Christopher John Wessman, known as Kit to his family and much of the Pelham community, passed away on September 4, 2019 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 56 years old.
Beloved by all who knew him, he leaves behind his wife of 31 years, Ines, and their three children Katherine (Kate), Steven and Nicholas. He is also survived by his mother Jane; his brother Eric and wife Myo Myo; his sister Victoria (Brooking) and husband William and their three children William, Justin and Morgan; and in-laws Thelma Esteves, Isis Esteves, and Peter Rodriguez, all formerly from Pelham.
Kit moved to Pelham 50 years ago; he attended Colonial School and graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1981. He graduated from Harvard College in 1985 and from CUNY Graduate School in 1998 with a Ph.D in English Literature.
Passionate about poetry and literature and devoted to mentoring his students and inspiring them with love for the written word, his 30 years as an English professor – first at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) and then for 22 years at New Jersey City University – was as much a calling as a career.
Kit was an accomplished amateur cellist who delighted in making and sharing music with friends. Whether part of a large orchestra, an intimate chamber music ensemble, or a spontaneous, informal gathering in someone’s living room, Kit relished every opportunity for musical expression.
Kit’s boundless curiosity made him eternally interested in what the world had to offer – through music, literature, and through exploring other countries, cultures, and foods on his many travels. Throughout his life, and into his last weeks, nothing energized him and put a twinkle in his eye quite like recalling past adventures in various corners of the world.
Among Kit’s many gifts to those who knew him, was his incredible optimism and genuine capacity for joy. He found pleasure in the smallest things – the first bud of spring, a sunset, a line of poetry, a piece of music, a tasty morsel… And he appreciated beauty in people and in the world around him and expressed genuine gratitude for the blessings in his life – even as he faced his illness and mortality.
His life was a blessing to all who knew him – and particularly to his immediate family. A devoted husband and father, Kit’s love for his family knew no bounds and continues to sustain them through the abundant happy memories he leaves behind.
A memorial service celebrating his life has been scheduled on Saturday, November 30th, at 1:00pm at Huguenot Memorial Church at 901 Pelhamdale Avenue in Pelham, with a reception immediately following at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to further EGFR research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.