Robert Christopher Root died peacefully at home on April 19, 2020, surrounded with love from his wife, children, brothers and friends, and enveloped in the warmth and encouragement of friends from the communities in which he had lived. Chris was born March 3, 1957 at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, FL. Blonde and ambidextrous, the fourth of six children, Chris learned how to avoid snakes and stinging sea life on the idyllic coastal dunes and in the Atlantic Ocean off of Ormond Beach, FL. The waves, warm off-shore breezes, and pristine sand provided the pure and clean existence in which he in turn taught his siblings the art of kindness and consideration of others. Chris, along with his siblings, proudly attended church at St. James Episcopal Church and attended St. James Episcopal Day School. Nicknames such as Newt, Con Mon, Boogs, Bro Bro, MacGyver and others, didn’t portray Chris’ spirit as did the best moniker for Chris which was Golden Heart.
Chris worked early on at the Daytona Hilton Hotel, Terre Haute First Financial Bank (bank president Donald E. Smith was co-founder of Sumar Racing with Chris’ father), and the Rocky Edge Barbeque Pit House in Indiana. Chris moved to Chicago and worked at Mesirow Financial, Remy Publishing Company and Passport Luxury Travel Magazine, and during this time he was married to Dominique Remy with whom he had three children, Yanne, Vanessa and Mathieu. Over the past 25 years, Chris served on the boards of the Root Organization and the Root Family Foundation in Ormond Beach; and Pioneer Montessori School, the Sage School, and the Sun Club in Ketchum, Idaho. Chris moved to Idaho in 2003, married Tracy Bumpass, and together they had their son, Wyatt.
Within the fellowship of the recovery community, Chris was a beacon of love and hope. On the journey towards finding a Higher Power, which became his quest, Chris developed the spiritual precepts which became the matrix for his soft and loving presence.
Even though Chris lost his father at a young age, he was taught wisdom and judgment from a business perspective but also, and more importantly, was bestowed with benevolence and generosity of heart. Their mother, another Sue (Susan Delight Spear Root), was the role model for the kind and thoughtful, soft soul that Chris exuded his entire life.
Chris was a planner and any event, organization, destination or party would, and did, benefit from his skills. This was mostly because he loved to love and please others. No detail was too small, no sacrifice too great, his work always for family and friends. Community meant endless involvement so others could benefit. Stories, photos shared, slide shows that brought roars of laughter and buckets of tears. He always had time for children of any age. A great storyteller, kids flocked around him. Tex, Bise, Tiffany, and Kula, all smart dogs, protected both him and his family over the years. Chris loved fishing, surfing, photography, camping, and antique collecting (the three monkeys, Tarzan, old National Park memorabilia, Indian arrowheads and Vegas tokens) and was a fun hoarder of cool stuff. Chris loved frequent trips to Jackpot, camping, and working from his secret tent, and cherished the memories derived from an idyllic childhood of road trips and train rides across this beautiful country, often with his parents, and with the siblings in the back of a station wagon or Woodie.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents Chapman Shaw Root and Susan Spear Root. Chris is survived by his wife, Tracy; children Yanne (Shelly), Vanessa, Mathieu and Wyatt; grandson Bob; brother Chapman (Jaime) Root, Bill (Suzanne) Root, John (Judi) Root, and Preston (Lynn) Root; sister Susan Root Graham; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Chris’s ashes will be interred next to his parents in Ormond Beach Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Ormond Beach, Florida. Details on Celebration of Life memorial services will be forthcoming.