Remembering Chris Amick Schlytter | November 14, 2008 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Column - November 14, 2008

Remembering Chris Amick Schlytter

by Jeb Bing

Last Saturday, Kelly Amick Hilton did what every loving daughter does for her mother on her birthday, especially a benchmark year such as her 60th. Hilton, a mother of three herself, and her husband Bryan, hosted a get-together for family and friends, something she's done every year since her mother Christine Amick Schlytter died on Christmas Day in 2004. It was a light-hearted affair where the houseful of people talked about grandma, mother and good friend Chris, sharing stories and passing around their favorite photos. Everyone shared in the German chocolate cake Kelly had made from her mother's favorite recipe and the warm chocolate chip cookies that were another Chris Amick treat. Kelly's son Travis, 14, an eighth-grader at Harvest Park Middle School, was close to his grandmother and had his own special stories to tell. The younger children, Jackson, 6, and Hunter, just 18 months old, have only the photos as memories, and great admiration for their grandma's cooking skills. Kelly's brother Sam Amick, a reporter for the Sacramento Bee, was at the party with his wife Emily and their son Ryder. So was Kimberly Amick, Kelly's sister, who is now an attorney.

Like so many in Pleasanton, I knew Chris and was at her funeral in the packed sanctuary at Trinity Lutheran Church a few days after Christmas. Many well-known business, school, nonprofit organization and political leaders filled the pews. Chris had battled brain cancer for 18 months before her death, but only a few weeks before that had turned over the association management company that she owned and left to Kimberly to operate. A business that served homeowners associations, Chris prided herself on providing entry-level jobs and training for young women as well as older women who were returning to the workforce after raising their families.

"Chris was probably one of the most compassionate, caring and fun-loving individuals in our community," said her close friend and City Councilwoman Cindy McGovern. "She was involved in activities at Walnut Grove Elementary School, with parent groups, and at one time was on the board of the PPIE (Pleasanton Partnerships in Education) Foundation." Another friend, Kay Huff, said Chris was also part of the "race track girls," a group of women who participate each year in Huff's special Ladies Day at the Races during the county fair. She was also active in scores of social and charity events in Pleasanton.

Son Sam said the family moved to Pleasanton in 1979 and that his mother started the association management business in the early 1990s. Through that organization, she knew members of homeowners associations throughout Pleasanton and joined them often for their regular business meetings and at social functions. In the end, it was amazing to see such a large number of friends who became a daily support group for Chris in her final months.

Those at last Saturday night's birthday celebration said that what made Christine Amick Schlytter so special is that she included everybody in her life, was someone to turn to if there was ever a problem and was a spirited optimist who loved her job, the people she served and the community. For her children who attended Walnut Grove Elementary, Harvest Park and Amador Valley High schools, she was just as involved in classroom, sports and extracurricular programs, always there to raise money and support academic and social fundraisers. Kelly summed up the thoughts of family and friends: "My mother was a central part of all of our lives and we're grateful we had her as long as we did."



Posted by travis chubb (grandson), a resident of Birdland
on Dec 10, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Thank you Mr. Bing for this great article on my grandmother. I miss her greatly and this article clearly shows that everyone else does too. Thank you. I am good friends with your grandson Jordan at Harvest Park I am actually the leader of his secret service because he is the president. He has an amazing grandfather.

Posted by eileen Shalk, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 12, 2008 at 10:21 am

I was another person fortunate enough to know and love your Mom. I still think of her and miss her greatly.

Posted by Gloria Sinibaldi, a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I was so sad to hear that Chris passed away. We were neighbors and friends for many years. We belonged to the same babysitting co-op many years ago when Sam was only a toddler and the girls were in grade school. My sons, John and Greg ten Bosch were classmates with Kim, Kelly and Sam. I'm glad to know that they are doing well. My best wishes to the family. Chris was a great lady.

Posted by Sam Amick, a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm

I would like to echo the wiser-than-his-years sentiments of my nephew Travis, Mr. Bing. It means a lot to all of us that you have taken the time to honor my mom's memory. She will always be missed.