Farewell for man who 'lit up the room'

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014
Christiaan Minnee
FAREWELL: Christiaan Minnee

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Christiaan Minnee had a cheeky smile. He flashed it when he was a little boy, when he was a grown man and now it lives on in his greatest achievement - his daughter Bia.

Mr Minnee, 36, was taken to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries after his motorbike collided with a ute on Bruntwood Rd in Tamahere about 8.30am on Monday. Sadly, he died that night.

Now, his family is mourning a "truly solid Kiwi guy, who made such an impression on everyone he made contact with".

Mr Minnee was a passionate man who loved to snowboard, swim at the beach, mountain bike - but his greatest love was his family.

"He was intensely passionate about anything he believed in, whether it be work, his studies, his hobbies, his mates. But most of all his intense love for his family - his daughter Bia whom he doted on, and his wife Elena whom he adored with all of his heart," Mr Minnee's sister Melanie Watson said.

Mrs Watson described her brother as "borderline genius" - though he would never admit that - and a real all-rounder.

"He was a really smart guy. Trying to capture him in a nutshell is quite hard because he was just good at everything," Mrs Watson said.

"He always excelled at everything and he wouldn't give up. He always persevered until he mastered something."

But along with working in civil engineering, building his own house, travelling to America and Canada to snowboard and excelling in martial arts, Mr Minnee was a very social man and the one who everyone turned to when they needed a hand.

"Chris was ‘that guy' whom you could always count on, dependable and loyal, trustworthy and genuine," Mrs Watson said.

"These characteristics are just some of what made up the man who lit up the room."

A service to celebrate Mr Minnee's life will be held at 2pm on Monday at the Baptist Church, 58 Queen Street, Cambridge.

But while Mr Minnee will be farewelled, his smile and heart will not.

"That cheeky smile we won't see everyday, but it won't ever be forgotten."

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- Waikato Times

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