Christopher Ronald Applebee was born November 7, 1977, at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Chris graduated from Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, Georgia, in 1996, and from Ogeechee Technical College in 2000 with a degree in marketing and management. He worked in various roles at Chick-Fil-A for 18 years and was the general manager at the Statesboro Chick-Fil-A from 2002 to 2014.
Chris was passionate about serving the community and helping others. He started as a volunteer firefighter with Bulloch County Bay District Station #5, where he was the station lieutenant. He was on the Bulloch County Rescue Squad and was an instructor for the county fire department. In 2011, Chris started as a part-time firefighter with the Statesboro Fire Department and became full-time in 2014. In August of 2016, he was promoted to lieutenant.
Chris served as an arson investigator for the department, was a member of the department’s honor guard, and was involved in various department committees, programs, and projects. Chris received numerous awards, including Statesboro Fire Department’s Fire Officer of the Year in 2017. He was also awarded Bulloch County Fire Department’s Officer of the Year in 2021, as well as Bulloch County’s Public Servant in 2021. Chris had a heart for service and taught firefighting and extrication throughout the Southeast.
When Chris wasn’t at the fire department, he enjoyed working with his hands at Brian’s Diesel Performance in Brooklet, Georgia, for seven years and eventually became shop foreman.
Chris met the love of his life, Tracy, while a student at Ogeechee Tech. He won her over with M&Ms, his expertise in paying attention while sleeping during class, and his ability to always make Tracy laugh.
They married in 2002 and were married just shy of 20 years. Chris and Tracy’s son, Caden, was born in 2004, and their daughter, Navee, in 2007. Chris enjoyed spending time with his family, going on vacation, hunting, cooking, and woodworking projects.
Chris passed away on September 9, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Tracy Applebee; his children, Caden and Navee Applebee; his parents, Ronald and Marcie Applebee; sister and brother-in-law, Haley and Keith Opdyke; and nephew and godson, Maxwell Opdyke.
Chris loved many and was loved by many. He had a kind heart and was always ready to lend a hand. Chris will be greatly missed by the community and all those who knew him.