Isaiah Chinye Okia, 20, Sauk Rapids
January 20, 1999 - December 6, 2019
Celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Christ Church Newman Center in St. Cloud for Isaiah Chinye Okia who died at home in St. Cloud on December 6th, 2019. Rev. Joseph Herzing will officiate and a private family burial will be at a later date. Visitation will be from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday and one hour prior to the service all at the church. A prayer service and time of sharing will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Sauk Rapids.
We ask that you open your heart and offer compassion without judgment for those that suffer from illness rooted in stigma, trauma or shame; this was how Chinye lived his life with compassion and without judgement. Chinye will always be remembered for his courage and strength during difficult times. Unfortunately, this time the pain was too great and Chinye died by suicide on Friday evening leaving behind his bereaved parents, younger brother, relatives, friends, and his comrade soldiers.
Chinye was born on January 20, 1999 in Somerville, NJ the first born of Pamela Tritz-Okia and Francis Okia. He was baptized at St. Mary’s in Cottonwood. Chinye attended Orchard Hill Elementary School and Village Secondary School in Belle Mead, NJ where he was an active volunteer of “Buddy Readers”. Chinye received his black belt from Yu’s Black Belt Institute at the young age of 11. Moving to Minnesota, the family settled in St. Cloud where he attended south Middle School and Tech High School. Chinye was active in school sports participating in Tech High basketball, Middle School Jazz band, Honors Band 1ST Trumpeter, Middle School band 1st Trumpeter, and Tech High track and field winning many awards and recognitions. He was certified in Basic Life Support, 1st aid, CPR AED, and Emergency Medical Services. He also volunteered at St. Benedicts Nursing Home.
Chinye attended St. Cloud State University joining the ROTC officers Training Program as an Infantryman in the United States Army while studying criminal Justice. His dream from 4th grade was to be in the United States Military.
Chinye had many interests and hobbies – he was an avid horse lover even as an infant collecting any kind of horse toy, galloping on his jumping and stick horses and riding real horses; he collected coins, and Yu-Gi-Oh Cards; gaming on line; loved music sending his favorites via text to family and friends; self-taught guitarist; was passionate about physical fitness and healthy foods. He was a favorite playmate to Maggie, his beloved dog. He was a trickster hiding the ice cream scoop in every cupboard it shouldn’t be in. Chinye was also sentimental keeping his favorite infant snuggles “Pony” the pony and “Raindrop” the bunny finding it hard to give up anything that was given to him.
Chinye is survived by his parents Francis Mordi Okia and Pamela Tritz-Okia, his younger brother Brendon, Grandmother Lilly Kerkvliet and Great Aunt Violet Danileson, Godparents John and Sandy Henrichs, Aunts Brenda Tritz, Diane Boe and Nkechi Emelue, Uncles Ozo, Kodiliose and Peter Emelue, Gordon and Richard Tritz, Cousins Michelle (Barker), Christopher, Larry, Natasha (Genzler), William Boe, Cousins Adam, Corey and Colton Tritz, Cousins Chidimanna, Ezinwanne, Emanuel, Nathaniel, Frank Emelue. Second Cousins Makala, Makana and William Barker; Niles, Nolan, Nathan, Nevine Genzler; Cole Boe; and Estelle Marie Tritz. His many relatives and friends in the US and Nigeria.
Chinye is preceded in death by his Grandfather’s Chief Onyelo Okia, Clarence Tritz and John Kerkvliet; Grandmother Chief Enuami Okia; Great Grandparents Chief Onyelo, Karl and Minnie Koepp; Uncles James Tritz, William Joseph Tritz and Ernest Boe; Great Uncles Robert, Frank, Carl, David and Martin Koepp. Great Aunts Frienda Schultz, Elsie Hoenemann, Ester Knettle, Helen Barrik, Vera Johnson and Liz Krasen.
The family requests that anyone who has military affiliation to display proudly by wearing their uniforms, branch insignia, caps etc to the memorial and burial- the U.S military was Chinye’s passion.