Steven Christopher Early

June 21, 1985July 30, 2010

While his official name was Steven Christopher Early, everyone knew him as Chris … or, to his closest friends, Earls. His mother loved the name Christopher but also wanted to recognize Chris’ father by using the name Steven. Chris liked his name but said, once he left school and went into business, he would begin to go by the name Steve or Steven. In his mind, it sounded more professional.

Sadly, that day never came. Chris was with friends the night of Saturday, July 17, watching their band perform at Flip Flops, a club in Buckhead, when he decided to return home and get some rest before volunteering to help clean up the Kennesaw State University (KSU) Catholic Center the following morning. On his way home, his vehicle overturned on I-75 at the Delk Road exit and rolled multiple times. He was taken to Grady Hospital where he was treated for 13 days before finally succumbing to his injuries and dying Saturday, July 30. He had recently celebrated his 25th birthday.

Chris had a passion for sports – any sports – but his favorite was basketball. He played on a number of basketball teams growing up, including Pope High School’s team. He originally attended the University of Alabama, majoring in business and communications, but his love of sports caused him to leave Tuscaloosa and return home to enroll at KSU where he was majoring in sports management with minors in coaching and marketing. He was active in the KSU Sports Management Club and followed all Atlanta professional sports teams, but his real love was Georgia Tech sports.

Chris worked part-time for a number of local firms and volunteered with the KSU Catholic Center and Habitat for Humanity but, as part of his passion for sports, Chris spent much of his time working with youth basketball. He coached kids in the YMCA, church leagues, East Marietta youth basketball and, most recently, the Georgia Kings 13-and-under boys AAU team. He also ran a basketball league and served as an official for youth basketball games for a number of years. He had hoped to utilize this experience to become a middle school basketball coach before moving on to the high school ranks.

Chris also loved tennis. He had much success as a youth, playing on teams which won 5 ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) city championships and 5 runners-up trophies. He also won many singles titles in Georgia and North Carolina as a junior player.

More than anything else, however, Chris loved his family. He leaves behind his mother and father, Linda and Steve Early, and his sister Meghan Early, as well as his grandmothers, many aunts and uncles, and numerous cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Knights of Columbus Council 8376, Chris Early Youth Fund. The address is in care of Catholic Church of St. Ann, 4905 Roswell Road, Marietta, GA 30062. The family will be receiving friends and visitors at HM Patterson – Canton Hill Funeral Home this coming Friday, August 6, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, with the funeral mass taking place at the Catholic Church of St. Ann Saturday, August 7, beginning at 10:30 AM. A reception will follow the mass.

H.M. Patterson and Son, Canton Hill Chapel is honored to be serving the family of Mr. Steven "Chris" Early


  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 7, 2010
  • Visitation Friday, August 6, 2010

Steven Christopher Early

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


June 29, 2016

2016 another year...
Hello son we decided to go to Hilton head this year during your birthday....won't do that again. I want to be home and share that day with meg and aunt Nancy. Miss you so very much and continue to hear about how many lives you touched. Horse is getting divorced but has a beautiful daughter... sent flowers to Meghan and US on your birthday,, what a sweetheart. Good choice of a best bud. :) love you and miss you more

June 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Partner

Linda Early

June 18, 2015

Hello Son,

Can't believe that we are approaching the 5 year marker of your passing. Dad, Meg, Aunt Nancy and I are meeting at The Tap tomorrow night to celebrate your birthday as we have done for the past 4 years. We feel it's a wonderful way to remember you at one of your favorite spots. We continue to feel your spirit all around us and can't tell you how good that makes us feel...........we miss you terribly and can't wait until the day when we are all reunited once again.

Love you,

Kathleen Norton

June 25, 2013


Connor and I recently had a beautiful conversation about you, your family and our wonderful times together in Atlanta and, although long ago, you will be in our hearts forever. I have never entered a McDonald's that I didn't recall you standing at the counter sweetly saying, "May I please have a "'fish hamburger'".

You and your family are in my prayers..................

June 24, 2013

Happy be lated Birthday partner. Looking forward to our match together.

June 21, 2013

Another Happy Birthday, Godson! The boys and I said some special prayers for you this morning, and then Matthew led us in a rendition of the Happy Birthday Song. Did you hear us? It wasn't very good, but the thought was there. Now that Billie is back from work, we'll see if we can hit the high notes for you! We miss you, son.

Much Love…Uncle Dave and Family

June 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Godson. Your are always in my thoughts and prayers and I miss you very much. Until we meet again, dear one, know how much you are loved.

See you in the future.
Aunt Nancy

June 21, 2013

Happy birthday dear nephew! I think of you often and wish that you were here to visit me in my Nashville digs.


Linda Early

June 21, 2013

Happy Birthday my son!
Dad, Aunt Nancy and I attended Mass this morning at 6:30 for you and what a wonderful way to start the day. I miss you terribly and you would think that life gets easier, but there remains a hole in my heart that never gets filled.
Love you dearly and cant' wait for the day when we are ALL reunited in God's kingdom.

Garry Riddle

July 2, 2012

Miss you Buddy