Family, friends, customers mourn beloved KC bartender who died from COVID-related heart issues

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a beloved KC bartender.

Christopher “C-Wash’ Washington, 32, worked at the Drunken Worm located on W 39th Street.

He died unexpectedly due to heart issues after a brief battle with COVID-19, his family said.

Customers visited the bar Saturday, adding to a growing memorial in his honor.

“It’s crazy. The amount that he’s touched and what he did in that short of a timespan,” Charles Washington, C-Wash’s brother, said. “Everybody is like, I’m sorry for your loss, but it is our loss. Everyone lost someone special.”

Washington worked at the bar for three years. He made a name for himself as a special mixologist adopting another title: of one of the best bartenders in the Midwest.

He was called “The Mad Scientist,” famous for unique drinks. He was also currently in the running for Best of KC’s bartender of the year.

“He was a master craftsman with the cocktails, always mixing up and thinking of new ideas and always had a smile on his face and always making you laugh. He was my brother on and off the court,” MO Brew employee, Marcus Johnson, said.

Saturday afternoon, his family from various parts of Missouri and Iowa visited the bar where he worked. They told FOX4 that they are overwhelmed with the outreach and the amount of people their loved one touched throughout his life.

“He’s one of the best people I have ever met,” Sarah Huffman, a close family friend, said. “I don’t know how I was so lucky to have someone like that in my life, really.”

“He’s built families in Kansas City, Des Moines, Iowa. He still has family in St. Louis, so he has a lot of people that he’s touched over 32 years, and I can’t be any prouder of anyone else,” Greg Woolfolk, Christopher’s uncle, said. “He’s been numerous places, many states, and he’s enjoyed every bit of his life. It was cut short, but he did enjoy his life. He lived a full life.”

Family says they want Washington to be remembered for how he lived and treated people.

“It’s been amazing. We have been touched by the support and outreach everyone has been shown. It’s amazing to see how many lives he’s touched,” Charles Washington said. “It motivates me to be better and as good as he was.”

Christopher Washington was originally from Tennessee, but he also lived in St. Louis, Des Moines, Iowa, and most recently, Kansas City.

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