Birth: July 10, 1977 in Rapid City, South Dakota
Death: December 24, 2003 in Balad, Iraq
Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer of South Dakota graduated from Sturgis High School in 1995 and
graduated from Kemper Military Junior in May 1997, earning a commission as 2nd LT. He was
a platoon leader and detachment commander for Bravo Company, 153rd Engineers. Chris was
a 2001 graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a degree in chemical
engineering. He was commissioned a Captain March 2003. Chris enjoyed hunting, especially
antelope. He loved the ranch and never tired of helping his dad, whether it was building
fences, stacking hay or working cattle. When he e- mailed home, his first question was always,
“ How are the cows?” Discipline defined Chris’s life in both his job and his personal life. His
faith was important to him, and he demonstrated it through the care and concern he showed
for others. He loved his family, and he never missed an opportunity to be together and would
travel hundreds of miles for a family gathering, and particularly enjoyed showing up
unannounced on a family member’s doorstep. Chris was devoted to his many friends. He was
an encourager and made anyone he was with feel special touching the lives of anyone he met.
He had a great sense of humor, and he enjoyed laughing, four- wheeling, riding horseback,
and caring for his animals. Chris believed in what he was doing; he was proud to serve his
country. Survivors include his parents, Steve and Cathy Soelzer, and Alan and Delain Johnson;
his grandparents, Duane Crisp, Dorothy Collingwood, and Elsie Johnson; two brothers and
their wives, Josh and Beth Soelzer, and Tim and Amanda Soelzer; one stepbrother and his
wife, Travis and Misty Puckett, Black Hawk; and four stepsisters, Trin Puckett, Melissa
Sheppard and her husband Chris, Christina Thompson and her husband, Barry, and Sarah
Price and her husband, Adam; a special aunt, Sherry Solberg. Chris was preceded in death by
his grandparents, Frank and Helen Soelzer, Joy Crisp, Leonard Collingwood, Murlene Crisp, Dr.
Edward Johnson, and aunt, Lynne Welbig. He was 26.
Army, 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
Burial is at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota - Sec D Site 1410
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.