An 18-Year-Old’s Obituary

In just the past two weeks, three northeast Tarrant County teenagers have died of apparent drug overdoses. Two in Grapevine. One in Euless.  Two were 18 years old.  One was 15.

Police don’t think any of the three deaths are related because the teens did not know each other and apparently had taken different kinds of drugs.

I briefly profiled all three teens in my story but unfortunately couldn’t give too much detail because of time restraints.

Below is a copy of the obituary for Christopher Hackler, 18, of Euless. He was found dead in his girlfriend’s apartment in Grapevine August 7th.  Let’s hope other young people pay attention to this and learn from it.  The obituary was written by Hackler’s parents, who want his death to serve as a wake-up call for other drug users who may not think it can happen to them.



Christopher Michael Hackler was born on October 2, 1989 in Bedford, Texas to Steve Hackler of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the former Kimberly Reed of Sapulpa, Oklahoma.  Christopher walked into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on August 7, 2008 at the age of 18.  Chris was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Roland and Betty Hackler of Tulsa, Oklahoma; maternal great-grandparents, J.C. and Viva Robins of Granite City, Illinois; and his great grandmother, Gertie Reed of Sapulpa, Oklahoma.


Chris is survived by his parents, Steve Hackler of Euless, Texas, and Kim Hackler of Skiatook, Oklahoma; two brothers, David Hackler of Norman, Oklahoma, and Matthew Hackler of Euless, Texas; grandparents, Jerry and Patricia Reed of Sapulpa, Oklahoma; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  While living in Tulsa, Chris attended Jenks Public Schools.


After moving to Texas, Chris attended Carroll Public Schools in Southlake, Texas. Chris graduated high school in late 2007 from the In Balance Ranch in Tombstone, Arizona, and had planned on attending junior college in the Dallas area this fall.


Chris was an avid lover of sports and during his young life had played football, basketball, baseball, and competitive soccer. He also enjoyed surfing, wake-boarding, snowboarding, and when he was only 5 years old he was one belt stripe away from being a black belt in karate. 


Chris was an avid Oklahoma Sooners fan and one of his greatest joys was to attend the OU Sooners football games with his Grandma and Papa Reed.  Chris was blessed to have traveled extensively around the world with his family. 


He had visited Beijing, China; Paris, France; London, England; the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Oahu, and Kauai; Cancun, Mexico; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Milan, Italy.  While in China, people were amazed at Chris’s blonde hair and handsomeness and wanted their pictures taken with him.


Christopher wanted to dedicate his life to helping troubled teens and leading them in the right direction. The Chris Hackler Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to help families of kids who are troubled but may not have the resources available to get them the help that they desperately need. Chris’s life could not be saved for the Lord had better plans for him in store. 


This scholarship fund will address Chris’s goal he had in life and help to save the lives of kids who might not otherwise have a chance. Donations can be made by going to and specifying that it is for the Chris Hackler Memorial Scholarship Fund. 


Christopher will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him.  He was the kind of young man that anyone would be proud to call son, grandson, and friend. His funeral services will be held on Wednesday, August 13, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. at Floral Haven Funeral Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Pastor Wendell Hope of Victory Christian Church and director of the Tulsa Dream Center will officiate the services.  Viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, August 11th and 12th, 2008.


5 Responses to “An 18-Year-Old’s Obituary”

  1. 1 Tiffany August 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I had the priveledge and honor to know Chris and his family. I have rarely seen parent’s so dedicated to their son and his well being. I commend his family for using this tragedy to raise awareness for other people struggling with addiction. What a selfless position to take in such a difficult time.

  2. 2 Tammy Heritage "sissy" August 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I had the honor of being Christopher’s aunt. He was an amazing young man with the most beautiful eyes and loving heart. He made me melt every time I looked at him. I want everyone to know what an amazing person he was and how he wanted to dedicate his life to helping others who struggled with problems like he did. He didn’t have the chance to do it in this life but in his death we know he will help so many. He is now our angel watching over us and being an inspiration to other young teens. I am PROUD to have had Chris in my life, his gentle voice will be in my heart forever.

  3. 3 valerie August 28, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    i was every lucky to have gotten to meet christopher he was one of my every good friends when he lived in jenks him and i have every good times together that i will never forget i will remember him for ever

  4. 4 Emily September 22, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I also had the honor to know and see the best of Chris. He was an amazing best friend and boyfriend. He didn’t want anything more than to get better and recover from his addiction and to have a stronger relationship with his family. He was a very sweet and sensitive guy and always managed to make me happy just thinking about him. And I can honestly say that Chris was the most meaningful person to me and who I could relate to the most for just about everything and anything and he is my motivation to stay clean and live the life both he and I were striving for. This unfortunate event hopefully teaches the teen users around us that it’s not just fun and games and that a temporary thing can lead to such a permanent, tragic solution. This has been very traumatic for me, as it has for his family and friends. Never would I have ever expected something like this could happen to someone so close to me..I really hope people take something from this..I know I did.

  5. 5 Andy September 23, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    when at In Balance Ranch, chris was one of my best friends i had ever had. we graduated high school together, went to Los Angeles together, he was an amazing friend and human being. when he left the ranch, he was truly working so hard to beat his addiction, as was i. But sometimes life gets the best of us. I love you buddy, i’ll see you soon enough.

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