Christopher Wren

Obituary of Christopher Wren

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Christopher Braxton Wren,a litigation attorney living in West Windsor, N.J. passed away on October 1, 2014 after suffering a fatal brain aneurism. He was 44 years old. Chris, as he liked to be called, traveled the globe as a child with his parents, Christopher Sale Wren, a retired foreign correspondent for the New York Times and Jaqueline Braxton Wren, an Oxford-educated children's librarian.His sister, Celia Wren, covers drama and the arts for the Washington Post. Their lives overseas with their their cat, Henrietta,was featured in the national best-seller "The Cat Who Covered the World"). Chris attended Pomona College in California and graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois. Summers spent at Camp Lanakila in Vermont and volunteering with the Student Conservation Association fostered Chris' enduring love of the great outdoors and passion for nature preservation. Taking a break from studies, he spent a year in Africa, training as a safari guide and accompanying his father covering political unrest on that continent, taking field photos that appeared in the New York Times. He worked after college for the National Park Service as a law enforcement ranger, emergency medical technician and firefighter in the major Wenatchee forest fire in Washington state, where he was credited with saving an injured colleague's life on the fireline. As a law enforcement ranger, he rescued stranded hikers, chased speeders, arrested poachers and brought in wanted fugitives. Switching gears, he enrolled in Vermont Law School. During the summer, he monitored the inaugural elections in Bosnia. He launched his legal career as a commercial litigator at Hogan & Hartson LLP in New York (now Hogan Lovells). His pro bono service included helping political asylum seekers avoid deportation. Bristol Myers-Squibb Co. eventually snagged him away, and there he flourished, rising to be an Assistant General Counsel, handling complex disputes around the world out of pharmaceutical firm's Plainsboro, NJ campus. In 2005, Chris and his family relocated to their current home in West Windsor. Once his children were born, his true passion in life was revealed: fatherhood. A self-taught gourmet cook, he relished feeding friends and family such delicacies as lamb chops and truffle mashed potatoes. His Thanksgiving turkeys were his annual masterpieces. Recently, he particularly enjoyed family kayaking trips on the D & R Canal. Chris died surrounded by his loving family after being taken off a week of life support at the Penn University Hospital in Philadelphia. He is survived by his widow, Lisa Paye Wren, also a local attorney, his daughters, Alexandra (7) and Madeleine (10), his mother and father, his sister Celia Wren, a drama and arts critic for the Washington Post, and other aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws. Viewing hours are 11:30 am to 3:30 pm at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home on Vandeventer Avenue in Princeton, NJ on Tuesday, October 7. His funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Mercer Street in Princeton at 4 pm the same day, where mourners are expected from as far as Africa. In lieu of any gifts, please send donations to the Princeton Battlefield Society and Home Front, two local charities he enjoyed supporting, or an environmental cause of your choice. Chris's kidney and other tissue were donated to his ailing cousin through Gift of Life in Philadelphia, an outstanding organization also deserving of support.
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