Tue, Sept. 28

Obituary: Christopher Michael Maize 1975-2021

Christopher Michael Maize

Christopher Michael Maize

Christopher Michael Maize was born on March 11, 1975 in Mesa, Arizona and died unexpectedly on February 4, 2021 in a plane crash in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Chris was a gentle, humble man of few words, yet he impacted many people during his life.

He loved Jesus Christ with a fierce passion and sought to follow Him in everything he did. His single goal in life was to use his many talents of art, writing, music, leather working, engraving, gunsmithing, fly tying, and even knitting for God’s glory.

Chris graduated in 1993 from Camp Verde High School. He attended Yavapai College and studied Graphic Design.

Chris met his wife, Lari Gary in Phoenix and they were married in 2001. They were blessed with two daughters, Junior and Rusty, that were his absolute pride and joy.

Chris embodied the Alaskan spirit and one of his greatest passions, besides Jesus and his family, was flying. He was a conscientious and highly skilled pilot who was well respected in the Alaskan aviation community.

Chris flew the U.S. mail and passengers through the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park to remote McCarthy for Copper Valley Air Service.

He loved the peaceful solitude of flying in the winter surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the United States. He often commented how he had seen places only few people in the world had ever seen. He lived and died doing what he loved.

Christopher is survived by his wife, Lari; two daughters, Junior and Rusty; father, Ladd (Gwena); mother, Vickie (Kevin); brother, Sean; sisters, Allie and Kelly; nephews, Laddie and Sam; nieces, Giana and Gracie as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bill and Betty Wright and Al and Jean Maize.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2 pm at the Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts in Camp Verde, Arizona.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the Christopher Maize Memorial Scholarship at, to continue Chris’ life work of inspiring and blessing others.

For such a quiet man, the impact of his life speaks volumes. We are all better for knowing him and he will be missed every single day. But we are assured that he is with his Savior, Jesus Christ and that gives us hope and peace in such a difficult time.

Chris recently wrote down his life mission statement which said, “I am not my own. I exist for God’s pleasure and in that I will find my own. The gifts He has given me, flight, art, storytelling, resources and discernment…and any other blessing He chooses to bestow, I will strive to use for his glory. I will ask myself ‘How can I use this gift to share the love of Jesus to someone in the world’…not someday in the distant future, not even tomorrow, but ‘How can I show the love of Jesus through this gift Today!’ Without Jesus, nothing else matters. But with Jesus, nothing else matters!”

Information provided by the family.

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