Christopher Monroe Nevin was born in Buffalo, NY, on March 25, 1970, to Mary Louise (Continelli) and the late Frederick Nevin. Chris was baptized at Harris Hill Methodist Church in Clarence, NY, and confirmed at Columbine United Church in Littleton, CO. He graduated from Chatfield High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in 1992.
After graduating from college, Chris served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa from 1992 to 1994. While there, he met and fell in love with Brenda Hand, another volunteer who he would later marry. From 1994 to 1996, Chris and Brenda lived in the Czech Republic, and taught English as a foreign language. They returned to the United States, settling in St. Paul, in 1996, and Chris continued to devote himself to helping others through his work as the volunteer coordinator at the Institute for New Americans (which later became Lincoln International Charter School) in Minneapolis. Chris worked with the school serving as the Director of Volunteer Programs until 2010, and board chair from 2007-2010.
On July 31, 1999, Chris and Brenda married in Northfield on the Hand family farm. Their first daughter, Sophia Marie, was born in 1999, their second daughter, Natalie Rose, was born in 2002, and their son, Miles Brian, was born in 2007. After the birth of their second daughter, Chris and Brenda moved from St. Paul to Northfield so that they could raise their children in a smaller community and be near family.
In 2011, Chris began working for Carleton College, as a building supervisor at a recreation center and for Lutheran Social Services as a direct support professional. While working toward his graduate degree, he volunteered as a Citizenship and ESL teacher and was a board member at Somali Community Services in Faribault, in addition to serving as a facilitator of the Faribault Alliance for Inclusion, Resourcefulness and Equity. In 2013, Chris earned a master’s of public affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. After completing his degree, Chris was employed by Lutheran Social Services as a designated coordinator.
In addition to his passion for helping refugees and immigrants, Chris enjoyed hiking in Colorado, long walks through the Arboretum at Carleton College, spirited conversations with family and friends, and music. However, nothing was more important to Chris than his beloved wife, Brenda, and their three children, Sophia, Natalie, and Miles. Chris loved to cook for his family, baked his family’s birthday cakes, and made many of his children’s Halloween costumes.
Chris, who was known to all as possessing a kind and gentle soul, passed away unexpectedly on April 5, 2014, in Northfield.
Chris is survived by his wife Brenda and their three children: Sophia, Natalie, and Miles; his mother, Mary Louise (Continelli) Nevin; his brother and sister-in-law, Brian Nevin and Tracy Bodden; his mother-in-law and his father-in-law, Darlene (Messner) Hand and Roger Hand; his brother-in-law, Dwight Hand; and his three sisters-in law: Shari (Hand) Cotten, Kim Hand, and Tami Hand. Chris was preceded in death by his father, Frederick Nevin, and his sister, Lisa Guthrie.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM Saturday, May 24, 2014, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield with Rev. Pam Fickenscher officiating. Music will be provided by John Ferguson and Michele Knutson. Visitation will be 3-7PM Friday, May 23, 2014, at St. John’s Lutheran Church and will continue at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family are preferred.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com