We are telling you with greatest sorrow that our dear friend Christian Kettner has passed away this Saturday morning. Even though he had been battling stomach cancer, this news came as a complete surprise to all of us who knew him as one of the most energetic persons around. He was determined and braved the struggle for as long as he could but alas his time had arrived. We are deeply saddened by his passing and our hearts go out to his wife Denise Broughton and their two sons Cosmo and Miles. Nothing at all can make up for the loss, but the community that surrounded Christian will no doubt rise to the obligation in sharing the burden.
Thank you for visiting this fundraiser page for Christian. You were probably linked here because you were either a friend, a collegue or maybe one of the many, many people that knew Christian from behind the Trader Joe’s Demo Counter. Chances are you have chatted with him while grabbing a coffee and a bite, and got some great food advice along with a good story.
Christian joined the Trader Joe’s Family first in Cary nearly 9 years ago and then in Raleigh, NC, and he had been a virtual tour de force from day one: always on the go, full of positive and seemingly bottomless energy and always with a big, infectious smile on his face. And he knew about food! Growing it, preparing it, pairing it, he would always have an idea for something you haven’t even thought of before. If you’ve ever talked to him, you know how passionate Christian was about anything he engaged in, about living life and most importantly about his family.
His wife Denise was a constant reference in his conversations and he couldn’t have been a prouder dad when talking about his boys Cosmo and Miles. And there is Pike, of course, the beautiful English Bull Terrier that came to join their family a year ago when Denise’s brother passed.
Christian’s two speeds, drive and overdrive, made it hard for anyone to keep his pace, but his greatest talent was his natural ability to connect with virtually anyone he met. He affected many people’s lives with his kindness and consideration and his unreserved willingness to lend a helping hand. In short, Christian was the epitomy of a good guy! And now, the good guy’s family needs our support!
You may have heard when Christian fell ill. What started as a feeling of discomfort less than a couple of short months ago grew into the scariest news of all, a cancer diagnosis. Most of us wondered about his absence at the store and figured a vacation combined with a change in schedule must be the reason why our paths haven’t crossed. The news of his illness came as a shock to all of us. How can someone so full of life catch such a bad break? There is no real answer, of course, and nothing anyone of us could have done to change the path, but there certainly is a way for us to show that we care.
Originally this page was meant to help out with medical bills and relieve some of the strain that comes with losing half of the houshold income - working had not been an option for Christian since his diagnosis and Denise’s time spent to care for her husband and her family left an even bigger financial void. Now that the loss has taken on permanence, bigger obstacles have to be overcome.
Denise, Cosmo and Miles are so very fortunate and grateful for all the support that is already surrounding them; the compassion, empathy and encouragement they receive are precious and priceless. But imagine yourself in their shoes, experiencing such grief, such anguish and sadness, imagine the shock, uncertainty and distress, and then imagine having to worry about money. Imagine the burden.
The Christian Kettner’s Family Fund was created in the hope to lift that burden. Let’s give Denise, Cosmo, Miles and Pike the freedom to grief their loss, preserve Christian’s memory and legacy and make the most of every day.
WE MISS YOU!!!