Chris Korpi
  • 53 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 22, 1961
  • Date of passing: Nov 8, 2014
Let the memory of Chris' passion for life be with us forever.

This memorial site was created in memory of our friend, colleague and loved one, Chris Korpi, 53, born on January 22, 1961. He will never be forgotten and he will be missed every moment of every day. 

Information on all memorial services will be updated here:

A memorial will be held on Sunday, December 7th at Laguna Methodist Church in Laguna Beach on Wesley Drive (across from the Montage) at 1pm. 

An additional memorial service will be held on Tuesday, December 9th at Pechanga Resort and Casino, Eagle's Nest Ballroom from 5pm-6:30pm. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Bill Prestridge on 22nd January 2016

You were a wonderful human being; we are all in our debt.
We think of what you did for our school district every day; We will never forget you.
Bill and Anne Prestridge"

This tribute was added by Bill Prestridge on 22nd January 2016

You were a wonderful human being; we are all in our debt.
We think of what you did for our school district every day; We will never forget you.
Bill and Anne Prestridge"

This tribute was added by sandi frear on 22nd January 2016

"Happy Birthday my forever friend Chris! I often wonder what your thoughts would be about the state of the world right now. Being such a loving and peaceful person, I can only believe it would affect you deeply. Wish you were here so we could have one of our talks. You always have a way of making people feel better about themselves! Have a big piece of cake and celebrate with the angels! I love and miss you Chris....."

This tribute was added by Kevin Parker on 22nd January 2016

"Hi Chris,

Happy Birthday!  I am hoping you and Cheri are upstairs laughing at our feeble attempts to negotiate our time on this planet.  I miss you.  You always had an encouraging word for everyone and truly believed we all mattered.  Your work here has suffered a little with your passing but it is to be expected; no one could be expected to show the passion and commitment to the causes you championed because the belief came from you.  I find less and less truly committed people by the day and it serves to make me miss you even more.  Certainly people are committed but to their own selfish ends.  You always showed me the best could be found in nearly everyone.  The world is a little darker and a little more cynical since you left.  Say hi to all the good people and pray for the rest of us if you feel the urge.

Your friend Kev"

This tribute was added by Fran Sdao on 8th November 2015

"Miss you every single day.  Am always asking "what would Chris do?""

This tribute was added by Elena Greene on 8th November 2015

"I had lunch with Victor and Patrick today, the day that marks 365 days since you left all of us. The sun was shining and the view was beautiful, the laughter plenty, as we sat in fellowship in your name. You are remembered today and every day, Chris."

This tribute was added by LB Johnson on 8th November 2015

"Time has flown by! I still remember the wonderful services at Laguna Methodist Church for Chris and the words spoken about him that day...a day does not go by without something reminding me of Chris.  Each time I walk into a casino for work  it brings back memories of Chris and it also reminds me of my sister Cherie Mitchell who was big part of my soul also.  So much fun they both were... The good times we had together over the years.  I know that a piece of my own soul has gone with them both.  It brings a constant reminder that life is too short to waste it on nothing and listing to bull… I say- have fun and live hard because our time is just around the corner. Chris & Cherie has touched a lot of people’s hearts so they will always remain alive to me every day in memory and in spirit."

This tribute was added by sandi frear on 8th November 2015

"Hi Chris...can't believe it's been a year since you left us. I think about you all the time and wish I could see that smile again! Thanks to you I was able to get those geodes for my grandkids. Wish you could have have been there to do the dig!  I believe you are the Guardian Angel for all who knew and loved you! Miss you and thank you for your love and friendship"

This tribute was added by Ovais Khan on 16th March 2015

"Mr. Korpi, you were the best teacher I ever had! I'm happy that I got the opportunity to meet you and attend your classes. You made class enjoyable and the best part was you. It was so surprising to run into you recently and I'm glad we got together. I'm so happy that you were in my life, you are a great man. I hope to see you on the other side! Take care Mr. Korpi!"

This tribute was added by Garrett Stolle on 22nd January 2015

"I miss you bud.  Happy Birthday.  I think about you when I do so many things:  going to the beach, driving thru Laguna, looking at rock formations, talking to our mutual friends, etc."

This tribute was added by sandi frear on 22nd January 2015

"Happy Birthday Chris!! I haven't been able to delete you from my contacts on my phone, because I keep hoping for one of your phone calls! We had so many good talks. You always made me feel more hopeful!! I believe you are the guardian angel to all who knew you and loved you! I miss and love you so much! You were always my angel...."

This tribute was added by Keri Smith on 22nd January 2015

"Chris, I'm eternally grateful that you were born on this day 54 years ago and that God blessed me with your incredible, life changing friendship and unconditional love!! You brought so much light, hope, love, motivation and inspiration to my life and still do more than ever!! I wish more than anything in the world that I could give you the biggest hug and kiss today, but I can't and that's okay because I will be able to again soon when I see you in heaven!! Until then I will always carry you with me and hold you very close to my heart!! As you know not a day goes by that I don't think about you or talk to you, I feel so fortunate and blessed because I get to feel you all around me always! There is no doubt in my mind that you are one of my angels and are guiding me to stay on the right path walking hand in hand with God, I can't thank you enough for that!!! My life is magical and you play a huge role in that! You taught me so much on how to be the best human being possible and each day I aspire to be just like you, I can honestly say I am a better person today because of you and will continue to evolve in a positive direction as a result of your legacy!! I love you beyond words and miss your smile, hugs, voice and beautiful shining face more than you will ever know!!! Happy Birthday my forever best friend, hero and Angel!! xoxoxo"

This tribute was added by LB Johnson on 22nd January 2015

"Happy Birthday Chris...   I know you do not drink so I am drinking one for you!


This tribute was added by Bobby Jones on 22nd January 2015


Happy Birthday my friend. I still think about you everyday. I am sure you are celebrating your special day with the angels.
Love and miss you buddy,
Bobby Jones"

This tribute was added by Michael J. Broderick on 29th December 2014

"I met Chris back in the wild-west days of gaming in Southern California. I was a young marketing executive with the Spa and he was a rep for Sodak. He was friendly, accepting, and genuinely excited about the prospect of class III gaming in California. I could tell you exciting and funny stories of running around Las Vegas with Chris, Michael Bloomfield and other nefarious characters during my first G2E, but some things are best not repeated! I think he invented the term “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, But I will always be grateful for his professionalism, his sympathetic ear, and the fact that he introduced me to In-N-Out Burger…Rest well my friend, and thank you for your contributions to our industry. Your early passing weighs heavy on our hearts."

This tribute was added by Michael Garrow on 21st December 2014

"Chris was a wonderful guy that I've known since he was with Sodak/IGT.  This summer, our family jumped at the chance to join him in South Dakota for a wonderful tour of the area.  It is the best vacation I have ever been on with my family.  Chris was the best host and he taught us about the local history and took us to several of the significant tribal sites, caves, Crazy Horse, etc as he knew the area quite well having attended University and worked summers there.  He also shared his passion for geology and fossil hunting with our children.  Chris instantly connected with our children and they just loved his passion for the outdoors and everything fun.  He drove the kids around in his red convertible and he was just like a kid himself when searching for fossils with them and showing them all the rocks he had discovered.  Chris and I had the opportunity to talk about religion and he shared that he believed in God and the teachings of the Bible.  Chris was called to the spirit world a bit early.  I thank him for all he taught me and was glad I was able to see him again at G2E and thank him for the wonderful time we spent with him.  His last words to me were thanking me for letting Viz Explorer know what a great guy they had.  Thank you Chris, until we meet again!"

This tribute was added by J. Blue Sheppard on 7th December 2014

"We met 25 years ago in a confrontation, and we became friends instantly because of your direct and truthful spirit, and when you spoke, you meant it, you made no excuses, you owned your every word and deed with a rare honesty that I will forever honor. You were the only person that I trusted to assist me at my booth at the Tucson Show. You phoned me from Costa Rica two months ago, and came with a group to my shop just last month, you were beaming with an evangelical light and our friendship was sealed eternally in our last handshake and goodbye... How can we know it will be the last time we see each other in this world? I am proud to know you Chris, you were a good and truthful soul, your skewed grin and graciousness uplifted all who knew you. God bless this brother and carry him home in honor. Pilamaya."

This tribute was added by Virginia Candy on 7th December 2014

"It has taken me to the day of your memorial to write, my friend.  I am in denial that you are gone.  You were an angel on Earth, fighting for goodness.  We met as neighbors years ago, and have always loved bumping into you on our walks or at meetings where you were able to get people to open their eyes.  Can't imagine how sorely your best friend in the world, Pat, misses your energy.  We will meet again.  With love and respect...Ginny"

This tribute was added by James Lacy on 4th December 2014

"Was shocked and saddened to learn of Chris' untimely death.  At my last visit with him, early this year, Chris was tanned and fit and just back from a vacation.  He seemed very healthy.  We emailed each other and enjoyed talking about public affairs.  Chris was always cheerful and gracious with me, and a well meaning and well mannered person.  He could think "out of the box" and I appreciated that most about him.  He is missed."

This tribute was added by Arthur Sanchez on 3rd December 2014

"I hated Chris Korpi. In my little world Chris Korpi was the devil incarnate. I met Chris through an awkward political situation. From that point on I hated him and threatened him every chance I got. I even approached him as he was seated at a school board meeting. I told him that I would cause him great bodily harm if I ever caught him alone. It caused quite a stir at the meeting and I was asked to leave by security after a few other confrontations with friends of Chris who had heard my threat. Throughout this whole time that I was harassing Chris, he conducted himself as a perfect gentlemen. He never lifted a hand towards me, never made a confrontational statement to me and never sought me out to harass me. I took this as a sign of weakness. After all, his sexual preference was always a characteristic of weakness. It was a badge of honor and distinction in my circles to hate and despise Chris and I was the best. The reason I was the best is because I was a Christian and Chris embodied everything un-Christian. Could anyone be so totally wrong. Chris uncovered the real spirit of Christ in me by simply accepting and loving me. He simply possessed the undeniable nature of Christ in his heart. I was introduced to Chris by a mutual friend who stated Chris wanted to make amends for any wrongs he had done me. I told her I would meet with him and hear what he had to say. I thought this would give me a chance to harass him again. We met, he apologized for any wrong doing he may have done and we continued to talk. The more we talked the more I realized he wasn't the demon everyone in my circles made him out to be. I realized that Chris was the real Christian. He had the real blood of Christ flowing thru him by his love for his fellow man and his desire to help everyone he met fulfill their life. I was embarrassed, guilty and truly ashamed to call myself a Christian. I was truly the Prodigal Son. From that day on for the next 2 to 3 years, Chris and I became  the best of friends. We spoke, talked or texted on a daily basis. We were there for each other during some tough times. The love we shared as friends and brothers in Christ could not be imagined by anyone who knew us. I loved Chris.

I knew Christ had brought him into my life to help redeem me. That's what Chris does and he doesn't even know it. He helped me find my salvation. How can you ever thank someone for that? You cant. All you can do is love him for it. Most of you are not aware of the bond Chris and I had. Most of you don't even know me, but I would venture to say that most of you had that special bond that only Chris could bring. Chris, you will always be with me. Love you Chris."

This tribute was added by Vivienne Whitmore on 25th November 2014

"So sorry to hear that Chris passed away he was much too young.  He touched many lives.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.  God bless you."

This tribute was added by Andrew Cardno on 23rd November 2014

"The tribute in LA Times:"

This tribute was added by Bill Prestridge on 21st November 2014

"Chris - I never dreamed that I would spend hundreds of hours collecting signatures in front of supermarkets, but you inspired my wife and me to do the right thing.  You, my friend, helped our teachers, students and community to reach for the stars.  Without your leadership, charm, wit and determination we would not have succeeded.  Thank you for what you taught us all.  We will miss you, but you are forever in our hearts and minds."

This tribute was added by Karin Foster on 20th November 2014

"Chris - it is rare to meet a person who offers the energy and enthusiasm you gave so freely.  You inspired all of us who worked with you during a difficult time in our school.  Your passion, enthusiasm, and optimism kept us going.  We will miss your light in our world."

This tribute was added by Erin Kutnick on 20th November 2014

"Chris....I just wish I could hear you laugh one more time! Your energy was boundless, your enthusiasm contagious, your spirit incredible.  You were an inspiration to us all.  You did things we though could not be done and you made it look easy.  I still see your smile.  You will be missed by, Erin"

This tribute was added by Paul Faaola on 19th November 2014

"Going to miss him-- He had sensitivity to native people in general.-- jest for life-- not everyday is promised my friends. Make everyday count. GO Native. Mr. P. Faaola-- ClearRock Ventures SF, CA

Manuia lou malaga Chris-- talofae i si ou u'o--*cries* my friend"

This tribute was added by allison carracino on 19th November 2014

"You are so missed!  It was such a God thing when we met on our Africa mission trip!   To then find out we lived so close and could continue our friendship in the states.  You made an amazing impact on this world. From our whole family,  we luv u. !!!!!"

This tribute was added by Brian Seveland on 19th November 2014

"The news of Chris' passing came as a shock... for the past two years, he's done nothing but improve himself, while giving back to those around him. I've known Chris for 20+ years... met him through politics, then again though programs... and he's been a friend, a client and a mentor.

In particular, Chris reignited my interest in geology and gave me a deeper understanding of Native American culture and issues -- in particular, those of the Lakota Sioux. Chris' many contributions are memorialized on this wall, so I won't replicate... but I know that I've followed many of his footsteps on my journey, and I will miss having him as a mentor and a friend. Rest in Peace..."

This tribute was added by Kevin Parker on 18th November 2014


You are killing me!  Now they will never let me in Caesars!  I enjoyed our lunches and the times we spent over the years.  In life we have few true friends and I have now lost both Cheri and now you...  Well, I'm certain we will meet again. Remember, It's not 'goodbye', its see you soon'

Take care, give my best to the Angels and put in a good word for me with the Big Man..

I only wish that we told people how we felt about them prior to them leaving us.  Thank you for doing that for Andrea and me.

I will miss you until we meet again!


This tribute was added by Kevin McDonald on 18th November 2014

"I'm still in shock about the passing of Chris.  He was a great guy with a huge heart. RIP My Friend"

This tribute was added by Art Scott on 15th November 2014

"I have fond memories of Chris from his involvement with Evangelicals Concerned.   He was always frank, honesty and kind to me.   I owned a resume business for 20 years and he was one of my first clients.   I respect the fact that Chris and Patrick stood up for issues so all people could one day enjoy equal presence and respect towards church and worshiping God.  

May God comfort all his friends and family.   May he rest in peace."

This tribute was added by kim tveter on 13th November 2014

"I will truly miss your warm smile!  Always a smile, always a hug!   So glad I got the chance to know you.  I was looking forward to "africa" one day and I will think of you when I do make it!!! xoxo"

This tribute was added by George Levine on 13th November 2014

"Our most heartfelt sympathies to Chris' family, friends and colleagues."

This tribute was added by Carolyn Uhler on 13th November 2014

"Chris all to sudden is your passing. Thank you for guidance you have provided me.  Your ashes will bless the Badlands Black Hills my friend in Indian Country. Til we meet again."

This tribute was added by Chris Gallardo on 13th November 2014

""Chris, I can only describe the love and friendship you gave with one word, PRICELESS"  Thank you for everything.  I will miss you buddy.  Keep an eye on us from above my friend and tug a belt loop from time to time. I will know its you buddy.  Take your place among the warriors in the heavens, who in their great company, will welcome you with open arms. That I am certain. You've earned it.  Until we meet again, much love.  Hágoónee' Shinaai  

Chris Gallardo"

This tribute was added by Joe Osterloh on 13th November 2014

"I also remember Chris from the early days of Indian gaming in California. Chris was kind enough to take us on a tour of the black hills of South Dakota and I have always treasured that experience. I will remember his infectious humor and good nature. You are truly missed my friend."

This tribute was added by John Roberts on 13th November 2014

"A dear friend, a wonderful human being who brought so much to so many. You will be missed and never forgotten."

This tribute was added by Victor Rocha on 13th November 2014

"The memorial service is officially on Sunday, December 7th at 1:00pm.  It will be held at the United Methodist Church in Laguna Beach on Wesley Drive (across from the Montage).  All are invited."

This tribute was added by Bob Frear on 13th November 2014

"I will remember you for your unconditional friendship for the over 15 years we shared.  And if will never forget the 1st, and only time, we played golf, especially when I need a good laugh."

This tribute was added by Samantha Stone on 12th November 2014

"If Chris were with us now he would be making us all smile. May we honor him by cherishing those memories."

This tribute was added by Jason Braveheart on 12th November 2014

"Chris was a man that always held Indian country at heart. From helping tribes and individuals deal with suicide to alcoholism, he was always an individual to think about the tribes needs first. Chris Korpi worked hard to make Indian country business take care of its stakeholders, its tribal members first. He was loved all over this country as a great man with a smile that lit up a room. I will forever be in debt to his memory for he pushed me as an entrepreneur to be better. Thank you Chris for being a great friend to Indian country. You were family, we miss you and love you."

This tribute was added by Garrett Stolle on 12th November 2014

"Chris was a stud. I hired him was blessed to have him at VizExplorer.  I am amazed at what he's been able to accomplish.

He was a great friend. We spent a lot of time driving all over California.
Lots of memorable discussions about tribes, politics, relationships, people, education...and and gems.

Chris was a true original.

Here's an article we just wrote..."

This tribute was added by Knute Knudson on 12th November 2014

"Chris was unlike any person I've ever met. When we hired him at Sodak, we knew we were getting someone special. Little did we know that he would become such a champion of Tribal Sovereignty and Indian issues. He developed deep and lasting relationships throughout all of Indian Country. He was an ever flowing fountain of ideas of how to improve conditions with tribal folks and he was forever putting his money where his mouth was. I've known Chris since he showed up as a college intern in the South Dakota legislature in 1982. In all those years he demonstrated a great heart for fairness and justice. He was a wonderful man. I will miss him deeply."

This tribute was added by Terry Maines on 12th November 2014

"Chris was a consummate professional and a wonderful person. He touched a lot of lives. I enjoyed recently working with him again and was blessed to see him work his magic on a whole new group of people. We will miss him."

This tribute was added by john holst on 12th November 2014

"Chris my Friend I will Miss you. thank you for ALL you did to help Indian Gaming and Indian Country."

This tribute was added by Linda Roe on 12th November 2014

"I first met Chris about 15 years ago... back in the early years of "Indian Gaming."  His lasting legacy will certainly include his gracious, friendly, and ever compassionate personality to all whom he met.  "Indian Country" will not be the same without his ever-smiling face.  He will be dearly missed by all.  I join all of his friends in mourning his sudden and  untimely passing... you were loved by many, Chris."

This tribute was added by Charles Belille on 12th November 2014

"The Creator needed another angel! A kind and caring man who truly touched many with his kindness. Will miss you and will always remember you with great stories of the person you were. RIP my friend!"

This tribute was added by Roland Griffin on 12th November 2014

"Sorry to hear about Chris, for the short time I knew him, he brought optimism and caring to this world."

This tribute was added by Jeffrey Hoss on 12th November 2014

"Chris Wayne Korpi
I think I speak for all of us that we are just as shaken and a loss for words about his sudden passing that we are still trying to figure out internally on how to cope while at the same time ensure that respect is paid to the person he was.

One of his passions that he would speak about was geology.  Its one of the main sciences that practically helps us understand the world in which we live in;  Where to dig to find water, how structures are built on land for safety and security, even how valuable minerals such as gold and oil are formed.  However, when talking with him, he always pointed out what was hidden as well as the history in what we saw everyday.  He could look at hillsides, flatlands, mountain ranges, or even chunks of rock and marble and begin to weave a story, pointing out clues to the complex past of the planet in which we lived in.  Geologists are much like their subject matter; plainspoken, no nonsense, and filled with a tinge of romanticism.  I think we could agree that was Chris.  He would be straight forward but you always felt the passion about what he was talking about in his voice.  You could even see it in his eyes and how they sparkled.

Chris was an advocate of the First Nations People, a population that consists over 564 tribes with close to 1.9 million people.  There are several various traditions that these tribes used to celebrate the birth/death of one of their people.  However, a common theme among the traditions is how they make use of the cycles of nature and seasons.  I strongly believe that Chris’ love of geology and how tribes used the earth/nature in their traditions coincided with one another and made his love for both items even stronger.  

Many believe that the dead pass on to a spirit world where they become forces to influences aspects of our lives.  I see this carrying over into our business as well.  His lessons to us whether it is walking through the Hard Rock Tulsa, operated by the Cherokee Nation, and explaining Class II and Class III or driving through the plains of Oklahoma and giving you back ground of how the earth’s plates are creating future mountains are just a few lessons I will remember.  I do also believe his spirit will live on.   Chris was a rare gem among the pebbles and rocks we encounter and I will use that time with him these past six months to guide and influence my life, both personally and professionally.  He was always good for a joke-even with him as the brunt of it, knew his limitations, but focused on his strengths.  Chris and I spoke almost every day with his new transition to his role of development, not sales.  He enjoyed what he did best, plant and harvest relationships within the First Nation’s People.  We spoke on Friday and I will remember him saying “Looking forward to seeing you on Monday, buddy.  Take Care”.  We were to see each other and game plan for Tribal Net.  

I am sure that Chris is in the spirit world with a cell phone that never needs to be recharged, a computer that responds to his voice and so easy a five year old knows how to use it and shaking hands with those he hasn’t seen in a while with that smile we all know and recognize.   His spirit will forever be remembered, just as the fall slumbers us into winter and then springs eternal into summer.   Chris had a way to connect with each and every one of us.  It is through those small moments that I found out a lot about him.  Give him enough time, he would reel you in.    

And to Chris, I look forward to seeing you soon Buddy.  You are missed my friend.  

Oh, Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life
to all the world, hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit will come to you without shame.

- Chief Yellow Lark, Lakota, 1887 -

Your buddy

Jeffrey Hoss"

This tribute was added by Lee Acebedo on 11th November 2014

"How does one says good bye to a friend such as Chris? He was a man who loved all of Indian Country and all of us. He gladly shared his love and knowledge of Indian country combined with his knowledge of geology. We will miss Chris everytime we attend NIGA, G2E, or any other place where we grew so accustomed to seeing him.

We will miss the great dinners he organized which brought new people into our world along with old friends. We are very happy that we were able to  journey with Chris on one of his annual trips to the Black Hills. Who else would plan a trip like that and bring as many Indians as he could to visit such a sacred place?

Rather than say good bye, we would rather say to Chris, "We will see you again in the next world and send our prayers with you for your journey. You are loved by all of us and will be missed."

Lee & Karen"

This tribute was added by Tiani Garcia on 11th November 2014

"Chris my bud! You were a beautiful soul! Always giving and always showed the love to our family! You have touched so many with your loving friendship! I am going to miss you my friend!"

This tribute was added by Heidi Cook on 11th November 2014

"My heart is heavy with this loss. I am so sorry and surprised by this.  I always thought Chris had a gentile soul and great vest for life.  He will be missed."

This tribute was added by Jodi DiLascio on 11th November 2014

"Chris was a living example of how to be a class act. He was always quick to offer his support or the endless gifts of his frequent kind words.

Such a special man, rare in this world and not many people leave an impact like Chris has, he was a trail blazer of love.

The stars dimmed their shine the night he left us.

You were taken too soon my friend, but I know you left with no regrets, you lived everyday to the fullest.

Perhaps that is the lesson we are all to take from you leaving us now.

Walk strong and good on your journey till we meet again.

Love you Chris"

This tribute was added by Valerie Spicer on 11th November 2014

"Life is so precious and sometimes all too short. The difference is how you live it. You lived each day to its fullest, gave all that you could give, and made a difference to many.  Just a short two days before we talked of your hike on the hillside,  it showed in your eyes that you knew the value of what the Creator has given us, you taught many that lesson. You will be terribly missed my friend.  Wonderous journey"

This tribute was added by Kevin Murphy on 11th November 2014

"Does anyone know where and when services will be?"

This tribute was added by Sean Murphy on 11th November 2014

"I remeber back in 1990 myself and a few friends drove to the desert, Chris led the way, for we were new to the area, and Chris took us on an adventure that i still tell stories about. When i recenty came together with you again, you looked awsome, happier than ever, and showed me that one can overcome obstacles of any size. You are, and will always be one of my heros. I love you brother!"

This tribute was added by Nona Reimer on 11th November 2014

"Chris was my mentor and my inspiration when it came to putting your heart and soul into causes you hold dearly.  He taught me so much about how to "work an election."  In our last conversation a few  weeks ago, he was encouraging me to go back to Africa with him.  That smile, that glow - that passion for making a difference in the world will stay with me forever.  I just can't imagine no more hugs, no more smiles from this human being.  Rest in peace Chris, - your life mattered - and you made the most of it, despite the challenges."

This tribute was added by Bobby Jones on 11th November 2014

"Chris - I can't believe how much I miss you already. I just found out about your passing last night and already the memories of our friendship are flooding my mind. You truly were "one of a kind". A lot of people "talk the talk", but you actually "walked the walk"!!! No B.S., just action behind your words. You truly cared about people and showed it every time you met someone. You wore your heart on your sleeve and for that I thank you. I met you as one of my vendors 14 years ago and we instantly became close friends. I have many fond memories of dinners, shows, conversations and golf. You were not a very good golfer, but you tried your hardest, like you did with everything in your life. My favorite memory was our trip to South Dakota a couple of years ago when you took my son Scott under your wing and taught him about the geology of the area. He still has all of the "rocks" he gathered on that trip and tells me the history of them on a regular basis. We are going to place a few of them in our backyard as a memorial to you,so we have a visual reminder everyday of how special you were in our life.

God has a special place in heaven for people like you and it is not very crowded.

I will see you on the other side my friend. Much love and sadness from Bobby, Sandy and Scott."

This tribute was added by Jeff Pepple on 11th November 2014

"Chris was a great guy who truly cared about helping people.  I was shocked to read of his untimely passing.  I consider Chris a true friend and will certainly miss him.

God bless your soul, my friend."

This tribute was added by Sheila Matt on 11th November 2014

"Chris, you were so fun, and full of life!  Who else would take me under their wing and help me so much.  Wish you would have moved to Montana with Mike and I! God Bless you on the rest of your journey..."

This tribute was added by LB Johnson on 11th November 2014

"You will be missed my very good friend! Our many conversations over the years of life, politics and especially on Indian Country were so passionate, educational and inspiring - I will always remember them from years to come! Thank you so much for the great memories in South Dakota that will stay in my heart forever.  May you find that one of a kind "GEMSTONE" with your journey to a better place...

P.S.. Give my sister Cherie a hug for me!"

This tribute was added by Jackie Sapp on 11th November 2014

"My life’s journey was blessed by getting to know Chris. Chris will be missed but not forgotten; many memories that bring a smile to my face and warm my heart."

This tribute was added by Don Ayers on 11th November 2014

"Chis had so much passion and zest for life, discovering new things, Native American culture and gaming. He brought a positive energy every time we got together. He will be missed..."

This tribute was added by Kari mccormick on 11th November 2014

Your smile was contagious, your passion to give back was immense and you had unbounded energy to always give a lending hand.  You were such a great role model for those working in Indian are already missed and will be forever in our hearts."

This tribute was added by Robin Palmer on 11th November 2014

"I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Chris's passing. I met him during emotionally trying times at our school district, during which he was a daily inspiration, as well as an energetic, passionate, and highly articulate advocate for education.  Above and beyond that, Chris was UNFAILINGLY kind, patient, and quick with a smile and uplifting comment. I consider him a blessing to our community, and I know that opinion is held by many. He will be deeply missed."

This tribute was added by Sheila Morago on 11th November 2014

""Chris - just last week we were talking about your last vacation and I told you I was so jealous because you were in a beautiful place and you had had so much fun.  How do you get to do that I asked.  You told me it is all about balance in your life and I should take more time to enjoy.  Good advise and I will try.  Glad you found your balance.  I will miss you.""

This tribute was added by Mike Davis on 11th November 2014

"Chris was a great friend and will be missed by myself and all at Cadillac Jack. We had many great trips together and lots of fun as always. We will miss you."

This tribute was added by Linda Champion on 11th November 2014

"Chris was a genuinely caring person who dedicated his life to the service of others.  Even when he was struggling within himself, he continued to work and advocate for Native American and children's causes.  It was my privilege to know Chris and to be a small part of his more recent journey.  There is some comfort in knowing he was finding  happiness and spiritual health over the last year or so of his life.  RIP"

This tribute was added by mark wayman on 11th November 2014

"I knew Chris from Cadillac Jack and placed him at VizExplorer.  He was a great sales executive, always forwarding me information on his latest deal or telling me if there was a job opening I could fill.  He was passionate about charity and giving back.  Rest in peace my Brother."

This tribute was added by Drew Pawlak on 11th November 2014

"Chris, you will be missed by many, including me! Your knowledge and experience and more importantly, your willingness to share it was unsurpassed. The consummate professional and a trusted advisor to many. Thanks for all you gave to us in your time here. All too short my brother. Rest in Peace."

This tribute was added by Michele Johnson on 11th November 2014

"Dear Chris, I will miss your smile, hugs and
your invites to all the fun things. I'm grateful
to every special time we had together.  Just to
let you know, a lot people really miss you already.
I love that you were always authentic.  In just
the short time I've known you I'm a better person
by knowing you and I thank you for that.
Sending love up to you in heaven..."

This tribute was added by Ross Chun on 11th November 2014

"Chris was a kind and gentle man who was generous with his time, wisdom and experience. He was a great source of advice but most of all, he had the unique ability to connect like-minded people who could work together for a common cause. I gained so many new friends and colleagues from knowing Chris, and I will be forever grateful for all that he taught me."

This tribute was added by Keri Smith on 11th November 2014

"Where do I even begin? The mere fact that I'm not going to see your smiling, glowing, beautiful face until we meet again in heaven makes me really sad and breaks my heart. You always lifted me up when I was down, you turned every hopeless thought and fear that I had into hope, love and faith, you showed me how to be a better human being overall, you dropped everything to be there for me every single time I needed you and you did it graciously, effortlessly and selflessly and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you did! I have never met a human being that was so pure, enlightening, grateful, happy and positive. I was in awe of how much you did for others when you were here and now that you're gone I'm learning moment by moment of all the hundreds of lives that you have changed and touched, you Chris are the most incredible, extraordinary and beautiful human being that I have ever known. I feel beyond blessed and honored to have been loved so much by you and to have had you as a dear friend. You are a true angel, God sure did bless me when he placed you in my life!!! I can't imagine this life without you, it's just not going to be the same yet I must say that I already see and feel you in all of God's beauty that surrounds me throughout my days!! The thought of you never fails to make me smile, you lit up my life and made me a better person....thank God for you Chris Korpi!! Fly with the angels my beautiful friend, I love you!!!!"

This tribute was added by Angelina Huang on 10th November 2014

"I made the trip with Chris' guided tour to South Dakota sponsored by Cadillac Jack few years ago, that was most profound and educational Chris' continueous effort to increase public awareness of Lakota tribes economic struggles, he remains true to his root and causes inspire all of us to be a better person, to give, to share, most of all, to care and be part of moment that improve others' life.  I am privileged to be touched by his greatness."

This tribute was added by William Henry on 10th November 2014

"I was shocked to hear about this today. He worked so hard to help support the teachers and students in Capistrano Unified. A few weeks ago, I sat next to Chris working the phones for Lynn Hatton. I was uncomfortable calling at first, but watching Chris was like an inspiration. He was easy to talk to, a good listener, and so helpful without ever being critical. While we only spent a few hours together, I left feeling like we had been friends for years. God Bless."

This tribute was added by Mark Willey on 10th November 2014

"I don't need a babysitter. I don't want to babysit you!! That's one of the last things I heard him share!! I'm going to miss sitting next to you !!
You don't have to settle!!! Have a good day asshole!That the last thing you said to me.  Ian going to miss you my friend"

This tribute was added by JOHN JAMES on 10th November 2014


Thank you for the wonderful and exceptional memories of a lifetime.  Your passion and inflamed spirit of adventure will be missed.  You left us with an inspiring impression what a great loving and kind human being is.

May our lord bless you for eternity.

Until we see you again,

Your friend,


This tribute was added by Tim L. Brown on 10th November 2014

"Just began an interesting journey in getting to know Chris K. I often say that I live my own life with "no regrets"....He truly epitomized all that "living  to the max in the moment"  means.....miss our early morning greetings already......your spirit remains with all who had the good fortune of knowing high..."

This tribute was added by Lori Walker on 10th November 2014

"I am a parent and also a teacher in Capistrano Unified.  Some years back, a group of individuals began to criticize our school district.  Ironically, CAPO is one of the very best school districts in our state and possibly our nation.  Yet these people made fun of our Board Members, worked on discrediting them and distorted facts to make it look as if teachers were useless and our administrators were not doing their jobs.  They elected new people to serve on our board.  We were in trouble!  Then I hear about this guy who wanted to help.  He did not have children, he was not a teacher or administrator--- he just cared about kids and he could see the injustice of what was happening.  I was asked to set up a meeting where people could gather and chat.  This man-- Chris-- spoke at our meeting (at a local coffee house) and shared some ideas.  He continued to meet with other groups of parents and teachers in the cities we served.  He went to people's homes, to schools, wherever and whenever a group would gather to talk about what was happening and what we could do.  This was how an organization started that would go on to change the lives of our children, to make a tremendous difference in electing new board members who cared about our school district, our students and staff.  The visions that Chris Korpi shared are now clearly embedded in our community.  He took on what many of us thought was an impossible task and he calmly created a way to educate others on the facts and allow for change.  He didn't do this for money or popularity or anything else.  He just did it because he cared.  And he made us smile while he worked tirelessly for our schools.  As time went on, others came in to take up what Chris had started and he moved forward to a new career and a new life.  He made us laugh and always made us feel so darn special.  I will miss Chris so much!  But I have no doubt that I will see him again some day.  His physical body may have failed him but his Spirit is much too strong to dimmer out.  XOXOXO Chris."

This tribute was added by David Durst on 10th November 2014

"Chris was just one of those guys.  Always encouraging and always there to help.  A heart that was after people.  We lost someone big this week and he will truly be missed."

This tribute was added by Jesse LeBel on 10th November 2014

"Thank you Chris for always being yourself and for being such a great FRIEND!!  

You will always be in my family's heart and we will never forget you...

God Bless and We Love Yah Bud!"

This tribute was added by sandi frear on 10th November 2014

"My dearest friend Chris...I can't believe I will never hear your comforting words again, or see the beautiful pictures you post. I have been all over the world, thanks to you. You are so generous with your heart and soul. I don't know how long it will be before I can remember you without tears. Keep on keeping on! I know I have a new guardian angel. Thank you for making my life so much happier. I will always love, and never forget you."

This tribute was added by Steve Marsh on 10th November 2014

"Chris - your heart was pure gold and your friendship and kindness will be missed!!! God needs more angels like you!!!! We will miss you!!!!"

This tribute was added by Nadia Hansen on 10th November 2014

"Chris was an inspiration and I will dearly miss him."

This tribute was added by scott sirois on 10th November 2014

"I am stunned and saddened by the news of Chris' death. It is too surreal to absorb.  I will miss Chris, he was definitely one of the good guys of our business.  He was honest and sincere and honestly guilted me into treating him the same.  Damn, our loss!"

This tribute was added by Elad Messing on 10th November 2014

"Chris - you will be dearly missed, your love of life was viral and will be your legacy for all of us.
I have only known you since the beginning of the year, but in this short period of time, being the teacher you were, you taught me everything I know about native american culture, tradition and way of life - and I am thankful for that. I promise to continue and study it further, I think you would have liked that.

May you rest in peace my friend"

This tribute was added by Buddy Frank on 10th November 2014

"Chris and I were to meet at 1pm at the Santa Ana Gem and Mineral show on Saturday, and he never showed.  I was concerned becasue Chris never missed, nor was ever late without notice, to a single appointment in the 12 years I've known him.   I was in complete shock when his gym saw my calls and notified me that Chris had passed.   There will surely be less light in the worlds of South Dakota; Minerology and Native American gaming as Chris always lit up the room on any of these topics. Lately, his passion drifted to the ocean with diving and surfing; which brought us even closer.  RIP Chris. Our team will truly miss your passion and enthusiasm."

This tribute was added by Patricia Rocha on 10th November 2014

""I miss your smile and your hugs.  You are a very giving and loving soul.  Until we meet again my friend.""

This tribute was added by bev bushaw on 10th November 2014

"I only had the opportunity to meet Chris once and he was such an inspiration with his knowledge and excitement about what he was doing in business and most importantly in life.  I'm fortunate for the opportunity to have met Chris.  Thoughts and prayers are with family and friends."

This tribute was added by Victor Rocha on 10th November 2014

"It will be a while before I can think of you without crying. We shared a special friendship I will cherish forever. You were one of the good guys, my brother."

This tribute was added by Andrew Cardno on 10th November 2014

"I loved him like a brother and I am heart broken to see him go. In the decade I knew you always bought a smile and a positive attitude. Your love of geology and willingness to teach it was wonderful. The  Geologic Mapping Students from Del Norte High School Science Olympiad learned a tremendous amount from you.
Thank you Chris"

This tribute was added by Elena Greene on 10th November 2014

"You are missed so very much Chris. I hope you are on the beaches of Costa Rica, in the Black HIlls of South Dakota and smiling that contagious smile."

This tribute was added by Garrett Stolle on 10th November 2014

"Chris - your life was cut too short. You touched so many people.  I will miss you dearly.  All I can say right now..."

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