November 15, 1955 - August 18, 2018

Christopher Hazen McNinch was a husband, a son, a brother, father, an uncle and grandfather. His was a life well lived, one that brought joy to family and friends. Chris thoroughly loved life. He loved the home he built with Tammie. He loved work, being outdoors, and just having fun. Good food and drink, friends and family were the best way to spend a day for Chris.

Chris’s mischievous streak was a wonderful compliment to his irreverent sense of humor. He was always able to bring a group to laughter, surprising everyone with his humor, his interest in the lives of others, and his pride in the life he built with Tammie. When you ran into Chris and responded to his “How are you?” with a “Good” or a “Fine,” he often replied, “I’m excellent!”

Chris was independent and strong-willed (stubbornness came naturally to the eldest of five children). He enjoyed traveling, adventuring with Tammie and his in-laws to Europe. He loved the mountains, visiting the central coast and connecting to family roots in Cayucos and Portland, Maine.

Christopher Hazen McNinch was born on November 15, 1955 in Coalinga, California to Hazen (Mac) and Joan McNinch. The family relocated to Taft, California shortly after sister Stacey arrived (June 1957) and before his brother Andrew (September 1958) was added to the family. When sisters Amy (July 1965) and Melissa (March 1967) arrived, Chris took his big brother duties seriously, referring to his youngest sisters as “the babies,” even when Amy and Melissa were well into their teens.

As a boy, Chris played basketball and baseball, he enjoyed swimming, camping, hiking and fishing. Being outdoors was the best place to be for Chris. He was always interested in the world around him, in figuring out how things worked, and in learning from his grandmother, his great Aunt Milly and his great uncles.

When asked as a boy what he wanted to do when he grew up, Chris said the he wanted to be a “worker man.” And he was a worker man for 42 years. Chris worked in the oil industry taking on a variety of different roles. He worked for Santa Fe Energy, Monterrey Resources, Texaco and Chevron Oil Companies. His career took him from the oilfields outside Taft, across California, and to an oil platform off the coast of Angola, Africa. Chris fulfilled his plan to be a “worker man.”

Chris graduated from high school and community college in Taft, where he lived until 1998 when he moved to Bakersfield. Chris met Tammie (at an Orchard Supply!) and they were married on June 23, 2007. Tammie was his best friend. She was the center of his world, bringing him happiness and contentment in the life they lived together. Tammie also brought Chris into her family, extending the family who loved him so much.

Chris passed away on August 18, 2018 following a short illness. He is survived by his wife, Tammie, and her daughters, Michelle and Krystal and their families; by his daughter, Tera, and her children Dayle, Anastasia, and Willow; by his parents, Hazen and Joan McNinch, by his sisters Stacey Curschman and her husband David, Amy McNinch, and Melissa Christensen and her husband Daryl; by his brother Andrew and his wife, Christy; by his nephews and their wives, Zachary and Stephanie McNinch and Anthony and Lauren McNinch; and by great niece, baby Reese.

A service for Christopher McNinch will be held on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 10:00 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 900 H Street, Bakersfield, California. A Rosary will be recited at 9:30am before the Mass at 10am. Remembrances can be made at Basham Funeral Care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Arbor Day Foundation.