Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez
Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, who wanted to go to law school, also found success on a different kind of court: basketball.
“Chris was smart, gentle and kind,” said his cousin, “until you met him on the basketball court. Then you were faced with a fierce, unrelenting competitor.”
Christopher, born Dec. 23, 1993, to Richard Martinez and Caryn Michaels, lived in San Luis Obispo County, California, and graduated from San Luis Obispo High School in 2012.
An excellent writer, Christopher was studious and loved to read. At UCSB he was an English major, with aspirations to attend law school (both his parents are attorneys). One of Chris’s instructors said, “He had a great academic future and he was a man who cared.”
Christopher enjoyed travel, venturing to countries in Europe starting when he was very young. He also played sports from an early age, starting with soccer, then football and basketball.
His father recalled Christopher as an 8-year-old football player getting bowled over by a “huge” fullback during a scrimmage. Christopher was on the ground for two seconds, then picked himself right up, stomped his foot and continued in the game.
“That’s the kind of kid Chris was,” Richard Martinez said.
Friends remembered Christopher as happy, kind, smart and funny. One of his friends wrote, “Chris was generous with his belongings and his love. He treated every person and all of their thoughts and feelings with the utmost respect. Academically and athletically he was a bad-ass but his humbleness knew no bounds.” On his last day, he had participated in a beach cleanup near UCSB.
That’s the kind of person he was, too.