It is with heavy heart and extreme sadness to announce that Christopher (Chris) Ragan Northcutt, 62, passed away on December 31, 2022, from natural causes due to medical complications. The family is shocked and deeply saddened by his unexpected death, and he will certainly be sorely missed by all who knew him. However, we can be comforted in the fact that Chris is once again soaring with the eagles.
Chris was born on November 21, 1960, to Littleton Annette Northcutt and George Carl Northcutt at Norton AFB, near San Bernardino, CA, as the youngest of four children. His father, George, was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and Chris grew up as a “military brat” with desires to always enter the Air Force and follow his father’s footsteps as a pilot. His father retired in Universal City, TX, and Chris graduated from Judson High School in Converse, TX, in 1979 and earned a full Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship at the University of Texas in Austin.
Upon his graduation, he entered pilot training at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX, and graduated near the very top of the class in 1984. He was only one of five pilots in the class to be offered a choice of what kind of aircraft to fly, and he immediately made the easy choice to be a fighter pilot in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. His call sign was “Cutter” and he was stationed at several Air Force Bases in Tactical Fighter Wings for advanced fighter pilot training before being stationed at the base of his choice, Nellis AFB, in Las Vegas, NV. Chris was a highly skilled and rated pilot and leader, and he was an outstanding Air Force Officer who people just knew had “the right stuff” to rapidly advance up the career ladder.
However, life circumstances took a turn on Chris in 1988 when he suffered a massive Traumatic Brain Injury in a Motor Vehicle Accident and as a result, he would never walk or fly again. At the time of his accident, he was a Captain getting closer to a potential selection to the Thunderbirds team. Chris was eventually able to live with his mother, Annette, and his older brother, George, at the family home in Universal City. They moved to Great Falls, MT, in 1998, so that his sister, Nanc Kerkes, and Brother-in-Law, Randall Kerkes, could also help take care of him.
He joined the Order of Daedalians, a fraternal and professional order for military aviators, at Malmstrom AFB. He was very active with the church and in other civic and community events. Chris was living at the Beehive Homes in Great Falls at the time of his death, and he moved there in 2009. The family extends their sincere appreciation to the staff and management at the Beehive for their love for Chris and their excellent care of him through the years. The Beehive not only provided the needed professional care for Chris, but they did it with love in their hearts, and this is something that can never be paid back.
Chris was an amazing optimist by nature despite his physical health setbacks. He had a very contagious positive attitude and a very positive outlook on life. He never let his health disabilities distract him from leading the best life he could and to give to others in the generous way he was. Chris had no children and he is survived by his brothers, George Northcutt Jr. of Great Falls and Jim Northcutt of Roswell, NM; his sister-in-law, Marion Savoie-Northcutt of Roswell; his brother-in-law, Randall Kerkes of Tracy, MT; nephews, Brandon Kerkes and Hunter Kerkes of Tracy; Joe of Belt, MT; and Joshua and Jeffrey Northcutt, of Portland, OR. He is also survived by his nephews and their wives and children. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.
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