A longtime champion of homeschooling rights around the globe, Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel and Director of State and International Relations Christopher J. Klicka was called home by his Lord on October 12, 2009, at age 48, following a 15-year battle with multiple sclerosis. An attorney, spokesman, lobbyist, and homeschooling husband and father, Chris is survived by his wife, Tracy, their seven children (ages 11–21), and his parents, Ardath and George Klicka.
“Chris was both a people person and a goal person. He cared deeply about people, but was also driven to always do more!” says HSLDA President J. Michael Smith. “He was the most determined person I ever met in my life. Even with all the things he accomplished every day at HSLDA, he continually wanted to tackle new challenges and serve homeschoolers in more and better ways. He was so focused on the homeschooling world, but he was also very much focused on his family and dedicated to raising his children.”
An integral part of Home School Legal Defense Association’s staff for 24 years, Chris was HSLDA’s first full-time employee, first executive director, and first full-time attorney. He believed passionately that homeschooling was the best educational method for children and demonstrated that passion in every area of his life.
Chris and Tracy homeschooled all seven of their children. He traveled across the United States (and around the world) defending families’ right to homeschool and advocating homeschooling. He participated in countless radio interviews on homeschooling issues. He wrote five books on homeschooling, penned numerous articles, and had two more books in progress when he passed away. He lobbied state legislators, U.S. senators, and foreign diplomats to support homeschooling. He sought greater freedom for homeschooling parents and students in every area—from local school districts to sports associations, college admissions departments, and military recruitment requirements. He sought to educate the educators, truant officers, policemen, judges, and even social workers about the benefits and legality of homeschooling.
Even deeper than his passion for homeschooling was his deep love for his Lord. We may never know how many people Chris inspired to homeschool or continue homeschooling, or how many people he inspired to draw near to his Lord.
“Chris’s accomplishments as a lawyer for homeschooling are clear and of value that cannot be overstated. He was one of the most important pioneers of our movement,” says HSLDA Chairman Mike Farris. “He believed that this truly is God’s way to teach children to love God. He believed it deeply. His conviction was infectious. He was a man of single-hearted devotion that I have never, ever seen equaled. The passion that Chris felt for the mission to which God called him never, ever, ever, ever dimmed, even slightly.”
HSLDA deeply appreciates and honors Chris’s life and his dedicated contribution to our organization and to homeschooling. Our staff will miss him more than we can express, and we are praying with and for his family. The homeschooling movement has lost one of its greatest advocates and friends, but Chris leaves an incredible legacy of freedom and awareness of homeschooling to the thousands of homeschooled students whose parents have made The Right Choice.
”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.“ II Timothy 4:7-8
”Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.“ Revelation 2:10