Christopher Allan Martin died suddenly and unexpectedly as the result of a seizure at his home in Jacksonville, Fla., on December 23, 2023. Chris was born on July 11, 1968, in Moorhead, Minn. His parents are Alice Tikkanen Martin and Theodore Martin. 

  Chris was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New York Mills. Upon graduating from New York Mills High School in 1986, he attended college at Moorhead State University. He proudly served in the United States Navy from 1989-1995 where he continued to pursue his college degree. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS America which was deployed in the Red Sea during the first Gulf War. As an Avionics Technician, he was responsible for inspecting, testing and adjusting the electronic and computer systems that kept the jets flying. He then started his career in information technology at Florida State College Jacksonville and, at the time of his death, was the Executive Director of Enterprise Applications supervising a team of 20 people. 

  On February 10, 2023, Chris and the love of his life, Dennis Michael Hester, got married after 29 years of making memories together at their home in Florida. They made their home a fun and welcoming destination for their families from the cold-weather parts of the country, as well as for their friends and neighbors who were like family to them. 

  Chris was a multi-faceted personality full of energy and enthusiasm for everything he did throughout his life. Whether it was working, traveling, gaming, taking care of his home, caring for his pets, or entertaining friends, he did it with passion.  Chris was young at heart and nothing proved that more than his lifelong love of riding roller coasters. Whether it was at Cedar Point, Kennywood, or almost monthly trips to Universal Studios with Dennis always at his side, they loved the thrill of the ride. Chris was charming, a great conversationalist, a good listener, and an all-round decent man devoted to his family.  If you were lucky enough to be in his company, you would have always been treated with kindness and respect and you would have had a lot of laughs and adventures, and might have jumped up and down on hotel beds along with him or giggled at his youthful joy. He seemed to gain much of his enjoyment of life from ensuring that the people around him were well-cared for and happy.  Tender-hearted and thoughtful, every telephone conversation ended with “I love you.”   

  Chris is survived by his husband Dennis Hester, his mother Alice Tikkanen Martin, his brother Ben (Erica) Martin, and his sister Nikki (Jason) Perala. His Cambridge, MN family included his father, Theodore (Ruth) Martin, half-brother Adam (Michelle) Martin, half-sister Kelly (Mike) Wicklund. He will also be deeply missed by his many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of loving friends. 

  A gathering to celebrate Chris’ life will be held on January 27, 2024, from 2-4 p.m. at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. All are welcome.