WEST BARNSTABLE, MASS.—Christopher Louis Ehring, a former full-time resident of Irvington, died on May 8, 2020, of metastatic penile cancer at home in West Barnstable, Mass., surrounded by family, friends and his “best friend,” Coco, his 18-month-old bichon frise. He waged a valiant fight, but in the end, only 11 weeks after his initial diagnosis, succumbed to this very rare and aggressive illness.
Born on March 22, 1947, in Flushing, N.Y., to William Ehring and the former Edna Burrows, he grew up in West Caldwell, N.J., where he attended James Caldwell High School. He went on to attend Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1969.
One of his first jobs out of college was as an assistant to Albert Grossman, the manager for many musical artists, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Peter, Paul and Mary. He shortly thereafter worked for Warner Brothers Records in Los Angeles as a tour manager and later as road manager for Iggy and the Stooges’ “Raw Power” tour. He moved back to NYC to work for Peter Rudge, manager for many artists, among others, The Rolling Stones and The Who.
He left the music business in the mid-1980s to pursue sailing, another passion of his and was hired as the manager of the NY Sailing School in City Island, The Bronx. It is here and during this part of his life that he met his future bride through her brother, David McSweeney, whom he hired at only age 16 as a sailing instructor.
In 1988, he sailed Don, his J24 from The Bronx to the cleaner waters of the east end of Long Island and settled in Springs, a hamlet of East Hampton. He tried his hand as a yacht broker at Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, unfortunately at the same time Congress passed the luxury tax bill. Needless to say he quickly got out of sales and became the manager of what was then Wing’s Point Marina on Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton.
On October 6, 1990, he married the former Kinnet Ann McSweeney, of Bronxville, N.Y., at Christ Church. A reception followed at the Larchmont Yacht Club, where it just so happened that one of the many regattas the club hosted was taking place. A few guests commented on how nice a touch it was to include a cannon going off during our cocktail hour! We didn’t make them any the wiser and let them believe it was part of the reception!
In the mid-1990s, Chris became a volunteer at LTV, East Hampton’s public access television station. Within about a year he was its executive director, having been hired by Frazer Dougherty, LTV’s founder. He produced and anchored, among many others, a marvelous little show called “Arf, Arf” to promote pet adoption with the Animal Rescue Fund of East Hampton. His intro was Patti Page’s recording of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window.” After the show aired, he would always say that now he knows how Johnny Carson felt after a guest appearance by Jim Fowler on The Tonight Show!
In 2000, during Y2K, he retired from LTV and with his wife stepped aboard The Last Saloon, his Blackfin sport fishing boat to sail “the ditch” from East Hampton to Key West and back, stopping along the way at The Tides Inn in Irvington to celebrate Mother’s Day with his wife’s family. Three years later he and his wife moved to Irvington, where he was very active with Grace Episcopal Church, Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club, and the Rappahannock River Yacht Club, where his Cape Dory Typhoon, Cricket, participated in the Spring and Fall regattas, and the biennial Ty Nationals. He was a superb racing sailor, particularly at the start, and used to time the 5 minute starting sequence to twice playing Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Unfortunately, during his Ty era, he was stuck with his wife as crew and as a result didn’t perform as well as he did during his J24 days!
Chris quickly realized that Virginia was too hot and humid in August and would rent a house for the month in Maine or Cape Cod. In 2013, after the rental from hell, he decided to buy a house in West Barnstable and within three years lived there full time. It was there in the cool crisp mornings, he fell in love with gardening, tending to his prize garlic and strawberry patches. He loved to sail his catboat, Lucky Stars in Barnstable Harbor and walk the southern shore of Sandy Neck, where he would also love driving his Jeep on the off-road trails.
He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years; his children from his first marriage to the former Carolyn Coombs, who predeceased him last June; daughter, Chelsea Mullen (Tony) of Charleston, S.C.; and son, Evan Ehring (Michelle) of Seattle, Wash., his four grandchildren, Hailey and William Mullen, and Penelope and Genevieve Ehring; his sister, Elisabeth Brook and her partner, Nancy Perman of Williamsburg, Mass.; and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
His brother George Ehring of British Columbia, Canada, died at the end of February.
Since Chris was such a special guy, we will hold two memorial services and celebrations of his life. One will take place at Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock, and the other, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Barnstable. Because of COVID-19, the dates have not yet been determined.
Please check Chris or Kinnet’s Facebook page for updated information. You can also check the site CaringBridge at: http://caringbridge.org/visit/chrisehring. Donations are very welcome and can be made to “My Giving Page: A Cure for Penile Cancer” by going to the link: http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/chrisehring.
Thank you for loving Chris.