The Family Ski Meisters has lost a long-time member and friend. On Thursday, December 15th Serge Cryvoff passed with his wife, Helen, and daughter Cathy by his side.
Serge was not just an incredible skier who made it look easy with his glorious turns, or an expert sailor as a member of the Chelsea Yacht Club, but so much more. Even though these were two of Serge’s major passions, he had so many talents and accomplishments.
He was an avid music lover and musician. He played the organ in church for many years and the piano as well. He was a wonderful carpenter. He made beautiful furniture, cabinets, shelving and did all sorts of home improvements. Our current members, Phyllis and Eric Rieder were great friends with Serge and Helen for over 50 years. The Rieders met Helen and Serge back in 1968, which is the year the Family Ski Meisters formed. Serge and Eric played in a golf league for years when they were young men working for Texaco. According to another great friend, Jim Hyland, he and Serge joined the Family Ski Meisters around the same time in the late 1990’s. Longtime member and past President, Kathy Ferreira, was President when Serge joined in 1997/98 and remembers welcoming him to the club.
Serge went on every long-distance trip with FSM. Many remember him well from our trip to Courmayeur, Italy. Serge was one of the infamous six “Ski Big Dogs” that skied the most famous off-piste descent in the world, the Vallee Blanche. Serge and Charlie Okraski, who passed in early 2021, were the oldest of the six but they were both champs skiing down over 10,000 vertical feet, only to find they had to climb back up a steep ridge to finish the descent down to Chamonix. An experience they will always remember: a bright sunny day on beautiful snow. Serge was smiling the whole way, well except for maybe the climb up the ridge in ski boots…. The six were: Ron Dombroski, Denis O’Meara, Charlie Traver, Kurt Steubing, Charlie Okraski and of course the most experienced skier, Serge himself. If you see any of the four, that are still FSM members, ask them about this day.
But Serge was so much more than all his skills and expertise. He was a true gentleman, dedicated and loving family man, husband, and father. His heart and soul were bigger than his life’s accomplishments and anyone that met him saw that. We will remember him as a mentor to all. As a long-time member and a skier who loved being with him, Ron Dombroski says, “He was a great skier, but it was even better to get to know him through our conversations”. On Serge’s last big trip, to Ortisei, Italy, Ron, his wife Bonnie and Serge had the pleasure of taking a lovely horse drawn sleigh ride in the countryside. This trip to the Dolomites was spectacular as we had 55 FSM members help make that memory with Serge.
There are so many stories about Serge. I am sure many of our legacy members mentioned above and the Severs, Coiteuxes, Carrie Kimble, Kulchocks, Travers, Simcos, Quinns, Foxes, Carrols, Denis O’Meara/Joanne Hack and others can share more. When you meet any of our legacy FSM members, ask them for a story about Serge. We all can learn so much from our memories of him.
May you RIP dear friend. And whenever we ski, sail, or even talk with family and friends, we will keep all our memories of you close to our hearts.
Our deepest sympathy to his family.
The Family Ski Meisters