Chris Gregory Echsner


Former Columbus resident Chris G. Echsner, 62, died on February 23, 2018 in Pensacola, Florida after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Despite being ill for over 10 years, Chris always maintained his unforgettable personality and sense of humor.

Chris was born December 24, 1955 in Columbus, and attended St. Bartholomew and St. Columba elementary schools and graduated from Columbus North High School in 1974.

He continued his education at Saint Louis University and received a BA in 1978 and JD in 1983.

He became a member of the state bars of Missouri, Ohio and Maryland, and worked as a lawyer in St. Louis and the Washington, D.C. area before moving to Pensacola in 1999.

In 2000, Chris established and founded New Beginnings, Inc. which operated a drug and alcohol addiction recovery program for women until May 2017.

Chris had a passion for serving others. He selflessly operated New Beginnings, Inc. and served as a catalyst in the rehabilitation process for over 1,000 women.

His joy was the success of women who graduated from the program and went on to live productive lives, making meaningful contributions to society.

For his tireless work with New Beginnings, Inc., Chris was honored by the mayor of Pensacola who proclaimed June 29, 2017 as New Beginnings Appreciation Day for Chris G. Echsner.

He was an Eagle Scout.

Chris is survived by his son, Brendon of Reseda, California; parents, Dr. Herman J. Echsner and Virginia B. (Lechleiter) Echsner of Columbus; sister, Mary Moore (Norris) of Apollo Beach, Florida and Columbus, brother, Stephen H. Echsner (Rebecca) of Gulf Breeze, Florida, sisters Julie Gahimer of Greenwood and Amy Shaper of Westfield; partner, Briana Thompson; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and aunts (Thelma Sherman and Joan Echsner).

Chris was preceded in death by his sister, Karen Kemp (Fred).

At his request, no public memorial service will be held, but a private family memorial will follow.

Chris’s family thanks the entire staff and physicians of Sacred Heart Oncology for their wonderful care and treatment of Chris and especially Dr. Thomas Sunnenberg with whom he had a special relationship for over 10 years.