Zachary Levi McElroy 1986-2023
May 25, 2023
Zachary "Zack" Levi McElroy was born Nov 18, 1986 at Wenatchee, Washington on a Tuesday at 5:48 p.m.
It was the first snow of the season in the Wenatchee Valley.
He weighed seven pounds even and was only 19 and three quarters of an inch long. Proof that big things in life come in small packages.
In 1989, Zack became a big brother to his only brother, Joshua and in 1992 he became biggest big brother to his only sister, Elizabeth.
They would make a lifetime of adventures and memories growing up together and build one of the strongest, most loving bonds that time nor distance would ever break. They know what it means to have each other's back as brothers and sister and that there's no sheep in their circle, when it comes to family.
Zack grew up in the small community of Cashmere, Washington where he attended school at Vale Elementary, Cashmere Middle School and Cashmere High School. It was in high school that Zack was first bitten by the acetylene torch bug of welding with his favorite teacher, Mr. Odenrider.
In 2004, Zack left the Wenatchee Valley with his family. At 18, Zack left home for California and a year later to Arizona.
In 2006, at Zack's behest, he won the argument and had his family join him in Arizona. Only to be bitten again by the beckoning of the road, his gypsy soul carried him to Florida for a short time. Feeling yet again the beckoning call, he returned to Washington state.
On May 30th, 2012, his only child and the absolute light of his life, Scarlet, entered the world and he discovered a love in his soul he'd never known before. His reason for changing his path in life became all too real and all too strong.
On the day she was born, Zack said, "Mom, I've never loved anyone or anything in this world as much as I love her and I can't even find the words to explain it". She is and will always be his one and his only little girl.
His pretty princess and his pride and joy. The mere mention of her name could make him cry or make the most beautiful smile grace his face, as if Heaven shone down a light. The love he had for her came from his very soul outward with such pride and fierceness that it likens only to that of a mama bear and her cubs. The love between them is not like your average father/daughter. They had a very special bond and not even this tragic loss will ever be able to break that bond or their love. Zack was over the moon to finally have Scarlet with him again in August 2021. His heart stopped aching and was whole again.
Zack wore many hats in his working career and hard, manual labor was nothing that scared him. He did whatever he had to do. From working cashier at Circle K, setting up pool tables, working security at The Buzz Inn in East Wenatchee to cleaning crew at a casino in Seedrow Wooley. Working at Crunch Pak and making pizza at The Flying Pig.
But it was at The Hitchingpost in Cashmere, Washington that Zack met Linna. She was his boss and he was flipping and creating his burger masterpieces. Zack and Linna found a rare and kindred spirit between them. Soulmates. It became the once in a lifetime love he'd only wished for. That same kind of love he told his stepdad, "Pops", he hoped to find, someday.
In 2016, Zack and Linna moved to Phoenix to be nearer his mom, after Pops passed away. It would be a loss he grieved for his best friend and role model to his last day.
Zack attended AAI in Phoenix, AZ and became a certified welder. He then became a mill worker for Con-Tech in El Mirage, AZ, where he painted, rolled covert pipes, welded and finally learned that he had a natural talent for all things mechanical.
Baking outdoors in the blistering summer heat of Arizona, Zack set out to learn as much as he could from well seasoned co-workers. Some of whom would soon become dear friends to him and Linna.
On May 28th 2017, Zack and Linna were married in Tombstone, Arizona and would make some of their greatest life journeys together. A beautiful joining of families began.
As Zack brought Scarlet to 3 big brothers, Linna brought Kenny, Paul and Kyle to their little sister. Zack and Linna would share the welcoming of 4 grandchildren, Khloe, Emilia, Jericho and Macklin. Zack dearly loved Kenny, Paul and Kyle with all of his heart and shared very many treasured moments and memories. From camping, hiking, fishing, hunting or just sitting around the fire having a beer and spending time together. From Tombstone, AZ to the White Tank Mountains to Washington State, time was always taken to have a good time and make great memories.
He took great pride and joy in getting to hold those grandbabies and was looking forward to getting to hold Jericho and Macklin too. There were so many more adventures and plans just ahead.
In 2021, Zack and Linna moved to Seeley Lake, Montana to care for Linna's mother.
Zack was hired by Pyramid Lumber and, once again, found love working with his hands and following in the footsteps of his maternal Grandpa Levi and his paternal Great Grandpa McCandless working at a sawmill.
"This is the best job I've ever had, Mom. I love what I do and the guys I work with are great down home good hearted people. I have the best boss I've ever had in my life and the owners are good people too and treat their employees really well."
Zack overcame the bad and bummed out times in his life by filling it with his special love, humor, music, family, friends and his signature BBQ. He always cherished and treasured his moments and time with "Uncle Buddy's BBQ Pit Boys," his nephews, Adam, Korbin, Micah and Elijah.
Uncle Buddy also cherished dearly his nieces who just came to spend this past Thanksgiving with them here at Seeley Lake, Ally, Maddi and Ryleigh and he was looking forward to meeting his newest niece who will be arriving soon. Uncle Buddy wasn't just a name, it was his badge of honor and he wore it proudly, loving each of them as if he were his own children. He treasured playing video games with all of the kids together online and spending any time he could have with them.
Zack loved his family and his extended family with all of his heart. Some of his favorite memories were retelling and recounting times spent with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and his cousins.
There was never a family gathering that he missed retelling about hilarious love-filled moments he encountered as a little boy to a grown man with them and he cherished every family member in his heart, regardless of the miles that separated them or the time that had passed. It never diminished his love.
Zack was an animal lover by nature. From the time he was a little boy, animals and Zack had a connection. Zack dearly loved his fur babies, Doc, Ringo and Sissy and they love and dearly miss him too. They were his cuddle buddies and furry loves. There wasn't a critter that Zack didn't like and there wasn't a critter that didn't love him.
Zack leaves behind his love, his heart and his treasured moments and memories to every one of us. A gentle giant, a simple man with a gypsy soul who never knew a stranger.
If Zack liked you, he loved you and you knew it. If you were his friend, he proved it. He made sure you knew he cared about you and was grateful to you. He valued and cherished every friendship he ever made and it meant the world to him to have a person's friendship.
Zack very much loved Seeley Lake and its community.
In his own words, he finally found his home. On behalf of Zack's entire family, with much love and gratitude, we would like to thank the entirety of Seeley Lake, Montana for their love, support, generosity, care and kindness during this tragic time of terrible loss.