- Chris Sheldon
- Graduation Year:
Memories of Chris Sheldon
Fond Memories of Chris Sheldon by Bob Gorby
On Thursday, 3/29/2018, the Highlander Class of 1967 lost an inspirational force in Chris Sheldon, to a fatal heart attack. What a guy!
He made me a better person, and I'll bet many others can make the same claim. Among other things, he introduced me to (a) school newspaper work on our Highland Fling and UCSD's Triton Times; (b) squash at UCSD (we were comparably lousy, but we got our exercise!); and (c) "dueling turntables" (Alice Cooper's first album + Disney's Chilling Sounds from the Haunted Mansion, played simultaneously: unforgettable!).
He graduated 3rd in our class of 575; and soared still higher afterwards. He served as a Superior Court Judge in southeastern California; and he was superior in many other ways as well.
I can't name a sport he lettered in; nor can I name a sport at which he was not a formidable opponent. If you suited-up against him, you either brought your A-game, or you lost. At racquetball, his cleverly-placed, unerring side-wall/front-wall kill shots were unreturnable. Put him in a Go-Kart, and he became a kamikaze daredevil. I can vividly picture Chris careening his go-cart up-and-over the 2.5-foot-high rounded barrier in the middle of the looped track, blasting down at full speed (not very fast) into then-girlfriend Nancy's go-cart, banging her cart sideways and slowing it down. I half-expected to call an ambulance, but she just laughed and sped after him in hopes of getting even. (Obviously this was not the first time the "Sheldon shuffle" had been perpetrated on this track.)
He embodied all the virtues listed in the boy-scout pledge: kind, generous, loyal, insightful, and an excellent and witty raconteur.
His "Vocational Goals" term-paper in freshman English/Social Studies ignited his lifelong interest in herpetology. Once, when a Texas Highway Patrolman pulled him over, Chris advised the officer not to touch the closed sack he had on his back seat. Sensing contraband, the suspicious officer picked it up and opened it. "Yowie!" he howled, "there's a live snake in there!" I can just picture that mischievous Sheldon grin, often accompanied by his trademark toothpick, lighting up his face. Chris' philosophy on such adverse moments: "At least I got a good story out of it!"
If you want some examples of his incisive wit, then sometime when we're face-to-face, just ask me about the car he drove at Helix; or his favorite fancy dessert.
Those who knew him, and all that he represented, are diminished unless we carry-on with what he held dear: our highest aspirations. We'll miss him.
Some thoughts from the first few classmates to hear about our loss:
Such a nice guy (Cathy Scott)
What a loss to all who knew him (Pat Fougeron Langpap)
Great classmate (Nan DeChant)
Brilliant, kind, funny (Michele West Chadwick)
He was a true warrior and Highlander in every sense of the word. He was a highly respected judge in the San Bernardino area. It was a privilege to have known him. He will be truly missed. (Mark Brown)
[To recap, Chris continues to inspire us to] Live each day to the fullest! (Dave Harper)
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