Published: Mar 11, 2012 12:03 AM
Modified: Mar 11, 2012 12:03 AM
James Peter Chris, owner of Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe and the Tankersley Building on Franklin Street, died peacefully at home on March 2, 2012. Known to his family and friends as "Jimmy," he was 71 years old. Jimmy was born in Winston-Salem in 1940. From early childhood he was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church in Winston-Salem where he was later married to Linda Karen Crutchfield in August of 1968. He attended St. Leo's Catholic Elementary School and graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School in 1959. Jimmy was a starter on the varsity 1958 R.J. Reynolds undefeated football team, playing on the Demons offensive and defensive lines. Under Coach Shirley "Red" Wilson, the team tied Wilson High School for the state AAA Championship. He then attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. Afterwards, Jimmy enlisted in the Army and served in South Korea. Upon returning from his military service in South Korea, he earned an Associate Degree in Food Service Management from Miami-Dade Junior College. He earned a B.A. in General Business Management from Florida Atlantic University.
For several years, Jimmy worked for two large Atlanta food facilities in management. In 1972, he came to Chapel Hill to oversee the renovation of the Tankersley Building on East Franklin Street, owned by the Chris Family since 1940. Completing an architectural design for two restaurants, Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe and P.J.'s, he invited a college friend, Al Thomas, to be a business partner. Jimmy became sole owner of "Ye Olde" after Mr. Thomas' death. In his spare time, Jimmy was an avid tennis player and a member of the Chapel Hill Country Club where in 1979 he received the award of most improved tennis player by Tennis Magazine. Following retirement from the day-to-day operation of the breakfast restaurant, he continued to oversee the business with Daisy Maness as general manager and a very dedicated staff. In his retirement, he enjoyed spending time at his beach home, playing cards with friends, and enjoying the company of his wife, family, and grandchildren. Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.
He was pre-deceased by his parents, Anna S. and Peter J. Chris. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Linda and two daughters, Nicole Harvey (husband, Billy) and Melissa Peng (husband, Tom) and two grandchildren, Daniel James Harvey and Maslyn Win Peng. He is survived by beloved cousins, Penny and Soula, and the rest of the Chris-Sapos family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make contributions in memory of Jimmy to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center N.C. Cancer Hospital of Chapel Hill, NC or UNC Hospice, P.O. Box 1077, Pittsboro, NC 27312 to honor the extraordinary kindness and professionalism of their staffs. A memorial service for Jimmy was held at 2pm on Tuesday, March 6 at the Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, where he had been an active member since the 1970s. Condolences may be expressed at CremationSocietyNC.com
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