Christopher Gary Wainwright

January 11, 1980 - April 15, 2022
Christopher Gary Wainwright

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Truly One of Kind, a Smile that would light up the Universe, an Incredible Father, Super Successful Business Owner, the best friend anyone could ever imagine, a loving son… It is with great tragedy and heartache that Christopher Gary Wainwright, 42, passed away on Friday, April 15, 2022, due to a heart attack in his home.

Chris was born on January 11, 1980 in Greenville, NC. Chris was a vibrant soul who loved life and truly believed in living life to the fullest while maximizing every single moment! Chris was one of the most generous, caring, compassionate people you would ever meet! It is no question that if you knew Chris, you loved Chris! His passion and zest for life were unmatched! He radiated positivity and his energy was contagious. Chris believed in always having and delivering the best of the best, in all that he did, all that he had and set out to do! One of his favorite quotes: “Who’s Better than US… Nobody”.

Chris’ absolute proudest moment was the day his beautiful son, Hendrix Steele, was born! Chris was an incredible, devoted father and loved Hendrix Steele with all of his heart and soul! From the day his baby boy was born, Chirs’ newfound focus was to ensure that Hendrix lived the most amazing life ever imaginable! Everything Chris did, he did for Hendrix! Chris wanted to ensure Hendrix lived a diverse, fulfilled and cultured life. Chris spent ample time with Hendrix across many spectrums; guiding, teaching, coaching and mentoring him through life’s journey! Chris had a deep love for his friends and family, the water, the outdoors, fishing, hunting, incredible food, traveling the world, live music, unique art, great fashion and so much more. Chris lived for creating special moments and memories with Hendrix! They spent an indefinite number of hours on the water, where Chris taught Hendrix to fish, drive his custom designed tower boat “Steele ‘n’ Drum” (named after Hendrix), channeling the waters, soaking in the beautiful sun, laughing until their tummies hurt and basking in the salt air. Chris’ other love and passion of the outdoors was hunting. A little over 10 years ago, Chris began hunting in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. This was an annual trip that he eagerly looked forward to year after year. Thankfully this past year, Hendrix was old enough to go and experience this joy with his dad; a memory he will treasure forever!

Chris was driven beyond belief and dedicated to the continuous growth and success of his business. Over the course of the last 17 years, his keen eye for detail and astounding creative and artistic vision, in conjunction with his devoted team, set his company aside in industry. Grass with Class Landscape and Design is truly in a league of its own. Chris’ landscapes and designs have been featured in an array of magazines showcasing his true talent and skill! His work was amazing and completed beyond perfection!

Chris’ beautiful, vibrant, bright smile and charismatic, full of life spirit is going to be greatly missed. It is no doubt that this tragedy has rocked his friends and family to their core. Chris is survived by his incredible, loving, six year old son Hendrix Steele and Amy Nealey Wainwright (ex‐wife and best friend) (Wilmington, NC), his loving parents Susan and Gary Wainwright (Coco, Callie) (Rocky Point, NC), mother Judy Stocks (Texas), grandmother Joyce Stocks (Ayden, NC), Phyllis Nealey (Whiteville, NC), grandfather Captain John Hinson (Beaufort, NC), two sisters, Denise Wainwright (Brianna, Michael Josh) (Texas), Wendy Wainwright (Ricki) (Greenville, NC), two brothers, Michael Wilson (Greenville, NC), Adam Wilson (Lauren, Everette and Lillie) (Pennsylvania), brother Matthew Zimmerman (Virginia), best friend Fonda Rhodes (Morehead City, NC), best friend and cousin Terry Braxton (Meredith, Cameron, Marley, Madison) (Greenville, NC), close friends Bob and Rebecca Shigley (Hampstead, NC), best friend Bobby Lukas Hilburn (Kyle) (Wilmington, NC), best friend Jacob Cerny (Wilmington, NC) his silver lab Jolton, an array of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, his incredible employees and an unmeasurable amount of friends. Chris was preceded in death by grandfather Richard “Roscoe” Wainwright (Morehead City, NC), grandmother Daphne Hinson (Beaufort, NC), grandfather JW Stocks (Greenville, NC), uncle Michael Wainwright (Greenville, NC), uncle Jay Stocks (Greenville, NC), and best friend, ex father in law, Ronald Nealey (Whiteville, NC).

“Thank you for being the best daddy in the whole wide world! I will love you forever Daddy. I miss you so much” ‐ Love, Hendrix Steele!

A Celebration of Life to honor Chris will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 2:00pm at Salters Haven Clubhouse and Marina, located at 16 Voyager Way, Hampstead, NC 28443. All that loved and knew Chris Wainwright are invited to attend.

Please leave memories and condolences for Chris’ family by clicking the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation – Wilmington Chapel – 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • April 21, 2022
    Bridget Hagan (Aunt B) says:
    Chris, there are truly no words to describe what our family is feeling right now. We loved you so much and we will all keep your precious memories alive for your precious son, Hendrix Steele. This has truly been a hard one to process but as a family, we will get through this and honor your short precious time in this world. We will be there for Amy and Hendrix and of course everyone else that loved you. We miss you so much already but we know that will see you again someday. RIP my precious sweet nephew.

  • April 28, 2022
    Patty and Ed McDonnell says:
    With deepest sympathy as this news was so disturbing. We recently met Chris during our home build in Leland. He was so positive, knowledgeable, patient and helpful during our landscape design. Chris had experience and recommended good options. Our home is most likely one of the last ones he worked on. We will forever remember him as we look across our landscape. With deepest sympath to family and friends. Patty and Ed McDonnell

  • April 26, 2022
    Paul Stutz & Diane Joseph says:
    Diane and I had a very positive business relationship with Chris. He was smart, professional and very attentive to our needs. We are so saddened to learn of his passing. It is just heartbreaking to hear about someone that young and vibrant being taken away from us so soon. May his soul rest in peace.

  • April 24, 2022
    Elizabeth Guion says:
    I worked with Chris off and on for many many years and always loved his joy that he had for life and he absolutely loved his baby boy so much. He would bring him by and show him off. He was an amazing man that always made sure those of us in the office were thought of during the holidays and some times for no reason. Just a thoughtful and caring man that was so full of life. This earth has truly lost one of the best humans ever to have walked here. Chris you are really going to be missed by so many!!!

  • April 22, 2022
    Kristin Lamott - Kent Homes says:
    My condolences to Chris' son, family and friends. This tribute is so touching, he was clearly so loved and respected. I knew him through work, and it was obvious that he was a professional and driven business man. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you in this difficult time