Chris was the VP of National Accounts at Reebok for many years after running the footwear business in the Reebok Southeast region. After a 26-year career with Reebok, he moved to Mizuno for a short period before moving to Crocs where he served as VP of Sales for the Americas for the brand for a few years.
He was a Reebok Classic.
His obituary follows:
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Christopher John Walsh, cherished son, beloved husband, devoted father, and esteemed colleague passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 8, 2024, at the age of 61. Chris was preceded in death by his parents, James and Maureen Walsh.
Chris was a man of subtle wit, known for his dry sense of humor and his ability to bring laughter to any situation. He was a loving son and a steadfast presence in the lives of his siblings, Jim and Lisa. Chris treasured his family deeply and was always there to offer his support and guidance.
Chris was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, on November 2, 1962, and spent his formative years in Hudson, Ohio. Always a standout in sports, Chris was both starting quarterback and starting pitcher in high school, continuing when the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida his Junior year.
That led him to the University of Florida, where Chris graduated and remained a proud Gator. He then ventured to Chicago, where he met the love of his life, Vickie Pankow, who at the time worked in the shoe industry. The couple moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and married in 1988.
While there, Chris began his 26-year career with Reebok, which in 1991 brought them to Marietta, Georgia. In 2013 he joined Mizuno and then Crocs, where he continued to make significant contributions and built lasting relationships.
Finding their permanent home in Marietta, Chris and Vickie started their family, welcoming their sons Brady and then Riley. Chris was dedicated to instilling valuable life lessons in his boys. Through coaching and mentoring, he imparted essential values and encouraged his sons to strive for excellence both on and off the field. He was immensely proud of both of his son’s achievements in sports and in life.
Chris was actively involved in his community and was beloved in his neighborhood, always ready to join the local kids as the designated pitcher or quarterback. He found joy in playing golf and tennis, winning the ALTA city championships as a proud member of the neighborhood’s men’s and mixed doubles tennis teams.
He is survived by his loving wife, Vickie; cherished sons, Brady and Riley; daughter-in-law, Jordan; siblings, Jim and Lisa; extended family, and a multitude of dear friends and colleagues who will forever hold him in their hearts.
Funeral services will be held at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 4814 Paper Mill Road, Marietta, Georgia, on Tuesday, February 13th at 2:00 p.m. followed by a celebration of Chris’ life at the family home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in his honor.
Chris’s presence will be deeply missed, but his memory will continue to inspire all who were fortunate enough to know him. May he rest in peace, knowing he made a lasting impact on the world and those he loved.
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Lead image courtesy Reebok