Remembering Chris Gradoville: An Exceptional Mentor
On September 30th, 2021, Chris Gradoville, Director of Baseball Operations at Creighton University and a former Big, was fatally wounded in Omaha, Nebraska.
Chris was an upstanding community member, family man, and an amazing mentor. He was always there for his Little Brother, Charlie, in a way that guided him to gain more confidence in himself and his future. Kristie Christoff, BBBS Match Support Specialist, recalls that “Chris taught Charlie everything from how to shave to how to look people in the eye when speaking to them. Charlie played the violin and loved to go to the symphony. Therefore, every chance they got Chris took Charlie to see the Spokane Symphony.” Chris was there for Charlie and gave his all to helping him realize his potential. Charlie has said that having Chris as his Big Brother has changed his life and he now sees how he has a “pretty cool looking future.”
Chris not only positively impacted Charlie’s life, but he also strived to help Charlie’s family, including Charlie’s mother, Wendy. Wendy has expressed that her life and her children’s lives “have improved a whole lot because Chris cared so much and wanted to help us through our challenges.” Chris was such an outstanding mentor; he was recognized as our Big Brother of the Year in 2016.
There is no doubt that our community has suffered a tremendous loss with Chris’ passing. It may feel as if there is nothing we can do, but there is. We can follow in Chris’ footsteps of looking out for this community and being great mentors to those around us. We must remember that life is beautiful and sometimes fleeting. We must be there for the ones we love while we are around.
Too often in this world we see senseless acts of cruelty; we must combat those acts with kindness so all of us can gain more confidence in our own futures and build each other up. We miss Chris. We can all do our part to remember him by carrying out his legacy of genuine kindness and commitment to serving others.