Robert Christopher Pepper

May 24, 1959 » September 2, 2023

Robert Christopher “Chris” Pepper (64) of Reddick, Florida, passed away peacefully at Cates Hospice House in Ocala, Florida on September 2, 2023 after a 14-month struggle with small cell lung cancer and the side effects of treatment. His beloved wife Karen was by his side.

Chris was born on May 24, 1959 to Richard and Lois Pepper, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. The family relocated to Brandon, Florida when Chris was 3 years of age. After graduating from Brandon Senior High School in June, 1977, Chris went on to study Computer Engineering at Tampa Technical Institute. Following his studies, Chris was hired by IBM in 1982 and resided in Boca Raton, Florida, with his first wife Kathy (Miller). Their two eldest sons, Michael Christopher (also Chris) and Ryan were both born in Boca Raton. Several years later, IBM transferred Chris to Raleigh, NC where their third son Case was born. While working full-time and raising his family, Chris went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at NC State University in Economics and another in Business Management. In early 2012 Chris relocated to Reddick, FL to spend his remaining years with his wife Karen. Following 38 years of service with IBM, Chris retired from full-time employment in June of 2020.

As someone who was at his best when he was active outdoors in nature, Chris spent much of his free time hiking, scuba diving, kayaking in local springs, traveling to new places, and taking long walks in nearby parks. Chris stayed involved in his young sons’ lives by being a Boy Scout leader, soccer coach, and frequently taking them skiing, hiking and camping. In his later years, Chris and his camera became inseparable and his interest in photography rapidly grew from having an “eye” for a good picture, to perfecting his technical skills, and then finally into creating truly beautiful works of art. In addition to underwater photography, his favorite “subjects” were landscapes and wildlife, with a particular love for North Carolina waterfalls. Before his illness, he starting learning about astrophotography (night sky) and was working on a plan to teach others about photography in a more formal way. See: It was hard not to instantly like Chris. His warm smile, twinkling blue eyes, fun-loving nature, and accepting demeanor placed people at ease. A complex man with simple values, Chris deeply loved his family and close friends, anything related to being outdoors, sharing a laugh. His honesty and integrity as a person was a rare quality not often seen. Yet, he was quite introspective and creative. He was always working something out mentally or thinking about ways to improve a situation or most recently, to grow his photography skills.

Chris is predeceased by his father, Richard L. Pepper, Sr. He is survived by his mother, Lois Pepper of Franklin, NC; his loving wife Karen Courchaine of Reddick, FL; his brother and sister-in-law Richard and Jennifer of Robbinsville, NC; his sons Chris, Ryan, and Case all of Raleigh, NC; his stepdaughter Danielle and granddaughter Laila of Summerville, SC; as well as his nephew John, and niece, Paulette; his beloved dogs Kolton and Lucy; numerous cousins and dear friends. Family and friends are welcome to attend a celebration of life which will be held for Chris at the Friends of the Greenway Park, Little Tennessee River Greenway, Tassee Shelter, Franklin, NC on October 14, 2023 from 1:30-3:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, should you feel so inclined, the family requests donation to the LUNGevity Foundation (, P. O. Box 754, Chicago, IL 60890, 312-407-6100.

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