A sad day for the Dernetz Clan

It is with an awful and heavy heart that I write this post.  My terrific Uncle Chris passed away yesterday in an accident while snorkeling with Wayne & Liz, my dad and step mom.  They were doing one of their annual adventure trips.  Every year a different trip. a different adventure. This year, the 3 of them went to Makaha in Hawaii.  Dad always looked forward to having an adventure with Chris.  They did Yellowstone, Hawaii, mexico.  So many places with some many wonderful stories they returned with.

Uncle Chris

Like this tree, Uncle Chris is larger than life.  Full of smiles, fun, and joy.  Always the mischievous smile that went along with some funny story or advice.

Tuna Fishing Trip


My favorite is the way he says my name.  “Joelie”  In that wonderful “Balmer” drawl.  He would say it just like Grandma did.  It still makes me smile to hear them say it in my head.

My heart is just breaking for Aunt Louise, and my cousins Missie & Chris and my Dad and Liz and all the wonderful granddaughters that “Papa Doe” brought daily happiness to.

Love you Uncle Chris.  I miss you terribly.

love your little flower girl.  Joelie

3 thoughts on “A sad day for the Dernetz Clan

  1. Julia, your words are poetry, summing up the very special qualities you’ve seen in your Uncle Chris. You’ve even helped take pain out of this week for me. So thank you!

  2. I always think of Chris as the ‘other man’ with whom I walked down the aisle…with him as Best Man and me as Matron of Honor (I think??) at Liz and Wayne’s wedding.

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