A parade of 200 motorcycles accompanied the call of Superbike rider Chrissy Rouse before a touching and emotional funeral service.
Bikes were lined up in the school parking lot just before 11 a.m. as Chrissy’s coffin was taken to the gymnasium for the start of service. Chrissy from BornofieldCounty Durham, died October 6, after suffering a crash while racing in Donington Park days earlier.
Chrissy was a student and teacher at the colleges of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation in Gateshead. He was a student at Emmanuel College from joining as a seventh grader in 2007 until he left in 2014 after completing A-levels in Economics, Mathematics and Physics.
In September 2019, he became a mathematics teacher at Grace College where he worked until Easter 2022 when he left to pursue his dream of Superbikes.
Mourners were invited to wear a “splash of pink” as a way to celebrate Chrissy’s life.
Emmanuel College Principal, Matthew Waterfield, began with an opening statement in which he said, “I can’t tell you how sad we are that we lost one of our former best students” and hope everyone is “inspired by Chrissy’s life and a memory to seize every opportunity to live life to the fullest.”
After some words from friends and colleagues of Chrissy, Luke Gregory and Kevin Bender who described him as someone who “puts others first” and “a cycling math teacher who knows no bounds to his talent”, it was Chrissy’s immediate family, his mother Karen, dad Martin, and sisters Katie and Grace to salute them.
Younger sister Grace, in particular, who was only 16 years old, spoke eloquently of her grief and how much her older brother meant for her.
She said, “I told Chrissy when he passed away that I was going to speak at his funeral and make him proud, so I’m here. I’ve struggled to think about what I’m going to say today since the day he died because everyone already knows how wonderful he is. Everyone, even those who haven’t met him before, know how great he was.” Cool.
“Chrissy was my older brother, but not just any big brother. All my life, I’ve lived under the same roof until just a few months ago, we didn’t have a single argument, not even a crossword.
“Instead, being ten years older than me, he took on the kind of father figure where my father had worked away most of my life to fund Chrissy’s racing dreams. He looked for me, and I looked up to him. From being young, I wanted to do everything with Chrissy.” I was his little shadow.”
Gavin Clark, an economics teacher and close personal friend of Chrissy spoke of how he was “so impressed with the way Chrissy lived his life, the ‘joy of life’ and that he ‘crammed so much into his years’.”
This was followed by Dom Herbertson, Chrissy’s best friend who told a humorous tale about a tragic trip to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that showed Chrissy’s unique sense of humor. The proceedings were concluded with a prayer and hymn before the Chrissy family departed for a more intimate personal service and a private burial.
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