Chris Phelps, 1960 ~ 2013
Feb 28, 2013 | 2210 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Friend, guide, muse and musician, Chris Phelps died Jan. 19, 2013, in San Francisco, of colon cancer.

Chris worked at Canyonlands Field Institute for many years, starting out as an intern in 1993 and returned for 10 seasons. Chris shared his knowledge and love of canyon country, his guitar playing and beautiful smile with over a thousand school children and many Elderhostelers. He mentored CFI’s annual batch of interns, grad students and co-workers, remaining in touch with most over the years.

Though playful in nature, he also challenged himself intellectually, spiritually and physically. One winter, he completed a solo canoe trip, paddling down the Green River to the confluence and back up the Colorado, “Denis Julien style.” He landed at Potash as icebergs formed.

Chris was born in New Jersey on Nov. 15, 1960, to Susanne Isbill and Walter Phelps. A lifelong student, Chris decided in his 40’s to complete a masters degree in somatic psychology. He was diagnosed with cancer just as he started to work as a therapist in 2011.

Chris is survived by his parents; his brother, Andy; and a large cadre of friends from across the country, all of whom provided loving support in these past months.

His final days were spent in Zen hospice.

His close friend from graduate school, John Azzizzi, wrote in tribute: “Chris will be remembered for many things but above all, he will be remembered for the depth, fierceness and beauty of his love … for his friends, for the natural places, for the world and for the this amazing life. He will be dearly missed.”

There will be a Moab Celebration of Life and River Wake for Chris held in coming months, hosted by his Utah friends and Canyonlands Field Institute. Date and details will be forthcoming.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.