DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — Christopher Arrigo, 40, was hit by a car and killed on Avery Road in Dublin while checking his mailbox on January 19. His death was tragic, but his brother wants people to know what Chris was really like.
“He was actually born with cerebral palsy and pretty much went through life with special needs,” says Matt Arrigo, Chris’s brother. “His last job he worked at was at Home Depot. He did Special Olympics. He did bocce ball, basketball, bowling. He was definitely a role model for people with special needs.”
Chris had lived under his parents’ guardianship until their deaths a few years ago. He then decided he wanted to become his own guardian and went through a program to make it happen. Matt says his brother was so happy to be independent.
“Anybody that’s come up to me has told me that Chris basically touched their hearts,” says Matt. “He always had a smile on his face. He went to church regularly on Sundays and was a greeter.”
Matt also said Chris was a die-hard Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bengals fan. Matt roots for the Browns, so they always had a little bit of a rivalry on game days. “It’s going to be hard watching the Buckeyes and the Browns-Bengals games without him,” says Matt.
He says life after Chris’s death has been painful, but he does what he can to keep his brother’s legacy alive. Pictures of Chris at all ages are on display throughout Matt’s house. “It’s been hard to come home because he’d always greet you at the door with hello. He’d be sitting right here in this spot where we have the Ohio State blanket in honor of him,” says Matt. “You’d come in the door and hear a big ‘Hello?’ so I’d mess with him and tell him ‘Goodbye!’”
If Chris could communicate right now, Matt says he already knows what his brother would say: “He would tell me he loved me and that he’s with Mom and Dad and that’s where he wants to be.”
Visitation for the family is scheduled for Feb. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home’s Northeast Chapel. Chris Arrigo’s funeral will be on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.