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Popular Bathurst area entertainer and volunteer remembered for his kindness

·3 min read
Ron Christie, with his wife Irene in 2017, was well known in his community as a clown, musician, volunteer and woodworker.   (Bridget Yard/CBC - image credit)
Ron Christie, with his wife Irene in 2017, was well known in his community as a clown, musician, volunteer and woodworker. (Bridget Yard/CBC - image credit)

Ron Christie always had a smile on his face.

"He loved to make children smile, people smile. It's contagious. Yeah, it was absolutely beautiful." said Bathurst Mayor Kim Chamberlain.

Christie, 66, of Big River, died from cancer on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Christie was well known in the community as Cou-Cou the Musical Clown until his retirement in 2015.

He was also known as a musician, a volunteer, a skydiver and a woodworker, and had countless hobbies. Christie had his own cable television program called "Ron's Happy Talent Show."

Joel-Holly Buckingham/Facebook
Joel-Holly Buckingham/Facebook

Joel Buckingham, pastor of the North Shore Baptist Church, met Christie in 2009, when Buckingham was a student helping with a vacation bible school.

"Ron was there right in the middle of all the children making balloon animals for the kids, in his element, and I got to know what kind of a guy he was that summer. He definitely had a love for people." he said.

Buckingham said Christie had a difficult life as a child and had dyslexia. Despite that, his zest for life kept him busy.

"He could build anything. You tell him something you needed fixed or something built, he would figure it out and so he built his very own casket, which I thought was so much like Ron to do." he said.

Bridget Yard/CBC
Bridget Yard/CBC

In 2017, Ron Christie shared his story with CBC.

He built a casket for himself and one for his wife.

Irene Christie's coffin is decorated with birds and the schooner Bluenose. Christie's has musical notes and an accordion.

"I wanted something personal, something different," Christie said at the time.

Kim Chamberlain agrees it was in keeping with Christie's personality.

"He loved music and the decoration of what he did, the art work he did with music on his casket, it's beautiful to see. It was made from the heart and it had a special meaning for him and his wife. Let me tell you, it's very particular but I thought it was amazing. I was like 'Wow'." she said.

Joel Buckingham said he spoke to his friend a few days before he passed away.

City of Bathurst
City of Bathurst

"He never seemed to have a bad day even in the days that he was suffering with some pain and different things. He'd always say something funny, he'd always have a joke, he'd always have something to make you smile." he said.

"He never ever wanted to whine about what he was going through. He always wanted to ask you how you were doing and then to make sure that you were having a good day—so that was Ron."

Kim Chamberlain says Christie gave so much to his community, and inspired generations donating his time and his talents.

"You couldn't help but to smile when you saw him and the amount of energy that it must have taken from him but it seemed that it came so naturally . It was so easy for him and people adored him in the area, absolutely adored him and he will be remembered by so many in the community—by so many." she said.

"We will miss him, but we will never forget him."

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