MISSOULA — Christopher John Goldade was born in Missoula on a sweltering day on July 12, 1977, and died on a late summer evening on Sept. 6, 2019, in Missoula. The birth and death of this great soul is not nearly as relevant as all the days and nights that he lived to the fullest during this time. Chris had three great loves: his family, his friends, and things that went fast.
Chris spent his childhood in East Missoula with his mother Lavonne and big brother and best friend Jeremy. He attended Mount Jumbo Elementary, Rattlesnake Middle School, and Hellgate High School. Chris was very proud to be an East Missoulian and he and the boys would run from dawn until dusk around the neighborhood first on bicycles, then later, in cars. During these years their lifelong friendships were built.
Chris and his brother spent their summer vacations with their Aunt Lynn and Uncle Dan in Seeley Lake. It was here Chris’s love for fast things took hold. First, at the age of four with rides on Aunt Lynn’s Yamaha Chappy. Then, snowmobile trips to Mt. Henry and Lake Dinah and weekends spent boating on Seeley Lake. Chris’s childhood vacations also took him to Yellowstone Park in the back of a pickup truck, his first limo ride in Vegas, rainy camping trips, and road trips to North Dakota to visit family.
After high school he worked with his dad at Pyramid Lumber in Seeley Lake before moving to Seattle. There he would marry his high school sweetheart and former wife Terri Cheff and have the first of two children, Chase Christopher, born in 2003. Chris was a supervisor at BPB Gypsum during the day, and spent his nights embracing and loving fatherhood. In Seattle he experienced the big city life, rode his snowmobile to the crest of Mt. Saint Helens, drove his truck on the sandy ocean beaches and became a local tour guide for the friends and family that came to visit.
Chris and family returned to Potomac, Montana, and were soon joined by daughter Jenna Ann in 2006. Winters would be spent snowmobiling, snow biking, skiing at Discovery and trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Summers would find Chris with family and friends riding dirt bikes, four wheelers, camping and boating around Montana and enjoying street biking on Montana highways. Just several weeks ago Chris, Jeremy and three of their friends went on an epic four day motorcycle trip through northwestern Montana. With these many adventures Chris provided countless lifelong memories for his children, his family and friends.
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He was employed at Montana Rail Link for the last 15 years as a machinist. Chris had an undeniable work ethic and never left a job unfinished. Outside his day to day job he was a mechanic-fix-anything kind of guy. They say your true passion doesn’t pay well which is especially true in Chris’s case. His best customers were either his son, nephews or neighbor. His attention to detail and meticulous nature were shown clearly in many aspects of his life. He had a contagious smile, a genuine laugh, helpful hands and a huge heart.
Of all the roles Chris had in life, his favorite was being a DAD. You could find Chase and Chris working on dirt bikes, snowmobiles or the boat so they could spend their weekends riding in the mountains, or at St. Anthony Dunes or cruising the lakes. Chase will miss that he won’t get the opportunity to finally beat his dad in a living room wrestling match. Jenna had her dad wrapped around her little finger from the first moment he held her, it was true love. If you ever saw Chris’ toes, they would be manicured and painted by Jenna. Together they loved riding at Pipestone, binge watching the television show ridiculousness, paintings rocks, jamming to music, and swimming off the boat.
Chris is survived by his two children, Chase and Jenna; mother of his children, Terri Cheff; brother Jeremy Goldade (Darla); mother Lavonne Goldade; nieces and nephews, Austin Cheff (Chelsea), Ethan Cheff, Devin Baker (Amber), Derek Baker, Mersaydees Cheff, Destiny Baker, Kayley Olean, Hope Cheff, TJ Olean, Lou Cheff and Sloane McCall; brothers-in-law, Mark Cheff (Heather) and Willie McCall; sisters-in-law, Amanda Cyr (Mike) and Maggie McCall, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers, take your family or friends on a getaway, buy gas for your toys or order pizza for a competitive family game night at home playing Monopoly. He lived a full and happy life, and we are honored to celebrate the dash between the day he entered this world and the day he left it. We encourage you to do the same.
Service will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Garden City Funeral Home. Reception will follow at Mark Cheff Logging Shop, 20880 Hwy 200, Bonner, Montana. A private burial will take place at the Seeley Lake Cemetery.