Selfless, loving, kind, hardworking, adventurous
Family was everything to Zach, he loved his family, loved his friends and would do anything for them. One friend said: “He dedicated more of his time and effort to those in need, more than anyone else I have ever met in my life. Selfless was an understatement for describing Zach.”
He was an expert on Marvel comics, Marvel characters and story lines and went to every Marvel movie that came out. Some of them he viewed with his stepfather on their regular Sunday movie days. Zach was also a Honda expert and worked on his cars often. He was more knowledgeable about Honda’s than Marvel Comics, which is saying a lot!
Zach had a difficult, physically demanding job, laying pipe for a utility company. His coworkers said he brightened their day by cracking jokes and keeping up a witty banter, and providing funny comebacks throughout the day. It made a tough job more tolerable for all of them. His workmates all miss their “brother” profoundly.
Zach spent time in the Ukraine working with orphans and helping to restore houses. One time while chopping wood, Zach saved a young child from abduction by a man who had grabbed him. He snatched the child back with one hand while holding an axe in the other, letting the man know he should leave before he used it. That boy would have been lost, but is now doing well in college. Zach loved the Ukrainian orphans and they loved him.
Six months prior to his death, Zach purchased his first home and loved it. He instantly became friends with the neighbors, who were all devastated by his death. He planned to work extra to get the mortgage paid off early, then retire and enjoy life in his “forever” home.
Zach and his mother were very close. She dearly misses his nightly texts, which always ended with “I love you.” One of her cherished gifts from Zach was a Pandora bracelet. He added a charm to it every year. The one she treasures most is a heart that opens and says “mother and son forever.”
Looking back, his mother wishes she had known more about the signs of addiction, and says the “would, could, and should” questions are still hard. Both her and Zach had a belief in God and that is what gets her through each day. She is very comforted that Zach is in Heaven, but still misses his presence, his calls and his hugs.
Zach’s mother, Elva Joyner, was interviewed for this profile.
Sept 28, 1983 – November 8, 2016
Lived with addiction for 10 years.