ForeverMissed
Stories
Shared by Paula Politzki on September 16, 2020
Chris waiting for train in Germany. Mom took the photo as she was visiting him at the time with Karl

My friend Chris

Shared by Matt Patton on September 13, 2020
I met Chris in the 5th grade at Palmer Elementary.  My family had recently moved to Denver where we lived for 4 years before moving to Seattle.  Chris, Paula, and Laura lived up on Grape Street and we were on Holly. 

I remember playing street hockey, wandering alleys, doodling, listening to Chris's beloved KISS along with the classic rock of the day, watching Dukes of Hazard (Chris did a mean Rosco P. Coltrane impersonation) and some of the earliest music videos, ride-sharing to hockey practices at DU and coming home completely passed out together in the back seat. 

For some period of time, I think I spent most every day after school at the Politskis, hanging out with Chris and eating up all their snack food (I'm sorry, Paula!).  I always felt welcome and appreciated, and am forever grateful for that. 

Even then it was clear Chris had natural musical and artistic talent.  It seemed to come easy to him.  It didn't hurt that he was patient, curious, and diligent.  Unlike me who would be on to the next thing like most kids that age, once Chris got into something, he didn't let go.  Viewing his life photos here made my heart warm to see how he remained committed to the guitar and hockey his entire life.  That's Chris.

I remember Chris coming up to visit my family in Seattle the summer after our sophomore years in high school.  Fresh with our licenses, my folks let us take their 1977 VW camper and tour the Olympic Peninsula alone for a few days. Chris was in heaven driving the van and being out on the road. 

I lost contact with Chris as high school progressed and life took us on our own adult paths.  But we all have people in our lives who are with us forever whether or not you see or talk to them.  For me (and my family), Chris was one of those people and I am fortunate to have that special connection.

I am so happy to know Chris had found genuine peace in his life.  I trust he has found even more now. 



Shared by Diana Calvo on September 12, 2020
In July 2019 I met Chris through Rover.com, a dog-sitting app. Over the course of the last year, my pup, Joey, stayed with Chris and Ike and Major on many occassions. Joey is also a Potcake, and so in our brief interactions, we would refer to all three of them as "cousins."

One thing I always appreciated about Chris was his calm demeanor and the calm environment he provided for the dogs. While I didn't know Chris very well, I trusted him with my dog. I knew that Joey was loved and safe in Chris's care. This will always mean a great deal to me. 

Also, I know that Joey loved Chris. When we would turn the corner to drive up to the house, Joey would start wagging his tail with excitement, and when Chris came out of the house to greet us, Joey could barely contain himself!

Chris's photos of Joey during his stays were beautiful, artistic, and special. Through Instagram, I came to appreciate Chris's photography, and his many interests. I followed his gardening adventures this summer, and I got a kick out of his hashtag #epicgardening. The photograph I've shared was taken by Chris during one of Joey's visits. From left to right: Joey, Ike, Chris.

Chris's death makes me reflect on just how much every person matters, and how we impact each other all the time, in ways that aren't always so obvious. Even though I didn't know Chris well enough to call him a friend, he was a part of my life. Joey and I will both miss him dearly.

Hockey and Beers

Shared by Todd Dallegge on September 10, 2020
I didn't know Chris outside of hockey. We played on the over 40 Denver Rangers team together. He was a forward and I was always on defense. It seems like he was always headed up the ice for a break out of our zone when we got control of the puck. I often would see him breaking out, toss him one of my crappy passes, and watch it go haphazardly off his skate in the wrong direction or behind him off the wall for an icing. Chris was always quick to let me know he was sorry he missed my pass when we all knew I didn't get it on the tape of the stick where it should have been. We would laugh about it in the bar afterwards.  But that was my impression of Chris, always a great guy, never one to pass the blame, and just a joy to be around. WE WILL MISS him this year on the Rangers and for the years to come!! Chris we will toast one for you in Benders every week!! 

Cheers

Just such a great guy...he'll be missed

Shared by Nick Brown on September 9, 2020
I've only known Chris for a few years now as I met him playing hockey in the over 40 league. For the first two years I don't think I even knew his real last name - I thought it was "Pain"...which was written on the back of his jersey...which was sometimes fitting. We both played the same position so him and I would swap out on the ice every couple minutes throughout the game. I would get SOO mad at him for his "extra long" shifts sometimes, but after every game a handful of us would go up and grab beers after playing and he was just such a great human you just couldn't be mad at the guy, and my anger would melt away into smiles and laughter while we all sucked down a few brews and commiserated why we weren't better at hockey... Chris "Pain" my friend - you will be deeply missed.

Some memories of Chris

Shared by Scott Zeman on September 8, 2020
I can't remember how I met Chris exactly, but we became friends in middle school.  He and I and our friend Matt Patton started hanging out, especialy via sports.  We occasionally played outdoor hockey without skates, or "shinny" as it was called.  Chris loved it so much that he joined the DU Ice Hockey league.  I also remember Chris's great love of rock-n-roll. I can still picture him on Halloween in Middle School dressed up as one of the Stray Cats.  When Chris went to a different high school, we lost touch for many years. 

But just a couple of years ago, we crossed paths on Facebook.  Turns out that we had both adopted Bahamian Potcake dogs through Outpaws, and we loved our dogs.  This reconnection inspired us to hang out.  Turns out Chris was still playing hockey and he helped me eventually join the team he was playing on, the Denver Rangers, in our 40+ league.  It was really great getting to know Chris again.  What a great guy.  As many folks have been saying, he was so generous, down-to-earth, humble, kind, and friendly.  My fondest memories of Chris are playing hockey together followed by beers and fun conversation.  Chris knew that this type of camaraderie was invaluable, and I thank him for enriching our shared lives.   We'll miss him.   

My Friend will be missed

Shared by Ken Lohle on September 7, 2020
I met Chris in Junior High School when we would have been about 15 years old in German class. We both had fathers from Germany so that was first common bond between us. We discovered that we both enjoyed learning German, were both into classic rock (though he knew so much more than I did), shared the same sense of humor and later on enjoyed discovering new breweries. 

We also both loved traveling; he proved himself to be a true friend; he was the only one to visit me while I was stationed in England. Being the person he was, he wanted to go see Ely cathedral as it was on the cover of a Pink Floyd album. In these ways he had a unique way to enrich life. We enjoyed mountain biking in Moab, skiing in Vail and concerts at many, many venues.

Chris was really a part of the Lohle clan. He knew my parents, brothers, Aunt's and Uncle's and cousins; and they all knew Chris. We were able to meet up in Germany some years back where he was able to meet the rest of my family. He gave me such great moral support when I was taking care of my Mom those last few years of her life. When I left Denver I was happy that my nephew Ben and Chris were friends so they could carry on our tradition of weekly brewery visits.

He was such a low-key, honest, down to earth person. We all know of his many talents and incredible artistic abilities. I know of no one that comes close. As hard as it is to lose him so early and through all of his ups and downs I truly believe that he lived a rich and interesting life. I know we were all blessed to have been able to have shared a part of our lives together. Rest in Piece my dear Friend and Brother and as we say in German "Aufwiedersehen"!

My Memories and Friendship with Chris

Shared by Dana De Long on September 5, 2020
Chris and I became friends in the fall of 1987 as freshmen college students at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.  We lived on the same floor in the Corbett Hall dormitory on campus our first year.  We initially bonded over beer, the Denver Broncos and classic rock n’ roll music.  We quickly became friends with another student in the dorm from Colorado Springs, Kent.

In March of 1998, together with another student Kurt we embarked on an adventure together on a road trip to South Padre Island, Texas for spring break.  The trip was very memorable.  We took Kurt's 2-wheel drive single cab Mazda pickup truck and lined the bottom of the truck bed with 12-packs of Meister Brau beer and a foam mattress.  We took turns driving; two of us sleeping in the open truck bed in sleeping bags, while the other two stayed in the cab as we drove from Colorado to the southern tip of Texas.  Fortunately, some campground owners took pity on us when we arrived at Port Isabel (just inland from the island) with no lodging or camping reservations (we must have looked young and bewildered).  We camped out for a few days in Port Isabel, visited the South Padre Island beach, attended a local concert, crossed the U.S. border at Matamoros, Mexico for a visit and to party in the evening.  Then we drove along the Gulf coast back north to Corpus Christi and returned home.  The trip was exciting for 4 young college freshmen.  We had an absolute blast on a shoestring budget!

Chris, Kent and I went on to become roommates for two more years in an old house just north of the university campus in Fort Collins.  I remember Chris coming to the newly rented house from his summer internship in Italy and recounting his incredible experience for us one evening with a slideshow of his photos while we sipped on Paulaner Weiss beer and Hefeweizen.  We all had much fun in the house, often preparing dinners for each other and hosting small parties from time to time when we were not in class, studying or working part-time.There Chris introduced us to many of his passions and projects: Led Zeppelin, black and white photography, Roy Harper, his love of hockey, KISS and German beer among others.  I gained so much of an appreciation for music and art (mostly photography and sculpture) from Chris during this time.  I remember Chris ‘nutmegging’ me several times during some informal street hockey games we had!  Our primary mode of transportation to class and around town were our mountain bikes.  I can remember riding to and from class with Chris and Kent during blistering hot days as well as frigid cold days with the wind howling in our faces.

Following college, we were able to remain in contact as we all went our separate ways.  My family and I left Colorado in 2011 as my career took me elsewhere.  I was fortunate enough to see Chris on several of my return trips home since then.  We most recently shared our passion for good beer with each other on the Untappd smartphone app.  One of my biggest regrets now is that I never got an opportunity to snowboard with Chris.  I think we would have enjoyed ripping it up together on the slopes at a local CO resort!

I will really miss Chris.  We had a fantastic friendship. I wish that our friendship could have continued longer on this earth, but really I am simply grateful that I knew him.  I hope right now that he is jamming some epic electric guitar with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix, with John Bonham playing drums/percussion in the background.  You know - at that Great Gig in the Sky (that Pink Floyd sang about)!  Rest Easy and In Peace Chris!

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