Christopher Rodger McCarty, 29, passed away peacefully at St. George Regional Hospital Sunday, March 19, 2023, in St. George, with many family and friends having visited him and shared their final farewells that weekend.
Chris was born in Juneau, Alaska, May 5, 1993. His birth mother, Stacie, lovingly shared Chris with his adoptive parents, Jack Christopher and Marilyn Coreen (McRae) McCarty, who raised him in Grants Pass, Oregon, and Monroe, Utah.
Chris was joined by his younger brother, Michael, who was born and adopted by the McCarty family in 1995. Later there would be 12 foster brothers and sisters who shared their home. Chris happily joined different programs as a youth, such as soccer, tee-ball, Cub Scouts, and taekwondo. He studied piano and violin, but eventually decided he would rather listen to music than try to produce it!
Chris attended school at Fort Vannoy and Highland Elementary Schools in Grants Pass, then moved to England with his family for a year while his mother participated in a Fulbright Fellowship Teacher Exchange at Repton School. They lived in Repton Village in the East Midlands. His 4th grade year was spent at Foremark Preparatory School in Foremark Hall, Derbyshire. While there, he learned new skills and participated in different activities, such as playing cricket, studying French, learning to ski, attending Guy Fawkes Day bonfires on campus, and competing in swimming galas.
He travelled extensively with his family throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Gibraltar. In Gibraltar, he vividly remembered a Barbary Macaque – monkey – stealing his whole bag of Skittles candies as he was about to offer one or two pieces as a treat! One of his highlight memories of Italy was falling down Mount Vesuvius! Later he would travel with his family to Hawaii, Mexico, Germany, and Ghana in Western Africa.
As a middle schooler, Chris attended North Middle School in Grants Pass, and also home-schooled for a while. High school began at Grants Pass High School in Oregon, where his mother was a Spanish teacher, but he spent his final two years at South Sevier High School in Monroe, Utah, graduating in 2011. Chris enjoyed listening to audio books while traveling and working, and was able to incorporate advanced vocabulary into his speech from a young age.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts were a passion for him, as well as gaming. He enjoyed walking, hiking, and camping in the great outdoors. Completing the requirements and earning the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scout program was always a source of pride and gave him a sense of accomplishment.
Work for Chris revolved mostly around the food industry, as he learned better and more advanced techniques for preparing delicious meals. Starting as a chicken fryer and dish washer, he climbed the rungs of the restaurant employee ladder, even developing dishes that graced the menus of fine dining establishments in southern Utah. He discovered a new and deep passion for cooking, and his goal was to become a chef and own a restaurant one day.
Chris met Amy Nancarrow-Loy, and they married Dec. 15, 2014, in Santa Clara, at his parents’ home. For 8-plus years, he and Amy lived in St. George, and Williamsburg, Virginia, making friends and developing life-long relationships. His co-workers and friends remarked often about his strong work ethic and his hilarious sense of humor.
He was always making up and telling jokes, keeping extensive notes for comedic presentations. Once when he lost his phone, he was more worried about misplacing his joke notes than his important phone numbers! Overcoming his shyness, he travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada, twice to perform at a comedy club as a stand-up comedian, receiving a standing ovation for his routine!
Friends and family will miss his wonderful laugh, his heart-felt words of encouragement and wisdom. He will be remembered as a loving, hard-working, and creative young man whose life was a gift to all who knew him. He was kind to everyone he met, including a menagerie of pets he cared for over the years, beginning with dogs Nina and Pinta, deer fawns Buck-y and Doe-y, a pet rat named Oreo, then a puppy named Dozer, followed by the baby chicks he helped raised. Amy and Chris loved their fur babies including Burton, Mya, Hank, Green Bean, Killian, the hedgehog, the ferrets, and occasionally others.
He is survived by his wife, Amy; his parents, Marilyn and Jack McCarty; his brother, Michael; his aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws; and niece, Nevaeh, and nephew, Troye.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Amelia McCarty, Sevier, and Roderick and Velma McRae, San Bernardino County, California; and his cousin, Eric McCarty, Vancouver, Washington.
Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah is in charge of cremation, with his ashes being spread near an oasis in southern Utah where he enjoyed so many hours of hiking and outdoor activity.
A celebration of Christopher’s life was held March 21 at the Wood Ash Rye Restaurant in St. George. Chris loved working at this establishment, where he worked his way up from the “dish pit” to prep cook to line cook, always wanting to learn more and cook better. The W.A.R. team loved Chris and his personality, his loyalty to his friends, and the delicious additions to the menu that he invented and taught to others.
When asked recently about the highlights of his life, he listed them as #1, Amy; #2, his parents and family; and #3, his friends. He was a minimalist by nature, never caring too much for things or possessions (well, maybe his set of chef knives that Amy gifted him!). He preferred to cultivate bonds between people. He and Amy hosted “FriendsGiving” dinners at their home and loved to have friends over to cook and dine together. When most of your friends are fellow cooks, just imagine the quality of the food prepared and consumed during those get-togethers! Christopher was a culinary artist who trained others to be creative and expert in the kitchen.
Chris loved his friends and family devotedly. And he was greatly loved in return.
Rest in peace, Chris, we love you so much!