Christopher Charles Stanley
Born April 1, 1995
Lost in the Mighty Mississippi April 25, 2017
Found May 4, 2017
Official date of death May 4, 2017
Christopher Charles Stanley was born on April 1, 1995, to adoring parents Melissa Melnick and Thomas Stanley. He was baptized on Mother’s Day, May 14, 1995, and named Child of God. Christopher is survived by his always loving parents and his little brother Austin Stanley. He is also survived by grandmothers Sharon Melnick and Faye Melnick, grandfather Charles (Chuck) Stanley, aunts and uncles Bridgit Melnick, Diana and Chad Collignon, Chad and Kristin Melnick, Bill and Quinn Stanley, Susan and Michael Gardner, and Jay and Karen Stanley, along with many, many cousins, second cousins, and great aunts and uncles. He is also survived by many, many dear and beloved friends. Christopher was preceded in death by his grandfather David Melnick and his grandmother Joann Stanley.
Chris attended Park Spanish Immersion, St. Louis Park Junior High School, St. Louis Park High School, and was set to finish his senior year at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences with a degree in Neurobiology and minors in Sustainability and Spanish. His diploma will be conferred on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Chris was astonished at all that he was learning and looked forward to using his studies in some kind of related research.
Chris came into this world with force and passion and he left it in the same way. Chris’s many talents and interests included writing poetry, composing music, singing and playing guitar, bass and piano, biking, dancing, meditation, yoga, gardening, jamming with his friends, eating Mexican food, traveling and hanging out with friends. He was always open with his affection, love and compassion for those around him and for the world in which we live. He volunteered with MPIRG, a student organization at the University of Minnesota. He was part of the Mindfulness Club and meditated daily. Chris was also part of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. He participated in the Climate March in New York City in 2014 after which he decided to become a vegetarian. He was known to eat any vegetarian leftover from others’ plates. He participated in marches for Black Lives Matter, $15 minimum wage and other causes for justice and equality. Chris continued to learn more and more about his place in this world and was walking with others for a just society.
Chris had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala, Mexico and Canada and loved his time in all of these countries. We took many family road trips together to Yellowstone, Ohio, Wisconsin, Chicago, and other places. He also enjoyed trips with his Central Lutheran Youth Group to Camp Amnicon, New Jersey, New Orleans and Montana. Chris enjoyed working last summer for Wilderness Inquiry as a guide and his love for the outdoors was enhanced by his trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Voyageurs National Park, Glacier National Park and his many trips leading school kids and families in the Minneapolis Area.
Chris has left us with a beautiful legacy that was conveyed through his huge smile and strong hugs. We are blessed to have journals full of his poetry, thoughts, calculations and drawings. His love for God’s creation, for his communities at school, church and in the neighborhood were apparent in the way he lived his life. Chris was a person who lived his life every single day to the best of his ability. He smiled, laughed and loved big. Chris will be missed by all who knew him and will forever be a shining light to his family and friends.
Chris had been planning to bike the length of the Mississippi River in August after he graduated and led some groups with Wilderness Inquiry. In honor of his memory, we are planning a Bike Trip for August, 2018. Start training now and join us next year!
A Memorial Service will be held for Chris on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Central Lutheran Church, 333 South 12th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404. The service will begin at 4:00 p.m. with Visitation beginning at 3:00 p.m. There will be a reception following the service with light hors d’oeuvres and a time for sharing.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials to the family to be used for Austin’s education and to establish a foundation in Chris’s name with funds allocated for projects focused on sustainability.
Chris’s family thanks you for the deep compassion and love shown to Chris and to the family since Chris’s disappearance, as he was found, and as we now prepare to lay him to rest. We wish you peace and love and light and life.