Family, friends, community pay final respects to fallen DPS officer

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PEORIA -- A Department of Public Safety officer who was killed in the line of duty last week was laid to rest Wednesday morning.

Officer Christopher Marano was killed last week during a high speed chase on the Loop 101. He was laying down spike strips when he was hit by another officer's patrol car.

Marano’s funeral began at 10 a.m. at Christ Church of the Valley in Peoria. Officers from various agencies all over the state lined the path as Marano's casket, draped with the flag, was brought in.

An estimated 1,200 people – including Gov. Jan Brewer and the attorney general – showed up to pay their respects to a man who lost his life while doing his job protecting the community.

Marano had been with DPS for 2.5 years, serving in the Navy before that. At just 28 years old, his colleagues say he accomplished so much.

“How do we put into words the loss we feel today?” said DPS Director Roger Vanderpool during the service. “There are no words. There never will be an adequate way of taking a person such as Chris and summing up his life. Everyone who knew Chris will tell you he was an extraordinary man.”

While he loved his job helping others, his wife Shelly and their four young girls -- all under the age of 7, including a 4-month-old baby girl – were his pride and joy.

“Chris died a week before Christmas, eight days before Christmas,” said DPS Lt. Steve Harrison. “We planned a funeral. Now it’s two days before Christmas and I can only imagine that growing up, the family -- the daughters -- will remember Christmas as ‘the day I buried Dad,’ and not a happy time for them. Not a memory you want children to have.”

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Christopher Marano Memorial Fund, which has been established at: Desert Schools Federal Credit Union (DSFCU) Account: #4326392835.