Detective Manuel Christopher “Chris” Widner, 47, of Powderly, Texas entered the Lord’s presence on August 22, 2021 in Tyler, Texas.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Friday August 27, 2021 at the Eastern Baptist Church in Paris with Reverend Chris Kelley officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Chapel cemetery. The carriers and the distinctions will be provided by the Guard of Honor of the Prefecture of Police of Paris. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home.
Chris was born in Fort Campbell, Ky. To parents Emmanuel and Laura Widner on July 19, 1974. He graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1993. After graduating from high school, Chris was hired by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, during his stay there. he was promoted to lieutenant in the campaign department. He was employed by TDCJ for 15 years.
In 2010, he was hired by the police department of the city of Paris where he served with integrity and honor as a patroller and detective. He also served in the honor guard and as a hostage negotiator. Chris was named Officer of the Year in 2016. He was deeply loved and respected by all of his siblings in blue. Each of them knew they could count on Chris at work and in life.
Chris loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially with his son Cameron. He loved to drive his tractor and mow. He liked everything that had to do with being outside.
Chris was known for his love of cooking. He particularly enjoyed cooking for his family and for large groups. With Chris, you knew there would always be more than enough food.
Chris was a man of faith. Her faith in Christ and her relationship with God had become the foundation of her life. He was a member of the Pentecostal Church of God Gospel Lighthouse where he had served as a deacon and was currently the head of men’s ministry. Chris loved his church family and was deeply loved in return.
Chris married the love of his life, Michelle Sparks, on April 8, 2006. For more than 15 years, they have built together a beautiful life of love and respect. Chris was a loving and loving husband and lived his life to take care of Michelle and her family. God blessed Chris and Michelle with an awesome son, Cameron. For anyone who knew Chris, it was easy to see that Cameron was Chris’ pride and joy. Chris and Cameron had a love for each other that every father and son should have. Chris loved Jay, Chelsie and Amber like they were his own. He also loved all of his grandchildren deeply. Her love for her parents, Emmanuel and Laura, her brother Vernon and her sister, Deanna was so evident. Not only did Chris love his family, he was also dearly loved by his family. Chris had more friends than one could count and each of them loved him. He will be missed by all.
Chris was a man of faith, character and integrity. He lived a life that serves as an example for all of us to follow. Chris has impacted more lives than he could have imagined.
He was predeceased by his brother, Cap. Vernon Ralph Widner; his stepson, Sgt. Jay Hoskins; and her stepfather, the Reverend James Sparks.
Chris’ life will be cherished forever by his beloved wife of 15 years, Michelle Widner; and son, Cameron Widner, of Powderly; daughters-in-law, Chelsie McKnight and husband, Colby, of Paris and Amber Young, of Irving, Texas; sister, Deanna Gilbert and husband, Michael, of Lorena, Texas; parents, Emmanuel and Laura Widner, of Gatesville, Texas; stepmother, Lynn Sparks, of Powderly; grandchildren, Kylee Young, Kinsey Walters, Aiden Walters, Karlee Vaughn, Jaycee McKnight, Ashton McKnight, Tristen Hoskins, Jay Wyatt Hoskins, Rowen Hoskins, Piper Hoskins; and nephew, Nolan Gilbert.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the PCG Gospel Lighthouse Building Fund. Mailing address 7600 Hwy 271 North Powderly, TX 75473 or donations can be made online via tithe.ly application.
Online condolences can be sent to the Widner family by visiting fry-gibbs.com.