December 21, 1970 – June 25, 2023
Chris Lipinski’s love for speed prevailed even in death. After battling cancer for many years, Chris’ end of life came quickly. Chris died Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the age of 52 surrounded by two of his greatest loves and supporters Jada Baker and Jessica Manley, bonus-mom and mom (respectively) to his beloved daughter, Amanda Lipinski (20).
Chris was born in Houston on December 21, 1970, to parents Shirley Orn and Brian Gelineau. After moving to the Austin area at age 12, he never left. Chris graduated from Hays High School (1989) and later used his self-proclaimed “gift of gab” to sell long distance plans (!!) at MCI (now part of Verizon). Chris went on to use his gift to become an outstanding salesman at Capitol Chevrolet, where he would work his way up to finance manager and stay for 25 years.
Chris was dedicated and loyal to those around him. At Capitol Chevy, Chris was a constant, even as the owners of the dealership and employees came and went and even through years of cancer treatment. A quarter century of owners and employees at Capitol Chevy became family to Chris, his dealership family, sharing life’s celebrations and later supporting Chris and his family after he was no longer able to work.
Chris’ love of cars ran much deeper than Capitol Chevy – Chris loved race cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, jet skis…basically anything with an engine that could go fast! But more than the cars and the engines, Chris loved the friends that he made in the racing community. Chris would travel around the country and meet friends to race cars and watch others race cars; he would build race cars and work on engines. Upon Chris’ death, his racing community was lightning fast (no surprise), helping his family track down all of his cars and engines and parts and other vehicles – representing a lifetime of friendship and fun.
Chris had a heart as big as Texas. He drove a Capitol Chevy truck in the Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade during the holidays each year, bringing Amanda and her friends along for the ride to help fill the truck full of gifts for local families in need. He donated every month to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He had an open door policy at home and loved cooking for family and friends. Once or twice a week, Chris might make a big ol’ pot of spaghetti for neighbors, smoke a brisket for racing buddies, or grill for dealership friends.
If you haven’t yet noticed, Chris created family and community throughout his life. Wherever Chris went in life, there was a community that he built and nurtured over time. In many of those communities, Chris was the constant. He had the special ability to maintain old relationships while also cultivating new ones and he brought everyone along for the ride! He created his dealership family, his racing family, and also his neighborhood family and loved bringing them all together.
Above all else, most important to Chris was his beloved daughter Amanda, and the fairytale version of a blended family that he created with Amanda’s mom Jessica Manley (Chris’ first wife) and husband Sam Manley, and Amanda’s “bonus mom” Jada Baker (Chris’ wife). They navigated all of life together, parenting Amanda through her teenage years and helping her to grow into the beautiful young woman she is today. Chris was a dedicated, kind, loving, and FUN dad. After having Amanda, he never wanted another child – Amanda was his one and done, his world. He loved going to her cheer competitions, cooking with her, staying up late snacking and watching shows together… anything to be with his girl. Chris’ amazing blended family supported him through his Cancer treatment and continue to support each other as they mourn the loss of someone as vibrant and full of life as Chris.
Chris was preceded in death by his mother Shirley Orn and in addition to his blended family is survived by a constellation of family members including: his father Brian Gelineau and wife Tiffany and their son Jordan; step-father Kevin Orn and wife Pam; sister Tiffany Snodgrass and nephew Colby Snodgrass.
As we try to navigate this world without Chris, let’s all do our best to live like Chris. Forget, forgive, move on – full speed ahead.
To celebrate Chris’ life, let’s bring all of his families together. If you knew Chris, you know he never met a stranger and that you were family to him. Please join us on Tuesday, July 11, at 11am at Real Life Church, 13701 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Austin, TX 78737. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.