About Chris MacLellan, ‘The Bow-Tie-Guy.”
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and residing in Deerfield Beach Florida with my partner Richard Schiffer; I am is the youngest of six children which includes JoAnn: Merrille: Mary: Jim: and Gerri. I am proud to be the ‘F.U.’ (aka: Favorite Uncle) to 24 nieces and nephews and a gob of great nieces and nephews!
My father, J. Stuart MacLellan was born and raised Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada and my mother, Annabel Richarme was born and raised New Orléans, LA.; they met in the late 30′s in St. Louis and were married for over 50 years before passing on to eternal life in the mid 1980′s.
Currently studying Leadership and Communication at Gonzaga University, I have a diverse background in Social Work, Ministry, Senior Care, Arts Management and Professional Sports. I earned a B.A. Degree in Child Family and Community Service from Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois and have studied Theology at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. I have always enjoyed the dialogue that comes with Higher Education.
My passion centers around advocacy in all the things that I do. When we are entrusted to the care of others, there is no better honor. Leaders do not seek responsibility, leaders are drawn to responsibility when they realize how their talents, skills and abilities can make a difference. I have been fortunate enough to serve on the advisory committee for the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center and Metro SAGE of St. Louis. Two organizations that are making a difference in the lives of LGBT seniors and their caregivers.
I am a proponent of a holistic approach to good health and spirituality. Theologically trained, I view religion and spirituality as separate. Church communities are healthy when they promote diversity, dignity and acceptance. Down to earth and pragmatic, I am able to see different viewpoints, work within a consensus while building bridges instead of roadblocks.
You might ask why ”The Purple Jacket“
“The Purple Jacket“ signifies a time in my life that was… and still is…”a life changing event.” We have all had life changing events. Those events often forged from a life crisis are the types of events that fundamentally change our outlook on life and cause us to pause and reflect on our true values. At the time, these life changing event are or can be extremely traumatic. However, these events test our values and often have a cathartic or cleansing effect whereby we emerge from these events stronger and more focused on our values.
My life changing event came when I became a caregiver for my close friend Fr. Richard Orlando. My experiences as a caregiver for Fr. Richard Orlando caused me to review and reconsider what it means to live and die with dignity. The dedicated staff at the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care definitely eased the pain associated my life changing event by empowering Fr. Richard Orlando to live his last days with great humor, peace and dignity. Just as we cannot do life alone, we cannot do death alone either.
Five Things you might not know about me…
In December of 2006 I had the opportunity to appear on the television program Spotlight on Seniors in Fort Lauderdale; hosted by Edith Lederberg we discussed the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center and caring for my friend, Father Orlando. Along with my good friend, Helen Ferrari, it was truly a wonderful experience to share with the viewers.
Proud to serve as President of the Gateway Men’s Chorus in St. Louis for two years where I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people while being apart of a community that fosters change and awareness to LGBT issues and diversity.
I have been an avid hockey fan of the St. Louis Blues since 1967!
I wear bow-ties because several years ago when I weighed close to 300 lbs, my long ties always seem to get in the way. So I switched to bow-ties which allowed to me realize that my long tie was not the problem! Having lost over 100 lbs, I continue to wear the bow-tie as a reminder of that time in my life when I was obese and unhappy. I also think bow-ties are more fashionable, too!
I now live in Deerfield Beach, Florida with my partner Richard Schiffer. Richard was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in August of 2011. ’The Purple Jacket” is dedicated to Richard, (a.ka. ’The Little One) to Father Orlando and to all caregivers and their survivors. ”We just can’t do it alone!”
- Can You Be a Healthy Caregiver? (thepurplejacket.com)
- The Weight of the Matter (thepurplejacket.com)
- The Weight of the Matter (caregiving.com)
- Pathway for Aging Helps Families With Aging Parents (fox2now.com)