Jan. 31, 1958 — June 22, 2018
Born Jan. 31, 1958, in Norfolk, Virginia, Christopher (Chris) Summerer was a big brother to Timothy and son of Calvin and Uta Summerer. He moved with his parents to California, and ultimately Portland, Oregon. Chris attended and graduated from Washington High School in Portland and attended college at Portland State University.
Chris was very involved with both the Maranatha and New Song churches, where his vocal talents were recognized, including singing solo while on a European gospel mission. He had both the rhythm and passion for gospel music, especially the song, “Oh Happy Day.”
During this time, Chris met his (first) love of his life, Nancy Friesen, while attending church. Noted as the “most eligible bachelor” amongst his peers, Nancy wooed her way in with her blond hair, beautiful smile and her ability to cook with the masters. They were married in 1982 in Portland, Oregon.
In 1986 they started their family, beginning with Ashley (of Long Beach, Washington), then Whitney (of Portland, Oregon) and then, the feistiest, Karli (along with husband, Tommy, of Houston, Texas). Those three girls remained the light in his eye, and will always be his truest of love. In 2007, Ashley gave him his first (and only) grandson, Braden. Even at the end, Chris was sharing his hope for “lots more grandbabies.”
Chris began a career with Portland General Electric in computer operations where, as he said, he paid his bills while he was pursuing his true passion … real estate. Nancy had worked there, as well. Ultimately, they both left their corporate jobs to pursue real estate full time, and ultimately “expanded operations” to Arizona and moved to Houston.
Nancy and Chris grew apart and he moved back “home” to Portland, where he met his (second) love of his life, Russell Maize. After complicated rehabbing for Chris and international travel for Russell, the two chose to combine their passion of real estate, corporate retail and product development to start a business at the beach.
Their combined passions built seven retail stores, three restaurants, eight vacation homes, two apartment complexes and, yes, an amusement park, in Long Beach, Washington, over the past 18 years.
Other businesses have come and gone, but Chris loved to work, and any one worker would chuckle as he called, numerously, to “check the sales figures.” That was also one of his last tasks, which left permanent smiles on us all.
Chris Summerer was an incredible son, father, husband and friend to so many. He was passionate, determined, humorous, and extremely hardworking, yet would make time for anyone. His friends and family were his life. Other than the Taco House restaurant closing in Portland last year, Chris lived his life fully, with no regrets.
Chris passed peacefully, at home, on Friday, June 22, from cancer, with his entire family at his side. There are few, and yet many, words to describe the life of this man. But a “beautiful soul” will suffice.
Chris was preceded in death by his father, Calvin, (age 24) and brother, Timothy, (age 11), and is survived by his mother, Uta (Warrenton, Oregon), daughters, grandson, mother-in-law Ann Maize (Warrenton, Oregon) and his husband, best friend and soul mate, Russell Maize.
After a family graveside service at Ocean View Cemetery on Saturday, June 30, anyone is welcome to the Honor and Tribute of Chris at the Historic Chinook School Community Building, in Chinook, Washington, at noon the same day. You can also pay your respects on Friday, June 29, between 1 and 5 p.m., at Caldwell’s Luce Layton Mortuary in Astoria. Please sign our online guest book at www.caldwellsmortuary.com
No one will be missed more.