By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer
Chris Baglien was a loving family man who had a hunger for food, cars and gadgets.
His wife, Trudy, said even in his final days, her husband only thought about others.
“When he was in the hospital and people would come to see him, he said, ‘how are you, how are you doing.’ He didn’t really want people to come visit him because he knew they were busy and had other things going on.”
Chris Baglien died Sunday from cancer of the esophagus, family members said. He was 48.
He was born on Christmas Day, 1956, in Wimpole, England. His father was in the Army, so the family frequently moved, eventually to Clovis.
Nick Baglien, 47, said as the only children in the family, he and his older brother shared a special bond.
“Our parents divorced when we were little,” the Clovis resident said.
“We sort of raised each other. Except for Chris’ couple years in the Navy, we never lived in separate towns.”
His brother said working on a car together in high school is one of his favorite memories.
“It was a 1970 Plymouth Duster,” Nick Baglien said.
“We worked on it for about three or four years. We never took it to a drag strip or anything. We just cruised around town.”
Chris Baglien continued his love for cars later in life, working as a general sales manager for Hamilton Big Country Ford.
Another shared memory with his brother took place on a streetcorner in the mid 1970s.
“We were driving home and were on the corner of Mabry and Shepps,” he said.
“It was raining pretty hard and our car stalled. This was before there was a McDonald’s or anything there, so we were stuck. We had to spend the night in a lake of rain. We thought we were going to drown.”
The next day, Nick Baglien said, things looked better. “There probably was not as much water as we thought, he said. “We got the car towed and we were fine.”
Trudy Baglien said the location of the cancer took away one of Chris’ joys.
“He loved to eat,” said his wife of 25 years. “He would eat anything. If it was f-o-o-d, he ate it. After he got sick, he lost a lot of weight because it hurt him to eat.”
She said on Sundays her husband’s love for food met his love for family.
“He loved cookouts,” she said. “We had a pool and he loved cooking up a bunch of food outside for the family every Sunday.”
Baglien also had a love for gadgets.
“He had the newest Razor phone, binoculars that you could see at night,” Trudy Baglien said. “One of his newest things was a PSP.
“We’ve got a big screen in the living room, a plasma screen in the bedroom,” Trudy Baglien said. “He liked big things.”
Baglien’s favorite entertainment was James Bond and Star Trek movies, she said.
“He would call his bother and say ‘there’s a James Bond movie marathon, let’s watch it,’” his wife said.
Nick Baglien said his brother’s death has been hard on him.
“I looked up to him,” he said. “He was my only brother. His death has created a hole in my life. I’m gonna miss him.”
In Tribute is a regular feature. To suggest an honoree, contact CNJ managing editor Rick White at 763-6991 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org