April is "Donate Life Month", and we honor ...
What is a hero? A hero is a person who is admired for their brave deeds, special strengths, intelligence, courage, and abilities. A hero must be strong, smart, brave, and able to do what’s right no matter what the sacrifice to himself would be. I’d like to introduce our hero, Christopher Tarrant, to you.
Chris was born, raised, and proudly called Western NY home. His mother, from Germany, and his father from Buffalo, raised Chris in a bilingual household where he spoke German fluently, appreciated fully the benefits of home, the meaning of family and solid friendships while learning about the world, cultures & people around him through his local and long distance travels.
He had an ever-present smile and could make anyone’s bad day instantly good through his ability to share that smile, focus on the person he was with, and engage in a conversation that made the recipient feel like the only person in the room. To have met Chris, meant to have found an instant friend.
Chris grew up with an immediate love for sports – specifically hockey. His passion for hockey ran in the family as his father and brother actively played and his grandfather was a member of the Hamilton Tigers. When Buffalo landed the Sabres’ as an NHL team during the league’s expansion in the 70’s, they had an instant and steadfast fan in Chris. In the 80’s, he had the good fortune to become a season ticket holder and was often found talking about the team’s wins or losses, trades and trade deadlines, and general commentary about the sport.
Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College, then securing a master’s degree in Economics from SUNY Buffalo, Chris worked in the banking industry and ended up following in his father’s career footsteps by becoming a Bank Examiner for the NYS Banking Department. Whether at work or play, Chris was generous in sharing his time, his attention, his expertise and his support. He could always be counted on to help whether it was providing support to a friend or family member in need, cleaning up yards after the surprise October storm, or clearing neighbors’ sidewalks of snow. The saying of “a friend in need is a friend indeed” was likely written by someone with Chris in mind!
His greatest love was always family. Outside of all the hockey news and wins, scholarly accomplishments, or promotions in his career, the greatest day in his life was when he became a dad to his daughter, Hannah. When we think about how a hero needs to be strong, Chris had strength in spirit. Chris’ life was always powered by optimism which gave him the strength to carry on no matter what the odds. It is that lesson of his strength of spirit that he has given his daughter, his family and his friends as a gift from his legacy. His brave deed came at a time when none of us expected to lose Chris so soon in his young life.
At the age of 46, he became suddenly ill with pneumonia complicated by community-acquired MRSA and passed away. Through the depths of our grief, Chris’ strength of spirit, bravery, and ability to do what’s right no matter the sacrifice to himself was his gift of life through the donation of his liver. Chris was always and will always be a hero to our family and friends. Because of the generous nature of Chris in life and in death, his legacy of being strong, brave, smart, and self-sacrificing will never fade.
Written by: Renee Tarrant