It is with great sadness that the family of Christopher Melendez announce his sudden passing on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at the age of 49.
Chris was born in Wickenburg, Arizona. His youth was spent in Mt. Sterling Illinois. Chris always loved to drive fast so we knew early on that he would grow up to be either an ambulance driver, a race car driver or a policeman. After graduating from high school he chose to follow his father's footsteps and join law enforcement.
On August 31, 1991, Chris began his career with the Arizona Department of Public Safety as an Officer Trainee. Over a year later he began the Academy as a Cadet Officer. After graduating, Chris was assigned to the Highway Patrol working the Coolidge area. While assigned to Highway Patrol, Chris also worked in areas in Wickenburg, Metro West and transferred to the DUI and Special Enforcement Squad in December 2000. A few years later Chris was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division, working in GIITEM for a year before transferring to the Special Operation Unit. On November 4, 2006, Chris was promoted to Sergeant, remaining in Special Operation. Additional assignments in Criminal Investigations included Intelligence, IMPACT and the Central Narcotics District working at High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, Prior to (HIDTA), Chris served as a SWAT Sergeant for four years and was a team leader responsible for safely conducting hundreds of high-risk/tactical situations. Chris also worked as an instructor in Defensive Tactics, High Risk Stops, Entry Weapons and Precision Rifle.
One of Chris's accomplishments during his SWAT assignment was receiving the Distinguished Service Award for action as a sniper during the longest prison hostage situation in the history of the United States that lasted 15 days. Snipers were required to remain in place for extended hours in harsh conditions, including inclement weather and to provide a suppressive shot.
Chris served the citizens of the State of Arizona for over 22 years in Law Enforcement and retired in March 2013 as a Supervisor/Sergeant on a multi-jurisdictional drug task force. After his retirement from the DPS Chris met Tina who became his wife and their adventure began and lifelong memories were made.
Chris joined the team at Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts known as PFC in Las Vegas many years ago. Chris personified exactly what it means to be a good man, husband, father, son, brother, nephew, uncle, friend and warrior. Professionally Chris lived an authentic life, with the attributes of the PFC DNA at his very core. Each day Chris demonstrated professionalism, his capacity to lead and his willingness to help others. We have heard so many stories about Chris personally influencing others as a former Arizona State Trooper, PFC safeguards leader and PFC training instructor. He shaped so many peoples lives as he encouraged and lead their talents and growth.
Chris is survived by his wife Tina Melendez of Nevada, four children Kenadee and Skylar Melendez and Natasha and Nathaniel Borchard all from Arizona. Parents Anthony (Linda) Melendez of Wickenburg, Arizona; Susan (Don) Colclasure of Clayton Illinois. Sister Lindsay (Leo) Zuniga; Brothers Cory Colclasure and Jake (Keylee) Colclasure. Nephews Kash and Kingston Zuniga, Beckett Peebles and Rowan Colclasure and Niece Payton Zuniga. Chris was preceded in death by his sister Misty Melendez Peebles.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Mount Hope Assembly of God Church, 550 W Penn Lane, Wickenburg, Arizona and a Lunch Reception at 12:00 Noon at the Wickenburg Community Center, 1600 N Valentine Street, Wickenburg, Arizona.