Chris Max Fendrich
November 11, 1969 – June 18, 2018
Chris Fendrich, 48, of Seattle died June 18, 2018, after being hit by a car while out for a run on Bainbridge Island, WA. He died tragically doing one of the many things he loved in life. All who knew Chris will feel the loss of his sweet and gentle nature, bright spirit, dry sense of humor, keen intelligence, and his indomitable persistence in believing in the best of all. He met his partner in life, Barbara Mack, 13 years ago at the University of Washington, where they both worked. They found happiness and joy in the life they built together.
Chris was born on November 11, 1969, and he lived in Tallahassee, Florida, moving to Olympia as a teenager to finish at Timberline High School in 1987. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in math, and he went on to earn a teaching certificate from Central Washington University. He served in the Peace Corps in Kenya. Returning to the University of Washington to work in the Economics Department, he became a Fiscal Specialist.
Chris loved his dear Barbara, his family and friends, running (2013 Boston Marathon in 2:39:32), cycling (once solo from WA to WY), home repair (especially wiring and woodwork), reading, and all forms of food. He fought for social justice and marched to support women and health care rights. Chris planned his aquarium with his usual deep research and measured choices, creating a tranquil aquatic world--all the fish had names.
He is survived by his loving partner Barbara, his parents Jim Fendrich and Mary Bryant, Judy and Mark Ausman, Jim and Jeanette Falcon, his siblings Matt (Corinne) Fendrich, Kerrie Fendrich, Alise (Stacey) McClain, Diana (Derek) Schuetz, Jon (Candse) Ausman, Jennie Falcon (Wyatt) Tillotson, Kate (Jerry Gamiao) Falcon, and James (Shannon) Falcon; Chris was a fun-loving uncle to his many nieces and nephews. He ran toward truth and love all his life, and his persistence paid off in joy for all who knew him. He will be missed!
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018, from 2-4 PM at the University of Washington's Seattle campus in Kane Hall, room 225 (the Walker-Ames room). In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Chris' favorite charities, Bloodworks Northwest, Compass House, and Smile Train.
Chris Max Fendrich
June 29, 2018
While he and I were on opposite coasts, I always looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. Chris was a man who exemplified the best of who we are. Whether it was his loving, gentle nature or his interest in having conversations about hobbies, I always looked forward to seeing him. He’s an inspiration for how to love and respect others. I will always remember my cousin as the intelligent, loving man he was.
June 27, 2018
My absolute best friend from my teenage years. We had a great time together for many years! A really sincere and honest guy. So many great memories. I was lucky i found him on facebook again. Chris came to visit us back in 2012 in South America. He even ran a very large marathon here in Medellin, Colombia. Even though he had some travel sickness he came in 8 for his age group! We shared alot of childhood memories on that trip.
A funny memory that comes to mind was programming computers that used tiny black and white TV screens, and cassette tapes for loading games. Later I remember Chris told me he picked up running and track, and he really loved it.
Chris always left a great impression with my Family when i was a kid and then 30 years later when he came to visit. I am really happy to have had Chris as a friend, and also wonderful to know the whole family back in the 80s!
It was definately very hard for me to here about the unexpected passing of Chris. We were lucky to have him as a part of our lives.
Our deepest condolences to the whole family!
Tad Lindzey & Adriana Cardona
June 26, 2018
I don’t have enough strength in my thumbs to write all the ways this incredible man added to my life. He is one of the reasons I walk closely with Jesus today. His walk with Christ while we lived together for two years, both at the UW and Central were an incredible example to me about what it meant to live for Christ. Too many times to remember or cite, he would say, “well, the son of God had no place to lay His head” meaning that whenever Chris would do something for me, or inspire me, or lend a helping hand, he was doing it for Christ who gave so much as well. I can never forget Chris, the years we spent together, the hundreds of letters we wrote back and forth, and the hours we spent laughing together. A true gift he was to me, and everyone he spent time around. Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. But you are strong, as Chris always told me.
June 25, 2018
May God's loving kindness and comfort help you and your family during this time of sorrow (2 Corinthian 1:3,4).
June 24, 2018
While we were separated by great distance, I felt so close to Chris when he was with us. He was so caring, funny, and always asked about how you were doing with an authentic interest. He took time to make the world better. He reached out to us when my mom was sick, and that meant the world to her and our family. He was such a wonderful cousin, and I can only hope to emulate all of his amazing qualities.
June 24, 2018
One of my initial interactions with Chris was running to his office, overwhelmed and confused how to file taxes. Chris calmly walked me over the process and answered all my questions patiently irrespective of whether they were relevant or not. This has been the case for the two years since I had known him. I could go to Chris with any problem and he would help me sort it through without any hesitation.
I would often run into Chris in our office. I cannot remember even once where he did not take time to have a short conversation. He always had a smile on his face and would ask about not only my studies but also about my plans were for the weekends or the breaks.
Once, I was struggling to get the printer to work. I spent a good fifteen minutes pressing buttons and checking the trays to get it to work. Chris, who was all the way across the office, then walked into the room and cracked a joke about me having broken the printer. After a good laugh, he went to the printer and helped me figure out what the issue was. It took us another ten minutes to get the printer running but Chris was patient as he went about figuring out the issue. He even offered to collect my copies as I was getting late for class.
I will miss his smiling face and calming presence in the office. He was always willing to provide a helping hand. I hope I can be half as helpful as he was.
June 20, 2018
I loved Chris. He was a man who had experienced hardship and personal challenges but did not have a single drop of bitterness in him. He was a joy to be around, a gift. My dear friend, Barb, would tell me about conversations they had—sometimes about sensitive issues or conflicts in the world. When she told me Chris’s responses, I always said, incredulously, “Did he really say that??” And she would nod. And I would say, “That man is perfect! Every time, he hits it right out of the park.” And he always did, viewing the world, the people in it , and those of us who loved him with generosity and wisdom. The world has lost a little kindness with his passing.