with early evening dinner, then the theatre and afterwards some drinks. So I thanked your Dad and went back to bed around 7.40am. I was just about to doze off again when the phone rang again. I missed it this time as I had left it in the other room, I got up and saw that your Dad had phoned again! I called him back and got his voicemail, he was leaving me a voicemail. So I waited a minute and phoned again. “Hey Mate, I just realised it was your birthday! Happy Birthday, Have a great day.” Ha!
So I was originally thinking your Dad was offering me the ticket because it was my birthday (which was nice enough) but no, he was just offering me the ticket because he had thought of me! He was a wee bit special your Dad.

Below I have added some photos from a Business Objects sports day where your Dad fully participated. He was never afraid to act the fool! Dodgy black curly hair, fat suit, growling while holding a blue cushion? and then just splashing about. Then a few years later, a photo from a friend’s birthday party that for me kind of sums your Dad up. So he’s on a night out with friends, he’s with his soul mate, your Mum, he’s a tad tipsy, he’s singing, he’s dancing but best of all he has a big lump of a bandage on his recently self-sliced thumb! Ask your Mum to tell you the story, Jude.

Looking forward to seeing you and your Mum soon and I’ll tell you a few more stories.

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Mark Brennan

Hi Jude,
your Dad was my oldest friend. We met in the 70’s when we lived in Forsbrook and I was lucky enough to stay close to him for the next 40 years. There are so many stories shared with you on this site by other close friends and I won’t repeat them … but needless to say you can see Dad played a big part in the big stories of our lives. He was a wonderful man .. Kind, funny, loyal, honest and hardworking .. And always with a huge smile. He was immensely proud of Mum and you, loved you both very much and spoke about you always.

I miss him dearly but like everyone else feel honoured to have called him a close friend.

Mark xx

Annalisa Bianchessi

Dear Jude,

Less than a year ago you were at our wedding with your mum and dad. We never imagined that it would be the last time we would see your dad, and that within a few months, at your young age, you would have to part with him.
But remember that your dad will be with you always.
He is in your heart.
He is watching over you, and as you grow he will continue to grow with you and within you.
We wish you and your mum much strength in the coming time, coming to terms with your loss and remembering your dad as he was.
Live your life as you know he would have liked you too: Fully, generously, with a lot of joy and with no regrets. Giving you a big hug and hoping to see you soon. Annalisa, Enting and Olivia

Annalisa

Over a month has gone by since the funeral

It is hard to believe that it has been over a month since the funeral. Chris is often in my mind, and probably always will be. It will soon be time to start creating the book for Jude, so please keep you stories, photos and memories coming in. All the stories I have received are now on the site, if you wish to add to or amend your entry, please use the form on the homepage or add a new entry on the Facebook group.

If you have used photographs, I may need higher resolution versions for printing, I’ll be back with more details on that later.

A sad day with good friends

Regan Frances Clark

Hello Jude, you are one special child. The apple of your Dad’s eye and much, much loved by him. Here’s your father at my birthday party with my husband and his brother. We loved your Dad. We met him when he moved into the house opposite us in Camberley and became our neighbour. The day he moved in he came to say hello and stayed for five hours, we all got on so well. I got him two cats soon afterwards, Fibber and Charlie and Chris had such a big heart that despite only wanting one- he took on two rescued homeless brothers who couldn’t be seperated. We laughed til we cried on many occasions together and you should know by now from all the other posts here, that Chris was a brilliantly funny storey teller and things that were hilarious, just kept happening to him. Our favourites were the time he scalded a friend at Unni, on the back of his hand, by touching him with a teaspoon he had just stirred his hot tea with. In shock the hand knocked the teaspoon flying into someone’s face and knocked their front tooth out, a tooth that your Dad had to pay for! ..a practical joke gone wrong but so funny in the re-telling.
The the time he hugged the bride in the wedding line up and spilled a whole pint of beer down the back of her wedding dress……(apologies if said bride reads this but it’s a true classic). He loved my stories about passengers on my flights and always wanted to hear them….being such a traveller himself. For my party, I sent your Dad a message saying I needed someone to stay up all night with me and watch the sunrise with….and I got back “I am that man!” Bless Chris.
We can’t believe we will not sit down together again in this world. This has hit us all hard Jude, your poor Mum and you most of all. Jerry and I have been so upset by this loss. …Jude, for your Dad…..we are here for you….always, Regan and Jerry. Xxxxxx
Chris

Steve Prokopiou

Dear Jude.
I first met your Dad when we both worked together at Business Objects. Though we were not part of the same team, whenever our paths crossed he was always smiling and up for some banter about anything and nothing. This made me smile in return. Only a small example of your Dad’s positive effect on the people he came into contact with but one that I will remember.
The suddenness of your Dad’s leaving us was a shock. It has reminded me of the importance of my wife, daughters, family and friends in my life. It even prompted me to tell my best friend that ‘I was so pleased he was part of my life’, which I would never have done before.
Your Dad’s passing has also reminded me that ‘carpe diem’ is the best way to live life. RIP Chris. Gone but never to be forgotten.

Nicole Anderson and Brian Mort

Dear Jude

A little story here….

Brian first met Chris at Business Objects, and struck up an immediate friendship that lasted the test of time, work and continents.

Chris was an amazing friend to link up with and relax in great company through the many friends and colleagues we have in the technology industry. Whether in Asia, US or in fact anywhere in the World, Chris always made time to meet up, give recommendations, and enjoy the moment. This picture shows Chris conquering Russia, although perishing cold weather, he had to resort to a warm trooper cap, very fetching!

Nicole met with Chris when she was starting her own business, we always remain so grateful to the long term contract he gave Nicole to help him expand the global alliance and partner strategy at Guidewire, a testament to his incredible warmth and generosity as a business leader, and human being. This helped Nicole establish both Chris’s needs to build his business, whilst growing her own start-up.

We will always keep Chris in our hearts as a great man, friend and comrade in any situation

Ian West

Hey Jude, after my earlier edited post of one of Lennon & McCartney’s finest, I thought I ought to post my memory of your father.

We met when we worked together at i2 between 2000 and 2003 and remained firm friends working together on many occasions afterwards. We were due to have a drink before his last trip, but sadly work got in the way – One of life’s great regrets.

As many people have already said your Dad really was the life and soul of any party, if there was ever a group laughing heartily, you could guarantee that your Dad was always the middle of it.

We spent many nights until the wee small hours in Dallas, Barcelona, Windsor, Central London, Boats on the Thames at Henley, or wandering the streets of his beloved Notting Hill (which we all found strange for a lad from Stoke) roaming from bar to bar, just decompressing after a long day.

In life there are many events that you will remember well – learning to drive, going to university, getting a degree, your first job, getting married, the birth of your children – but in the middle of all of this there are global events which become characterised as “where were you?” moments. For your grandparents it was JFK in November 63, for your Mum and Dad is was Princess Diana in August 97, but there was another global event that bonded your Dad and I together.

On a bright sunny September morning in 2001 we boarded a plane to fly to a meeting with some consultants at Deloitte’s in Stuttgart. We arrived to find an airport packed with people for the Stuttgart Motorshow but despite being petrol-heads we duly headed off for the planned meeting – So far so good. But our return journey was rather more eventful. We jumped into a taxi mid-afternoon and the German driver in very poor English was trying to explain that a plane had flown into a building in New York. We both thought a little Cessna or something, but the full magnitude didn’t hit us until we walked into the airport to find all the screens showing live TV, just as the second plane struck the second tower.

We found an airport on complete lock down, nobody allowed to check in, nothing taking off. We spent the next 3-4 hours trying to find hotels rooms – nothing available, it was the Stuttgart Motorshow – trying to hire a car, but neither of us had our licenses (never travel anywhere without your driving license), get a train to the channel tunnel (which involved 7 changes and a 21 hour journey). So we decided to sit tight in an increasingly crowded airport. After a 5 hour wait we were eventually checked in and a further 3 hours in and out of the BA lounge (more out than in – it was packed) we eventually boarded a most uneventful flight home, other than every passenger carefully watching every other passenger.

So when the question arises “Where were you on September the 11th 2001?” I always say I was with Chris Elsmore, enjoying his company, in Stuttgart Airport waiting for a plane, feeling slightly anxious.

After this event we both developed a healthy scepticism of flying – it didn’t stop either of us continuing to globe-trot but it did create a cautiousness in 2 lads from the Midlands; it turned both of us into people watchers and never complaining about increased security precautions.

There were many other experiences, but one which sticks in the mind, was your Dad’s leaving doo when he left i2 to join Business Objects. It was a usual pub crawl around Windsor ending with 20-30 people in a Mexican restaurant somewhere under the station (I doubt I could ever find it again). Unbeknown to everyone else this coincided with another life event for your Dad (which is best covered in another discussion) but it was a great night out with far too many jugs of double strength Margarita, a real party atmosphere and characterised by your Dad’s magnanimous and generous nature when he paid the bill, point blank refusing to let anyone else contribute. But that was the mark of the man – the Life and Soul, Generous to a fault, always happy even in the most challenging of circumstances.

He will be very sadly missed by all, he has thousands of contacts around the world many of them are shared with many of his friends on this Facebook page but many are not on Facebook. I will share more from them with you on a separate contribution. Your Dad epitomised the world of collaboration and lived the concept of “any friend of yours is a friend of mine”, welcoming everyone with open arms!

CB

Dear Jude,
Suyog and I got to know your dad in 2006/7, when we were in London to pursue our studies. In fact we had just started dating, and meeting your mum and dad was an important event for us! We looked up to your parents and, still being students, we felt somewhat like kids in front of them. However your dad had an art to make everyone feel respected, included and accepted – and that he did with us. He was a great listener and his confident caring personality meant many came to him to seek personal guidance. In fact, he played an important part in the first stages of Suyog becoming a part of the De Jong-Bianchessi family. Over the years that we lived in London, your parents invited us several times for parties and social events – your dad would always make sure everyone was taken care of, felt welcomed, and was having a good time. Every visit brought us closer to your mum and dad. The ease with which he made people feel comfortable, later translated into Suyog regularly seeking career-related advice from him, and I know how much that meant to him, but as I said this was also one of the first contacts that Suyog established within the extended family. I think they had a special bond. This meant a lot to me too. And the relation with both of your parents grew from there. Your mum and dad were adventurous and came to both of our weddings, one in Italy and the second in India. I can tell you that even in India your dad’s charm had its effect – his good nature was visible, and helped to overcome cultural barriers that may have held back some of the other wedding guests. And it turns out that Indian weddings involve numerous rituals, one of them being that a special moment is taken for the brother of the bride to remind the groom to take good care of his wife as they embark on a new life together. As I don’t have a brother, your dad happily took on that role and as you can see in this photo, he pulled Suyog’s ear, and I still remember him jokingly saying “Be careful now, take care of Cristina – I am watching you..!”. I am so glad that your dad took on this symbolic role on such an important day for us, and he has since then been like “our elder brother”, someone who (together with your mum) we felt looked after us, had wisdom to share when we needed advice, and was always a delight to be around. After your arrival I remember how happy and proud your mum and dad were. We regularly kept in touch during family occasions and holidays in Italy. We felt immediately reconnected each time we saw them- no matter how many months had passed. We treasure these memories, and will always think of your dad’s cheerful, generous and encouraging approach when facing the big and small challenges in life.
Jude, this is what we want to tell you: your dad loved you more than any dad possibly could. A part of him lives inside you. You know you have a family with us – Suyog, Cristina and your little sister Alicia. Just like your parents were our family bond in London, remember you have a family in Washington, D.C. We are here for you at all times. Lots of love, Cristina (Tina) and Suyog (Pog)

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Pietro Bianchessi

Dear Jude, we, aunt Marijke and uncle Pietro, were very fond of your daddy, Chris. From the day your mum brought him to a family reunion in Holland, we got off very well with him. Over the years he brightened up our daughters’ wedding parties, and we especially remember when your parents had come to India and Chris, dressed with a traditional turbant, participated in the Hindu ceremony playing the role of Cristina’s older brother. We also remember with joy the time the three of you came to stay with us for a couple of days in Barga. We even adopted a phrase that you and your daddy shouted when entering our door: “WE’RE HOME!”; this phrase has since become a standard part of our “family jargon”. We love you and your mummy very much, and we hope you’ll continue to come and visit us in the future. Marijke and Pietro from Luxembourg.

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Katherine Mertikian

Dear Jude, I first met your Mum at a Yoga Studio in Queens Park, London, in 2008 and we soon become very good friends especially when we spent 9 weeks together in Acapulco on Yoga Training. Your Mum became pregnant with you soon after I was pregnant with Alex. And when Alex was 2 we all came to stay with you and your Mum and your Dad in San Francisco. You and Alex spent a lot of time playing with each other and I especially remember you both making an absolute racket banging drums and other musical instruments in the living room. These pictures were taken on a day out in Sausalito – that’s Alex and my husband Armond with you and your Dad. We had an amazing holiday together and it was the Summer of the London Olympics 2012 and I remember how we all sat together in your flat watching the Opening Ceremony while eating the tastiest Thai Food we ever had! Your Dad and Mum were the most generous and kindest hosts. We always remember your Dad’s smile and laughter and he loved you to bits. He was also a fantastic cook and he made this delicious Butternut squash, Parma ham and Rocket salad. Yum!
I hope you and Alex will stay friends for years to come.
Lots of love, Katherine

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Zoe Campbell

Dear Jude

We have known your mum and dad for a number of years. Many a club trip was enjoyed and we became firm friends. We stayed at your place having attended a James Bond Evening and your mum and dad have come to stay with us at sleepy Kettering. A good time was had by all. Your dad used to do this particular movement when we danced and thought no-one was watching him – we renamed it the “shoulder shuffle” a dance your dad created. Your mum will demonstrate further to get the full effect. We hope this memory will make you smile as it does us when we recall the story. With our love to you both, Zoe and John

Cheryl Pond

Dear Jude,

One of my favorite memories of my whole life was with your Dad (and Mom) watching Paul McCartney in Hyde Park, and listening to Hey Jude. Your Mom was pregnant with you at the time, and I think about this memory every time I hear that song. Not sure I’ll be able to attend those concerts again without your Dad – it was an annual tradition, and just wouldn’t be the same.

Your Dad was very special. He had a way of making every moment a fond memory, and making every person feel like a favorite friend. I met your parents on a group ski trip (another favorite memory) with Elaine Bowers Coventry, Garth Coventry, Susan Orr Morris, Erin Walsh, and others and we became instant friends. Over the years, your parents have been generous hosts to me in both their San Francisco and London homes. But most importantly, they’ve been true friends. Always listening and understanding, during good times and bad. I will miss the long and deep conversations with your Dad, as he was the type of person who would always listen, without judgement, and then turn bad thoughts into good times.

He loved you so much! The picture below is from a visit to the park in San Francisco. You were his greatest accomplishment, and he adored you and your Mom. I’m just so sorry he won’t be here on earth to watch you grow, but know that he’s always thinking of you and watching you from Heaven.

Lots of Love to you and Simone Barry,
Cheryl

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Michelle Woodward Hodges

Jude –

I met your Mom & Dad through a very close friend, Erin Walsh; probably Aunt Ernie to you. Over the years, your dad become a dear friend whom I truly loved.

Chris was a global citizen and like many of his relationships – we had a global friendship that journeyed across continents and well over a decade. I consider myself blessed to have had Chris in my life, even for a short while. Its been said again and again, he was a good man, a great friend and he lived his life well.

I last saw your dad in December 2015, we were excited to be working together again after a long break. We had collaborated on several projects in the past, as we have complementary skillsets – he always made me a better professional. Since we last worked together, we had both been married and had kids. This past December, we spent one evening just talking about love, how marriage and children had shown us a love that we didn’t know existed. How much better people our families had made us. We joked that we were pretty good to start with but all this love just made us better – cue the cheeky giggle. We had both been struggling in our own ways with how hard it was to integrate the global part of our spirits & our passion for our careers – with this amazing & awesome love of family, kids & home. And the next day he was off home to see you & your mom; he took you to the park that weekend and I took my girl to the movies.

If I can help you know anything about your Dad, its these things:

Your dad really cared about the people who came into his life, he took the time to know them and invest in what they found important; & connect with them right there, where it matters.

He loved you & your mom beyond measure

He left such love & laughter in his wake. I see him in your glorious smile. I haven’t met you yet – but I imagine he is there in your hug and your laughter as well.

Jude, I ache for your loss but so grateful he lives on in you & the love he had for you & Simone. Look after your mom – you really lucked out with such great parents, you mom is one of the very best xo – Michelle

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Duncan Curry

Jude, I met your dad over 4,600 days ago, which in itself is a very very long time indeed, and as has been echoed by virtually everyone who knows your dad he has touched many peoples lives, in a good way, usually involving laughter and a few jars of ale (which you will grow into – i am sure of that) as you follow in your dads footsteps. Your dad will be with all of us always through these stories that we share with you and one another as we celebrate and remember a truly amazing person – friend, colleague, husband and daddy. Did you know that your dad has an amazing ability to maintain a smile even when the grape bends most men to a horizontal position, which i experienced with him on many an occasion. This coupled with his love of cars through the petrol sloshing between his ears underpins why he is loved by many and will remain part of our lives through his kind words/wisdom and support as our lives bounced into and off one another. Speaking of wise words, when he got his 911 he was very proud of the fact that there was more leaves covering his porker than on the road from the autumnal fall due to his inability to drive it – man he loved that car! But your dad was even more proud and bursting with love when he told me that you were on your way into this world, and it is in this world that we all call home that you will shine with the support of your mum and all of us. When you get the book bug, I urge you to read ‘footprints in the sand’ by Mary Stevenson, as this is how i see your dad looking down and over you as you grow day by day…

Keep smiling and make your daddy proud of every breath you take,

love Duncan, Alex, Lucas & Evie

Chris Barchak

Dear Jude:
I met your father when we were colleagues at i2 Technologies, and remained friends ever since. Even though we moved on in our careers and I even moved to Switzerland for a time, I flew back to London on the occasion of his 40th birthday. The party was an epic one, culminating in your father proposing to your mother in a heartfelt manner surrounded by his family and friends. In recent years we both became fathers late in life and in our busy lives we spent more time with work and family. Your birthday parties and our children’s have been welcome reunions with you and your family and I hope that will continue and deepen. Chris was a beam of light to all he touched and we will all miss him. He taught us to enjoy life and there is no more important lesson.

Ian West

Hey Jude, after my earlier edited post of one of Lennon & McCartney’s finest, I thought I ought to post my memory of your father.

We met when we worked together at i2 between 2000 and 2003 and remained firm friends working together on many occasions afterwards. We were due to have a drink before his last trip, but sadly work got in the way – One of life’s great regrets.

As many people have already said your Dad really was the life and soul of any party, if there was ever a group laughing heartily, you could guarantee that your Dad was always the middle of it.

We spent many nights until the wee small hours in Dallas, Barcelona, Windsor, Central London, Boats on the Thames at Henley, or wandering the streets of his beloved Notting Hill (which we all found strange for a lad from Stoke) roaming from bar to bar, just decompressing after a long day.

In life there are many events that you will remember well – learning to drive, going to university, getting a degree, your first job, getting married, the birth of your children – but in the middle of all of this there are global events which become characterised as “where were you?” moments. For your grandparents it was JFK in November 63, for your Mum and Dad is was Princess Diana in August 97, but there was another global event that bonded your Dad and I together.

On a bright sunny September morning in 2001 we boarded a plane to fly to a meeting with some consultants at Deloitte’s in Stuttgart. We arrived to find an airport packed with people for the Stuttgart Motorshow but despite being petrol-heads we duly headed off for the planned meeting – So far so good. But our return journey was rather more eventful. We jumped into a taxi mid-afternoon and the German driver in very poor English was trying to explain that a plane had flown into a building in New York. We both thought a little Cessna or something, but the full magnitude didn’t hit us until we walked into the airport to find all the screens showing live TV, just as the second plane struck the second tower.

We found an airport on complete lock down, nobody allowed to check in, nothing taking off. We spent the next 3-4 hours trying to find hotels rooms – nothing available, it was the Stuttgart Motorshow – trying to hire a car, but neither of us had our licenses (never travel anywhere without your driving license), get a train to the channel tunnel (which involved 7 changes and a 21 hour journey). So we decided to sit tight in an increasingly crowded airport. After a 5 hour wait we were eventually checked in and a further 3 hours in and out of the BA lounge (more out than in – it was packed) we eventually boarded a most uneventful flight home, other than every passenger carefully watching every other passenger.

So when the question arises “Where were you on September the 11th 2001?” I always say I was with Chris Elsmore, enjoying his company, in Stuttgart Airport waiting for a plane, feeling slightly anxious.

After this event we both developed a healthy scepticism of flying – it didn’t stop either of us continuing to globe-trot but it did create a cautiousness in 2 lads from the Midlands; it turned both of us into people watchers and never complaining about increased security precautions.

There were many other experiences, but one which sticks in the mind, was your Dad’s leaving doo when he left i2 to join Business Objects. It was a usual pub crawl around Windsor ending with 20-30 people in a Mexican restaurant somewhere under the station (I doubt I could ever find it again). Unbeknown to everyone else this coincided with another life event for your Dad (which is best covered in another discussion) but it was a great night out with far too many jugs of double strength Margarita, a real party atmosphere and characterised by your Dad’s magnanimous and generous nature when he paid the bill, point blank refusing to let anyone else contribute. But that was the mark of the man – the Life and Soul, Generous to a fault, always happy even in the most challenging of circumstances.

He will be very sadly missed by all, he has thousands of contacts around the world many of them are shared with many of his friends on this Facebook page but many are not on Facebook. I will share more from them with you on a separate contribution. Your Dad epitomised the world of collaboration and lived the concept of “any friend of yours is a friend of mine”, welcoming everyone with open arms!

Bobby Napiltonia

Jude,

The pictures will follow. I waited and waited to post this as I still can not believe we are where we are. For starters, I’ve know your father for over 15 years which is 1/3 of my life and 1/2 of my adult life. We communicated regularly and always loved, laughed and enjoyed life. Over the past 5 years most of those stories and fun times were about you (and my daughter) as you both know one another and she adores you. I love your fez hat, the outfits and your smiles.

Chris and I met many years ago through work and then went about 2 years without seeing one another. I happened to be at a pub near his house and I heard my name being called…Bobby…Bobby and when I turned around it was him. My eyes opened wide, the smile on my face was endless and the evening was (as usual) fun. After our re-connecting we spoke or communicated almost weekly (OK more than that), and our lives were never the same.

We were fortunate enough to meet one another around the world and share our lives together. Whenever he visited Northern California he generally stayed at my house. A true extension of my family.

Your father was an amazing man. Everybody wanted to be with him, know him and learn more about you. He spoke with such genuine love and admiration of both you and your amazing mother.

I was lucky enough that you spent time in SF and I got to hang out regularly with you and your family.

While you may not realize today how many people your father touched in so many positive ways you will some day. When you look back the one thing you will think about daily is:
I’m so lucky he was my father.

I can’t wait to see you soon. Coco sends here love with hugs and kisses and she too can’t wait to see you.

I will continue to post my great moments with your father as this note does not even reflect how much he loved you and your mother.

Jude the dude….you will always have a special place in my life.

Love,

Bobby and Coco

Maurice Hancock

Jude

So much of what I have to say about your Dad has already been said many times over. We met at Business Objects – and it turned out we lived in the same town at the time….which gave the perfect opportunity to start a ‘curry club’ on a Monday night. we hadn’t seen each other for a while, but I have many fond memories of the times we spent together. Your mum and dad came to our wedding in 2006 (you can see an early photo bomb from a man called Darren Hilton).

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Neil Berrecloth

Hi Jude,

Many of us were lucky enough to share some of your Dad’s life. I first met him around 20 years ago soon after University – we were all finding our way at that time. We shared many weekends away, golf trips (definitely not his finest attribute but he made up for that with the “team bonding”), Birthday parties, Stag trips, Weddings and lots more. He always had a smile on his face. It was a pleasure to have him around and I feel priviliged to have known him over all these years.

As we have all been sharing our thoughts and memories, one thing is for sure, Chris was a very special man. We all knew some of the facets of his world, whether it was his home town where he grew up, school, University, various companies where he worked, through friendships and beyond. I don’t think many of us knew him across all those areas but what is amazing is the consistency of stories and messages that have been posted. Your Dad was a people person, he cared about all those around him and would help wherever and whenever he could – not because there was something in it for him, but because that was the man Chris was.

If there was some laughter, chances were Chris would be in the middle of it. He was a kind, considerate, generous, social and funny guy. He managed that fine balance to be ambitious, succeeding in much that he did without forgetting what was important – the people around him.

Jude, your Dad will live on in you, we all look forward to seeing you grow and I’ve no doubt you will make your Dad a very proud man. We are all here to help and to share some of the stories in person whenever you would like to hear them. My love to you and your Mum. x

Ashley Sass

Hey, Jude,
Like so many people here, I first met your Dad through work, but over time, his natural qualities and due to our mutual ‘don’t take life too seriously’ attitude created a good friendship. His many personal qualities have been described time and time again, but it is true – easy and open, straight forward, caring, kind, (lots and lots of) fun, considerate, and always generous with his time and advice. Above all, you always knew he was on your side, and would help in the best way he could (what many would describe as selfless).

As you may have seen, he was a bit of a petrol head and he loved his Porsches. We were working together on a project in 2009, and I remember going to see a client with him in his new (I think it was a) Carerra. You should have seen the reaction from those guys when they saw this car park up outside. At least half of that meeting was spent with grown men asking about that car, what it was like, where could they get one!! Boys will always be boys, no matter how big we grow wink emoticonAnother happy memory is skipping stones on the Thames with him over a beer after a meeting and seeing how close we could get to the swans (we didn’t hit any,I promise)!

Your Mum and Dad are very, very proud of you, and they will always be behind you in everything. You will be your own man. If you build on the qualities of love, respect, fun and openness that they show you, you won’t go far wrong.

If I can ever be of help, you just call. I will always be happy to help The Elsmores.

As my lot say, wishing you all long life.

Ash wink emoticon(Chrissie, Ella and Anya)

Andi Smiles

Dear Simone and Jude,
Chris always brought people together. Even now, he is still doing it. There are several of us in Vancouver that could not make it to London to celebrate his life with you today so we had our own remembrance here tonight.
There were many happy and funny stories told, a few tears shed and lots of love sent your way.
Our hearts and thoughts are with you both. xo

 

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Simon Macdonald

Hi Jude
I was fortunate enough to have known your dad for some 25 years since I met him at University through the football team. Although he wasn’t a footballer himself (I don’t think he could kick a ball!) he was everything else you could wish for in a team mate. He was loyal, honest, funny, always up for a few beers and good for a bit of banter! I can honestly say that your dad was one of the best guys you could meet and although I didn’t see as much of him after University years, whenever I did he would throw his arms around me, give me a big smile and say ‘maaate…how’s it going? When I brought myself into the 21st century and got onto Facebook a few years back, your dad was one of the first people to get in touch and it’s so apparent that the impact he made on his friends he met at uni was the same right across the world. I’ll always remember his posts to friends in San Francisco or the many other places he would go to on business making them aware that he was going to be around to meet up for a few beers. The many photos of your dad also showed how much he enjoyed life and being with you, your mum and friends. Although he won’t be around to see you grow up Jude, you should take comfort in the fact that your dad was one of the best and was truly loved and respected by those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

Scouse Macca (Aston)

Ian Peart

Hi Jude
I’ve just spent an emotional evening looking through some old photos of your Dad and it really brought home to me how many of the most memorable, and happiest days of my life, that I shared with him.
I met him on my first day of University and immediately we formed a close friendship. Over the years we would end up sharing a house, holidaying together, with a fair few parties sprinkled in between. Time spent with your Dad was always fun, he had a wonderful way of lighting up even the most mundane of occasions with his sense of humour (those laughter lines were made from many years of continual use!), his generosity of spirit and his huge appetite for life.
Your Dad was best man at my wedding in 2001 (he was responsible for getting me together with my wife but that’s another story!) and as you can see from the photo below he drove me to the Church in my Dad’s vintage car. Unfortunately on the way to the Church the car broke down and I began to panic. Your Dad, cool as anything said, “Don’t worry youth, hop in the driver’s side & I’ll push”. So resplendent in full morning suit, and grinning at the almost stationary traffic on both sides of the road, the boy from Stoke got me out of a hole!
As to what your Dad would want to pass on to you. Be kind, be thoughtful, don’t take yourself too seriously and take on his philosophy of “a friends friend is, by definition, your friend”.
I’ll miss your Dad more than I can say, but like everyone on this site I feel immensely privileged to have known him. Simply, he was the best mate anyone could ever wish for.
Pearty

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Rob Booth

Hi Jude, I first met your amazing dad in 1981 as a nervous 11 year old on my first day at Blythe Bridge High School. For the next few years we shared a classroom in almost every subject (not sure why, he was much cleverer than me !!)
Some say our maths teacher Mr “Jimmy” Maland installed the infamous angled mirror above his blackboard to keep an eye on a young and already very sociable Mr Elsmore !! Like Nobby (Rob Hannaby) I also endured many a cold Saturday morning cracking the ice on the odd rugby pitch with your dad prior to a probable defeat.
The Blythe lads holiday in Lloret de Mar in 1987 was legendary, as was the weekend spent at the student house in Stechford, Birmingham in 1990 where I recall his room was rather tastefully decorated with “souvenir” traffic cones and the odd flashing light. (The Young Ones had nothing on that place).
Through something of a lager induced haze, the house in Chester was next where a night on the town led to an indoor water fight !! To those who recall it, “Kagoul Man” will live long in the memory !
Probably the memory of him which makes me smile the most was in 2003 when a group of us went to Andy Shaw’s stag party in Barcelona. There, I was lucky enough to “room” with your dad along with Slinny (Pete Slinn). Your dad travelled alone and arrived ahead of the rest of us from Stoke. When me and Pete entered our room we were greeted by him punching the air wearing his trademark cheesy grin…….and a full Superman outfit with one very un-Superman like accessory attached !!? !! Brilliant !!
Regrettably I haven’t managed to catch up with your dad for a year or two now but through the magic of Facebook his beaming smile continued to shine out through my phone screen on a regular basis. I know he’d have greeted me like a brother had our paths crossed again …. that’s the kind of true gentleman that he was and thats the bloke I shall always remember fondly as an old, but hugely respected and now, tragically, much missed friend.
Keep smiling Jude, your dad always was !!
Rob Booth, Meir Park, Stoke on Trent.

Jennifer Brown Nye

Hi Jude, I first met you and your mom in Boston the spring of your second year. You likely don’t remember but we played hide & seek behind the big hotel curtains and caused quite a raucous! It was so fun because it wasn’t unlike the many times your dad and I got together.
Your dad and I started the same month at a company called Panopticon in September of 2009. We met a few weeks later in DC at a conference and immediately got on “like a house on fire”. As so many have communicated, your dad had a special gift for connecting with many different types of people and making everyone feel important.
Your dad eventually became my boss but more importantly a mentor and dear friend. I was so fortunate to learn from his business acumen, integrity and dedication on a professional level and his wit, humor and genuine love of life from a friend’s perspective.
We raised alot of raucous over the 4 years we worked together in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, Las Vegas, Miami, NY & SF. Every event we attended, your dad knew so many people and was the person everyone wanted to be around-it was extraordinary and I am so thankful to have those memories! A good portion of my business network is a direct result of your dad which I’m proud to say is full of genuine people you will be able to tap into when your time comes. I am a better person for having known your dad and he made the world around him a better place-not many people have that legacy!
So to the first picture, this was an offsite in Stockholm, we worked for an eclectic company and one of our fun activities was to play segway polo (back when segways were new and cool). To put it in your dad’s words, we were “gobsmacked” about what to do so we made a bet about who could take the CEO down first…from there it became a smash up derby but in the end we together succeeded in our mission and giggled about it through the rest of the night.
Jude, you are his proudest accomplishment. I had the good fortune of being close when you were born. He was the proudest papa and sent so many incredible pictures of you with your mom. I will treasure knowing your dad and hope to know you as you grow up. The Redsox cap you have (if it still fits) came from me and we talked about taking you to a game when you came back to Boston so if you and your mom have the chance I’d love to still do that!
Sometimes heaven calls the most special people sooner that the rest of us want or understand…your dad was one of the best that for some reason was needed there earlier than any of us would have wanted.
He would certainly want you to carry on and become the amazing man you are destined to be….you have a truly extraordinary mom and legacy and I have no doubt you’ll do your dad proud!
With Love, Jen
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Campbell Hancock

Jude
As you will be able to tell from so many posts, your father was such a fun, caring, generous and loveable guy. So generous that his enthusiasm for life was contagious. He’s not just missed by those that knew him directly, but also by our significant others that found it so easy to get to know, and love, him.

In my particular case, we got to know each other working at BusinessObjects during the mid-2000s, and enjoyed numerous work trips together, as well as the boys Ski trips to St Anton. In fact I think he missed one of the ski trips because you were due to arrive “any day”, and I had to find a new roommate for that trip. At least the new roomie didn’t snore like your dad!!

The last time I saw him was at the Ryder Cup in GlenEagles (Sept 2014), and it was a complete fluke that we bumped into each other towards the end of the day, but it did give me the opportunity to introduce him to my son (Struan) who is 8 years older than you. We were both so proud of our respective “little” boys!

Your Dad and I worked together for a few years, and I always hoped I would find an opportunity to work with him again, but we never quite managed it, but did catch up for a few dinners in different parts of the world when our travel diaries matched up, and the occasional round of golf (best remembered for the company rather than the quality of the golf !).

I can’t think of a single person I know who is so universally loved and respected. He was definitely a one off. AND with the genetic mix from him and your Mum you are destined to be a very special young man and a credit to both of your parents I’m sure,And I know he would have loved to witness, and help directly in your development. It’s no coincidence that his last Facebook post was of a memory of a photo of you and your Mum.

As well as being very much loved by everyone that his life touched, and it’s no coincidence that so many people have been so upset about his sudden passing, he was also generous with sharing his insights. A number of times I had contacts looking for advice on candidates or opportunities in different parts of the world, and without exception he was always so giving of his time to support others efforts.

Including a couple of photos from my Wife (Alison Hancock) and my joint 40th birthday party at Bearwood Lakes in 2010, with your Mum and Dad on the dance floor.

Hopefully what your Mum, family and friends are doing in pulling together these memories will be a comfort to both you as you grow older, and also to your Mum more immediately. And certainly any number of us will be happy to share our memories and stories with you directly as you grow older.

Take care and take the time to enjoy the ride.

All three of you are in our thoughts x

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Jane Gambarini

Dear Jude,
Like so many others I had the pleasure of first meeting your Dad at University. He had the ability to light up a room and to make everyone laugh with his fun demeanour and fabulous stories without even trying. Even though we lived in different countries he was great at keeping in touch and trying to organise to meet up. He had so many friends and that is a testament to what an amazing person he was that he managed to make so much effort to keep in touch with everyone. I also lost a dear friend last year and your Dad was so caring and kind about it. He was a true gentleman that touched so many hearts. I feel blessed to have known him and hope that the memories of him will help you and your Mum and make you smile. With love to you both, Jane x

Karen Harvey

Hi Jude, it’s hard to find the right words to talk about your dad, to sum up the wonderful man that he was in a few words, it seems impossible, but I’ll give it a go because I would really like to share my memories of your dad with you.

I’m sure by now that you know your dad was loved by so many people, the world over and he gave so much love back to those around him. He was an amazing, thoughtful man who was so incredibly proud of you and he loved you and your mum immensely.

I met your dad in 1998, he was a friend of my boyfriend at the time, Julian, who is now my husband. I was amazed that all the boys from Aston had stayed so close after leaving university, but at the time I hadn’t realized the strength of their friendships, the bonds that they still share that have lasted for decades.

My first memories of your dad are happy ones, so are the last ones and all of the ones in between. That was the amazing gift that your dad had, to make those around him feel special and happy. I feel truly blessed that I was able to call him my friend for close to 18 years.

Even though your dad had an amazingly responsible career, he was always the first to be in touch when you most needed it. When my mum was battling cancer, a plant arrived from your dad that still sits in her house today. When my baby girl was laying in intensive care after her brain surgeries, toys and books and teddies arrived from your dad. When my dad had his heart bypass surgery a bottle of Champagne arrived, that one made us smile!

Your dad came to us for Christmas in Sydney a few times. First with your grandma and grandad and later with your mum. I treasure the memories of those days, even the bit where the game of quoits became a bit too competitive and your dad decided he was too tired to play so was throwing them from his chair (see photo!). He bought us a beautiful garden gnome that year!

I hope that these messages bring you some comfort in the years to come. Your dad was loved, is loved, by many, many people and so are you Jude.

With love, Karen, Julian, Freya and Alex xxxxx12794703_10209134315098944_8065151608072683623_o 12768300_10209134314858938_2061846512124337194_o 12698331_10209134315018942_3780826517163583525_o 12495263_10209134310938840_7046995965524881869_n 12717946_10209134310778836_2342106273524246205_n