It is with deep sadness that the family of Christopher O’Bryant announces his passing on Oct 8, 2018. Christopher is lovingly remembered by his wife Candace; children: Seamus and Ronan; parents: Raydonia O’Bryant (Jim Bentley) and Larry O’Bryant (Jan O’Bryant): and brothers: Randy and Mark O’Bryant of Lopez Island. Christopher was treasured by his abundant family and is also survived by his maternal uncle Terry Snyder (Phyllis), five step-siblings, his many sisters and brothers-in-law, and over 25 nieces and nephews.
Christopher was born on December 6, 1962 in Springfield Oregon. At a young age Christopher had a strong connection and curiosity of the natural world around him. Always active, he enjoyed being outdoors, camping, and exploring. Christopher moved to Lopez Island in 1972 in the third grade, making lifelong friendships with his island classmates. He loved Lopez School and was forever a proud LOBO. He excelled in playing soccer and riding his trials motorcycle, where he developed his sense of balance and focus. Christopher would later set aside his motorcycle and use those skills to start riding a unicycle and juggling. He loved to perform at community events and to entertain children at birthday parties and eventually added storytelling to his repertoire. He was one of the original organizers of annual Lopez Jugglefest and looked forward to participating every year.
Christopher was born with a love of fishing and fished all his life, from Oregon streams to distant shores. As a commercial fisherman he fished on countless boats and with many different skippers and crewmates over several decades in Alaska, South Pacific, and Puget Sound. Christopher had a passion for woodworking and a dream of owning a sawmill which he brought to fruition by founding and operating Fir Tree Enterprises. He created beautiful pieces of art from trees he watched grow on Lopez as a young child. People often commented that purchasing lumber from Christopher came with a story of the tree and bit of Lopez history.
In addition to fishing, unicycling, and juggling he had many other interests. He wove baskets from cedar bark, made jewelry from shells found on beaches from his faraway travels, made homemade ice cream, grew kiwis, tap dance, stargazing with his father, and brewing beer from local ingredients. Always very social he included all his friends in every activity.
Christopher was a natural teacher. He taught countless children and adults to love juggling. He would say everyone could juggle, it just takes Practice, Patience, Pasture, and Persistence. He especially enjoyed working with children. He was a soccer coach for many years at Lopez School and would later welcome the opportunity to coach his sons and share his love of the game. He emphasized and encouraged kindness, inclusiveness and always, always, remember to have FUN.
Christopher enjoyed his property, Kastle Kiwi, constantly improving his house and building a grand outdoor gathering area, where he hosted a Brewfest under the full moon of winter. Rainstorm or calm, brewers gathered from all around to share the knowledge of brewing beer.
Christopher had a wonderful and close connection with his family, friends and Lopez Community. He had a gift of social awareness, being always inclusive, positive and supportive. He welcomed and accepted everyone. He had an amazing and remarkable ability to maintain large tribal relationships with many people and kept contact with them throughout his life.
Christopher Steele O’Bryant; devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend, jester, fisherman, sawyer, brewer, The King of Kastle Kiwi, left us far too early. His magical presence will live on in all of us and his community through his positive attitude, generosity, and pleasure for living.
Private memorial services will be held for family on November 23, 2018.
A Celebration of Life for the community will take place at the beloved Old Hastin Farm in the Spring.