Christopher John Angel passed away very peacefully at home on St. John on Jan. 17, after a long struggle with cancer.
He was born on Dec. 16, 1946, to Nicholas C. and Herborg Barhaug Angel. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Elsa Behn Angel; very special friends: David Dostall, Patricia Capuano, Lani Clark, James Clayton and Crystal Gillich, all of St. John, Ellen Link of Newburyport, Mass., and Alex Quintard and Diane Milners of Hernando Beach, Fla., brothers: Ron Cutts of Casper, Wyoming, and family, Philip Angel of Churchville, Maryland, and family, Nicholas Angel of Sheridan, Wyoming, John Angel of Denver, Col., and family; father-in-law, Frederick E. Behn of Columbus, Ohio; brother and sister-in-law: Phil and Susan Behn of Houston, Texas; and his faithful companion and service dog, Phineas.
Chris was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and served as an infantryman in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Bronze Star.
He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wyoming in 1974. He went on to become the director of the Governor’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, Cheyenne, Wyoming from 1974 – 1977, a grant writer for the Wyoming Emergency Services Association in 1978, and a marketing administrator for Mountain Bell/US West 1979-1987.
Chris’s experience in Vietnam was a life-changing event, encouraging him to live life to the fullest, which quickly translated into sailing. On his 40th birthday, Elsa said “Let’s go sailing.” Rafiki was purchased and they set off down the Intracoastal Waterway in search of fulfillment and adventure, ending up on St. John in December 1988. They fell in love with the island and made it their home. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989 Chris began doing electrical work, and Angel Electric Inc. was formed in 1994. Over the years Chris was involved as a volunteer with Rotary St. John, serving as secretary, vice president and president, Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, St. John KATS, and Animal Care Center of St. John and St. John Carnival. Chris and Elsa continued to sail the Virgin Islands, snorkel, scuba dive, travel, hike and bike.
Chris was known for his caring, kindness, quick wit and sense of humor. He was a good listener and problem solver as well.
Chris’s memorial service will be at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26, at the Lime Inn in Cruz Bay. It will be a celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in his name to the American Cancer Society, St. John Relay for Life, happening on Feb. 11.