March 5, 1953 ~ October 17, 2014
Chris Vitti, 61, passed on October 17, 2014 in Redondo Beach, California. Born Christine Jane Mohrlock in Omaha, Nebraska March 5, 1953 to Andreas and Virginia Mohrlock, she attended Gethsemane Lutheran and St. Paul Lutheran grammar schools, and graduated from North High School in 1971. A dance enthusiast from an early age, Chris participated in recitals for the Connie Danielson Dance Studio; during her high school years she worked as Connie's assistant.
Upon graduation Chris attended the University of Utah for two years as a dance major; she transferred to the University of California at Irvine and graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts in 1975. Following her passion for the arts and dance performance, Chris moved to New York City where she continued her dance training at the Martha Graham Studio. In 1981 Chris married Gary Vitti, and the couple relocated to Utah where Chris pursued graduate education, earning a Master of Arts in Dance from the University of Utah in 1983.
Chris moved to Los Angeles with her husband in the fall of 1983. Daughter Rachel was born in 1987 and second daughter Emilia was born in 1991. While the girls were young she taught tap, ballet, and jazz dance classes in Palos Verdes. After a divorce in 1995, Chris returned to college, pursued an elementary school teaching credential, and began a second career at Torrance Elementary School in 1996, one which lasted eighteen years. Her tenure at Torrance El reveals commitment to teaching innovation, individual instruction, curriculum assessment, and professional leadership. She was awarded both the Teacher of the Year and the PTA Volunteer of the Year during her career. Additional graduate education includes a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 1996 from California State, Long Beach and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration in 2005 from California State, Dominguez Hills. Among many accolades as a teacher are district-wide recognition for creating the life-size kapok Learning Tree in her classroom, portraying a gold miner for the school's annual California Days celebrations, and mounting the stage productions Macbeth and The Lion King.
After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2006, Chris continued teaching at Torrance El and committed herself to inspiring health and wellness in the cancer survivor community. In 2009 she became an avid participant in the Los Angeles Pink Dragons, the first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team in California, and served as Team Captain during 2014. She was especially enthusiastic about the dragon boaters' competitions; most recently, the team received exciting news that the LA float would appear in the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Chris's most important role in life was as a Mother, and nothing mattered more than the well-being of her daughters. Her unfailing dedication to them manifested itself in daily interaction--regardless of the busy lives each of them lived. As a role model for patience, kindness, optimism, and tenacity, she demonstrated every day that hard work produced positive results. Her humbleness and generosity are well-known known to all who encountered her.
Chris is survived by her daughter Rachel Vitti Ford and son-in-law Josh Ford of Austin, Texas and daughter Emilia Vitti of Los Angeles, California; brother, Jeffrey Mohrlock of Las Vegas, Nevada, nephews Jeffrey Rosson Mohrlock of Tucson, Arizona and Tyler Lee Mohrlock of Long Beach, California; sister, Nancy Mohrlock Bunker and brother-in-law Keith Bunker of Great Bend, Kansas.
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