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Christopher ‘Chris’ William Leonard Bruinink

November 13, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that after a long, courageous battle with colon cancer, Christopher William Leonard Bruinink, with his family by his side, peacefully passed away in his home in Mount Brydges, Ontario on Monday, November 13, 2023. Chris was born in London, Ontario on April 6, 1972 to his loving parents Willemn Bruinink and Janny Bruinink (née Sanders). Chris is survived and will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Christy Bruinink (née Klingenberg), and their children Miranda Bruinink-Powell (Ryan), Jordan (Avery), Carson and Nicole. His most special fur baby, Sofie, will miss him dearly. His siblings will miss all of the amazing gatherings and adventures they had with him, Tanya Payne (Mike), Angie Pellatt (Adam), Nathan Klingenberg and Kim Hutchinson (Jeff), along with his father-in-law Gerrit Klingenberg (Usana), and mother-in-law, Jo Klingenberg. He was deeply loved by all of his nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Chris had a multitude of people in his personal life and work life at the London Fire Department that he called his friend, which was very evident in his daily life. He loved the outdoors, especially his yearly fishing trip up north with the boys, or overnight hiking in Algonquin Park. He was a loving, devoted and passionate husband, Dad, son, uncle, friend and firefighter, and always made his family the first priority each and every day. He was all about rejecting the negative, embracing the positive, and most importantly finding joy and peaceful resolutions in everything he did.

Chris is predeceased by his Opa, Casey Sanders; Oma, Ann Sanders; Opa, Willem Bruinink; Oma, Dirkje Bruinink; and his step-Grandma, Auntie Madeline.

In October 1998, Captain Chris Bruinink started his career in the fire service as a volunteer firefighter on St. Joseph Island and joined Toronto Fire Service in November 1999. On January 29, 2001, Chris fulfilled his dream of becoming a firefighter for London Fire Department.

Chris always focused on people and had a passion for ensuring the health and safety of personnel and always willing to assist when needed. Chris was recently promoted to Captain, was co-chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee for many years, was a backup communications (9-1-1) operator, served a term as a member of the LPFFA executive, was an integral member of the Hazmat Team, and was always willing to take on any other projects or committee work when asked.

Chris was recently awarded the 25-year exemplary service medal for his dedication. His unwavering commitment, loyalty, and passion for his work alongside his professionalism, integrity and strong work ethic has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the London Fire Department and the community that he served. His positive attitude was contagious, and offered a smile and a hello for everyone.

Chris was an invaluable asset to the London Fire Department, incredible mentor, and role model to many. He was instrumental in many workplace health and safety initiatives and went above and beyond in everything he did. Chris faced many challenges and overcame obstacles as he adapted to the ever changing landscape of the fire service throughout his career, always with a focus on people.

We would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Blakely and team at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; Dr. Breadner at London Regional Cancer Program; and to our amazing home care nurse Stephanie, who was our rock and ray of sunshine during our most difficult times.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Forest City Community Church, 3725 Bostwick Road, London, where a full honours funeral will be conducted on Thursday, November 23, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. A livestream of service will be available for those unable to attend in person. To join the Facebook Livestream for Chris Bruinink’s Funeral Service, visit the link below and a live video will commence at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, November 23rd, 2023.

The reception will take place afterwards at the Royal Canadian Legion – Branch 501, 7097 Kilbourne Road, London, ON N6P 1K5.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the London Health Sciences Foundation – Cancer Program or FNIH – Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Bill, Jane, Christy and family... We are so sorry for the loss of such an young and inspiring man of God. May the Lord of all comfort be your strength in the night, and may the rich and treasured memories of your beloved Christopher be a joy to your soul always. Peggy and family

~ Peggy M

I was privileged to work with Chris for many years. He excelled at everything he did and was a giving and caring man. Cancer took him away many years too soon and it has been proven his work as a firefighter exposed him to cancer related danger. My sincere condolences go out to his family and all the firefighters and friends who cared about him and learned from his example. His memory will live on long after his passing.

~ Rick Jefferson

I was lucky enough to be able to work with Chris for a few years at HQ. I have a lot of fond memories of that time. He was such a positive influence on me when I was first hired on the LFD. His mentoring and words of advice have always stuck with me. Such an amazing person. Always gushing about Christy and the kids. He will be deeply, deeply missed.

~ Mike Lawence

Sincere condolences for all of Chris's family and friends. Our hearts are with you.

~ Scott Macdonald

Dear Jane and Family, sincere condolences for your loss. May he rest in peace. Patti Fitzmaurice

~ Patti Fitzmaurice

I am so sorry to hear about Chris passing. He was so Brave to go through all the pain he suffered. May He Rest In Peace. May His Family Know That You Are All In My Thoughts And Prayers. Audrey and Family.

~ Audrey Loughrin

My condolences Christy and family. I had the pleasure of working with Chris at headquarters when you two first started dating. We've met once or twice. I was Chris's Capt. at the time. He was a hard worker and a great asset to the job. He made my job a lot easier, because I could trust him with any task I asked of him. He was also a great cook. He will be missed. Mac

~ Michael R McIntyre

To family and friends Condolences Walt and Belinda Jakimczuk

~ Walter Jakimczuk

I still cannot believe this amazing man has left us. I didn’t know him well. He was a plasma donor at Canadian Blood Services and I had the pleasure of screening him prior to his donation. I worked with his beautiful wife for many years at CBS. Just a breath of fresh air and a very competent worker. I so admire the journey they had to endure . Always positive. Chris you fought hard .You will be missed. No one will ever fill your boots

~ Terri Farrington

From our extended family to the Bruinink Family, our heartfelt condolences for the loss of Chris. Thank you for your service Chris. May you be at peace watching over loved ones. Central Division Platoon D Kitchener

~ John Arscott

Dearest Christy, Thank you for sharing Chris’s journey with us. The courage you both displayed and the love you have for each other has left such an indelible mark on me and no doubt so many others. My heart is with you and all who love Chris. May Chris rest peacefully in paradise. xo Vikki

~ Vikki McKinlay

Very sad to hear about Chris’s passing. I feel very enriched to have worked with Chris, both on the trucks and as Co-Chairs of the health and safety committee. It was great to catch up last year when you visited on your trip out west. Our condolences to Christy and the rest of family.

~ Brian and Cindy George

Absolutely amazing person and someone that everyone could strive to be more like. We are heart broken that cancer took Chris from this life way too early. We send much love to Chris's family, friends and sisters & brothers in Fire Fighting. So thankful for knowing him and hearing some of his great stories. Sending biggest hugs, Theresa, Brandon, Jason & Sarah

~ The Allott Family

A donation has been made to LHSC Cancer Program.

~ Andrew & Debra Kaye (& family) Joice

Chris always had a friendly and caring “good morning “ when we would see each other at HQ. His passion for health and safety for fire inspectors/investigators was so appreciated! My heart is hurting and Mike and I are sending love to Christy and the children.

~ Dianne Lebold

Services for Christopher ‘Chris’ William Leonard Bruinink

Visitation will be held at:
Forest City Community Church
3725 Bostwick Road,
London, Ontario

November 22, 2023 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Visitation will be held at:
Forest City Community Church
3725 Bostwick Road,
London, Ontario

November 22, 2023 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Full Honours Funeral will be held at:
Forest City Community Church
3725 Bostwick Road,
London, Ontario

November 23, 2023 1:00 pm

Reception will be held at:
Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 501
7097 Kilbourne Road,
London, Ontario

November 23, 2023 3:00 pm

Additional Service information

A livestream of service will be available for those unable to attend in person. To join the Facebook Livestream for Chris Bruinink’s Funeral Service, visit the link below and a live video will commence at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, November 23rd, 2023.

Make a donation

If you wish to make a donation, please consider one of the charities listed below. You will be taken to the charity's website to process your payment.

London Health Sciences Foundation – Cancer Program

FNIH - Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge in Bethesda, Maryland

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