Chris Cross, who was well-known as an artist and co-owner at Tattoo HQ in Chesterfield, passed away peacefully at his home in Dronfield aged just 50.
His funeral took place last week with a coffin painted with graffiti in tribute to Chris’ art, which had brought joy to so many.
Chris’ sister, Gill Harris, said: “Although we were restricted to 30 people at the funeral we have had so many messages of love and support from all of his friends, we really appreciate it.
“Drew Lilleker at Harold Lilleker Funeral Directors was a real help and went above and beyond to make everything we wanted possible, especially our request to have his long-term friend and business partner, Brenden Jones graffiti the coffin.”
Gill said her brother will be missed by friends, family and ‘the many people who enjoyed seeing his artistic creations’.
“The art work he lovingly created amazed and brought joy to so many people,” Gill said.
“Apart from his art, Chris enjoyed many hobbies including shooting, roller skating, sculpting and of course his collection of trainers and boy's toys!"
When he was unable to work during the first coronavirus lockdown last spring, Chris raised money for the NHS with a series of sketched portraits, including one of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Chris told us at the time that his love of art, and the fact he has probably drawn something every day of his life for 25 years, prompted him to keep his skills up to scratch and provide some welcome cheer to other people during the crisis.
The Captain Tom portrait was raffled and raised £639 for the NHS and Ashgate Hospicecare.
Chris said that if he ‘could make just one person smile’ on each day it would have all been worth it – but at one stage he checked his Facebook messages and saw 43 people were requesting a portrait.
After completing 63 drawings, and spending 324 hours sketching, Chris said he was pleased to have ‘to spread a little happiness in these terrible times’.