Thursday, December 29, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
NOTE DATE CHANGE
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of Southwest Michigan
6955 West KL Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Christopher Slenczka would agree that he brought the world around him to life. He was hardworking and deeply devoted to giving everything his all, yet he also took the time to enjoy life along the way as well. A loving family man and devoted friend, Chris blessed the lives of everyone he met in such a special way. He was almost always found wearing shorts, usually with a beer in his hand, and he was never one to be still. Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, he created a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their heart.
The 1970s were an exciting time in American history. Bands like Aerosmith and Van Halen were big names in the music industry while disco music, bell bottoms, and shows like Dallas were among the latest trends. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Thomas and Janet (Shiparski) Slenczka as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby, as the beauty of spring unfolded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1972. The big day finally arrived on April 10th when the baby boy they named Christopher Thomas drew his first breath. He was the fourth of five children in his family, and soon after he was born the Slenczka family moved to Lawton, Michigan, where they built a home on 72nd Street. Although his parents divorced in 1990, he did follow in his father’s footsteps when he went into construction.
In many ways Chris was a young boy of his generation. He wasn’t really into sports, but he did love being outdoors. Chris loved fishing, riding quads, building tree forts, and so much more. Raised alongside his sisters, Danita, Dawn, Deanne, and Amber, he was the only boy in the family and managed to get out of nearly everything! His sisters always needed to include him, and to say that Chris was spoiled may be an understatement. Living on a dead end road gave him plenty of time to roam, and on one occasion he talked to a little fawn that followed him back home and even went into the house! He attended local schools including Lawton High School where he and his friends started weight lifting. Chris also wrestled and became interested in hot rods. In addition to holding down his studies, he worked at Wendy’s and Honey Bear Canning.
After graduating from high school in 1992, Chris was eager for all the life had in store. Always the free spirit, he moved to Las Vegas and got into construction as he wasn’t afraid to try new things and enjoyed traveling. Chris later moved back to Michigan and began working for Hardman Construction, which is where he spent the bulk of his career. Over the years he worked on several different projects including the S-Curve in Grand Rapids. Chris did travel a bit and called Grand Rapids home for a short time, but Lawton was always his home. The past four years of his life were spent living in North Dakota with his close friends: Fish, Lori and Corky. There, he worked on a pipeline and ended up as a maintenance supervisor. Eventually, Chris became the head supervisor at Metro Planes, overseeing complexes in three states. Not only was he successful in his work, but Chris also enjoyed it. His dog, Mocha, went everywhere with him, and all his suppliers knew his dog. In many ways Mocha was like a child to Chris.
Always busy, Chris was a man of many interests. He loved cooking, grilling, and smoking as it has been said that he smoked nearly everything. Chris loved Mexican food and the spicier the better, and he was known to say, “As long as you’re sweating you’re eating!” He mastered the art of cooking steak, and he preferred his rare. Chris also liked his mom’s cooking and had been enjoying it while in town for Thanksgiving. He was often seen with a beer in his hand, usually a Bud Lime, but he tried all types of beers. Chris was one who liked having the top of the line whether it was tools for his work, clothes, or something else. He always wanted to make sure he looked his best and liked Duluth Trading Clothes. Chris enjoyed dirt biking up North and was a firm believer in getting in there and using things rather than keeping them new. He had the typical bachelor pad as it was always wreck, but he was often helping his friends get their projects done. Chris loved country music, reading James Patterson and Stephen King, and watching the Green Bay Packers. No matter where he worked Chris was always a friend and did well.
When reflecting on the life Christopher Slenczka, words such as hardworking, fun-loving, and funny come to mind, but perhaps the word that paints the most accurate picture of him is generous. He was the sort of person who would to anything for anyone, and his life centered around his mom and his dog, Mocha. Chris was a comedian who loved making others laugh, and you always knew he liked you if he picked on you. Things were black and white according to Chris, and he was direct and knew how to get to the point. Famous for wearing shorts and work boots with a beer in his hand, he was such a character. Deeply loved, Chris will be forever missed.
Christopher Thomas Slenczka, of Dickinson, ND formerly of Lawton, died unexpectedly on December 23, 2016, in Dickinson. Members of his family include his beloved daughter, Mocha-Dog; mother, Janet (Lucky) Alger; father, Thomas Slenczka; 4 sisters: Danita, Dawn, and Deanne Amazzalorso and Amber Slenczka-Papesh; 4 step-siblings: Cameron, Shaun and Tracy Alger and Carie (Rick) Bosma; many nieces and nephews. Visit with family and friends on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, Paw Paw, 60900 M-40; (269) 657-3870 where services will be held Friday 11 a.m. Cremation will follow with burial at Oak Grove Cemetery at a later date. Please visit Chris’ personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of Southwest Michigan.