The Chris Coursey Story

Growing up as the son of a military officer, Chris Coursey attended six different schools by the time he graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado. When he came to Santa Rosa at the age of 25, he had lived in 12 cities and five states.

In Santa Rosa Chris found a community, a place to sink his roots, make his home and raise a family. He established himself as a journalistic voice that spoke with insight and passion for a better city, a more inclusive place where the best interests of all residents are considered ahead of any special interests. 

Chris at Typewriter

Before becoming an award-winning columnist, Chris was a beat reporter for the Press Democrat

Chris understands the value of hard work, and the struggles of ordinary families and business people. He had his first job at age 14, and paid his tuition at the University of Northern Colorado by working on the school newspaper. After he earned his journalism degree, Chris helped his father establish and manage a retail store in Golden, Colorado. 

As a daily journalist, first in Colorado Springs and later at the Press Democrat, he covered crime, government and politics, and chronicled major events. In 1999, he began an award-winning news column that focused on the issues and concerns of Sonoma County residents.

Chris helped achieve funding for the SMART train while he was their Community Relations Manager

In 2007, Chris left the paper to work on the SMART train, a project he had strongly supported as a columnist. As the Community Relations Manager for the rail agency, he helped gain a 70-percent majority for SMART in the 2008 election.

Chris moved to Santa Rosa 33 years ago. He and his wife, Pam Haskell had two children, Colleen and Alex. When the couple divorced in 1989, Chris became a single dad.  He turned to his community to help in meeting the many demands of raising children on his own. It was during those years that Chris began to feel that Santa Rosa was not just a “hometown”, it was family.


Chris and Theresa Coursey with their kids: Colleen and Alex Coursey and Diana and Andrew Gilbert.

Chris married Theresa Gilbert in 1993, and the couple blended their two families under the roof of a bigger home in Montgomery Village. Friends called them the new “Brady Bunch”.

Theresa was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and died of that disease in 2010. Chris moved to a condominium in the Junior College neighborhood, and established a small freelance writing and public relations business, working for clients in Sonoma County and producing a regular blog for the Press Democrat.