Born in Monessen, Pennslyvania in 1946, Chris Malcolm Wendelyn lead a colorful life as a taxicab driver, petrified wood digger, teacher, counselor, principal, golfer, President of the Beggar’s Banquet, hiker, poet, canoeist, drummer, lover, woodworker, farmer husband, father and raconteaur of lengthy stories. His free spirit helped guide thousands of students and comforted a wide variety of friends.
After graduating from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, he taught at Calvert County High School in Maryland before working his way west. Upon sending a night at the Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, he decided that Washington was the state for him. He counseled students at North Kitsap Middle School until he started Spectrum Community School in 1986 where he was able to fully implement his ideas of education. At Spectrum students discovered an alternative curriculum in which they could actively explore their own identities. Instead of dropping out of school, many students thrived and pursued advanced education. Before retiring from education, Chris taught in the PAL program within the North Kitsap School District.
He perfomed in several music groups, most notably Never Been to Utah and Atoke. He participated in drum circles and taught drumming classes. He wrote songs about zebras, was an excellent cook, read constantly, spoke Chinese, grew terrific vegetables and found time to practice shooting foul shots.
Chris’s proudest achievements were sharing this life with his wife, Elena Wendelyn, and his son, Jesse Wendelyn.