Memories of Zach

These are the memories shared by so many who love Zach. If you would like to have anything included here, please contact us. We treasure all memories shared. Please note, the guestbook is a work in process and will be working again soon.
  • Memory Collection

    This holds a collection of memories posted about Zach McDonald by the many people who love him. He touched many lives and taught each of us each so much. We love you Zach and will always treasure the gift of the fourteen beautiful years we were each blessed to share with you.

  • Sheboygan Press

    Source: Sheboygan Press

    We are very sorry for McDonald Family Julie Carlson loss of ZACH he was a great kid......(jerry&lisa)sheboygan WI

    December 18, 2011
    Although i had not talked to him often, i will miss Zach very much. Zach had been a member of the Kiel Boy Scouts a couple of years ago, and when it was announced that he had passed, we were all affected. On the behalf of the scouts, we give our greatest condolences to the McDonald family. May Zach rest in peace.
    ~ Kyle Feltes, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 13, 2011
    I will never understand why we lose children. It's simply just not fair. I wish that I could understand your pain. As a mother I feel I should know your heartache, but I can't imagine the nightmare your going through, but I can hold your hand and stand beside you and help you with your pain. When you lose a child there are no words to say, there are only tears. My heart grieves and aches for you. You know I have a loving heart and I will help you with your heartache. Nothing compares to a mothers love for her child. Zach was blessed to have such a loving mother for the length of time he was here. I know he's watching over you. You know he could not bear the thought of seeing you in pain. Zach will forever be in our hearts. No one can strip away your memories or the unique, amazing bond you had with him, those are yours alone to cherish.

    I love you and I am always here for you Julie.

    A gift for such a little while,
    your loss just seems so wrong,
    Zach should not have left before you,
    it's with you where he belonged.
    ~ Lisa S, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

    December 08, 2011
    I am very sorry for your loss. I pray that God will be watching over you in your deepest time of need. Peace be with you.
    ~ Stacey K, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 07, 2011
    Zach, I saw you everyday in class, and even though we didn't talk much I can't even begin to say how much we all miss you....

    To your family, I give my deepest condolences... I am so sorry for the loss you have suffered. No one should have to endure what you have gone through... ~Allison (Kiel Freshman)
    ~ Allison Mitchler, Kiel |Contact Me

    December 07, 2011
    McDonald Family and Julie Carlson We are truly sorry for your loss Zach was a great kid and will greatly missed. We hope you can find peace and know he will always be with you.
    ~ Donna & Kent Maurer, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    December 07, 2011
    To the family of Zach, i'm truly sorry for your loss.It breaks my heart and hope Zach is at peace. Our thoughts and prayers go to your family at this time of need.
    ~ Mary&Paul Weiss, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

    December 07, 2011
    McDonald Family, Although I never knew you I could never imagine the loss of one of my children, May God grant you whatever the strength you need during your time of loss and for however long you need it.

    Dear Zachary, Eternal rest, grant unto you O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon you. May you rest in peace Amen
    The Heinzel Family
    ~ Kiersten Heinzel, Watertown, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 06, 2011
    To the family of Zach Mcdonald,

    While the loss of a loved one is never easy, even when anticipated, it is most certainly the hardest when they are taken from us too soon. Your recent loss of your son who has left us at such a youthful age is certainly in the category of those hard losses for which there is so painful a reminder of what might have been.

    I offer my sincere condolence and deepest sympathy on your loss. May the outpouring of sympathy, the kind acts of friends and strangers and the comfort in knowing that your loss is felt by many, help you through this difficult time.

    I ask for God's blessings on you and your wonderful family. May you find the courage and strength to move forward in peace and confidence and in knowing that his was a life well-lived.

    Yours In Peace,
    Heather Seehaver
    ~ Heather Seehaver, Kiel, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 06, 2011
    No words could ever express what a tragedy this is. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Zach was one of the sweetest boys I have ever worked with. May God hold Zach in His arms as he finds his place in heaven, and may He guide you as you find peace and strength.
    ~ Penny Willems, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 06, 2011
    I spend nearly every school morning with Zach for over two years. He was far more than just another one of my students. I can't imagine the sorrow you feel. Zach was my special dear students and know he now gets do dwell in peace forever. I give my heartfelt condolences to all bearing the pain of his death.

    Peace be with you,
    Timothy Kolberg (Mr. Kolberg)
    ~ |Contact Me

    December 06, 2011
    ~ The southwell's, two rivers, Wisconsin
    December 06, 2011
    ~ Anna Grunow, sheboygan, Wisconsin

    December 06, 2011
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You will be greatly missed and never be forgotten.
    The Marksmans
    ~ Shannon Marksman, Kiel, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 06, 2011
    My prayers go out to the entire family and would like to name his Aunt Wendy Renard. I pray for peace and understanding. God bless all of you.
    ~ Keri Tessmer, De Pere, Wisconsin

    December 06, 2011
    My prayers go out to the entire family and would like to name his Aunt Wendy Renard. I pray for peace and understanding. God bless all of you.

    December 06, 2011
    Steve and Dawn and Family - You are all being held in deep prayer and love at this saddest of times. Blessings on you all. Love. K8
    ~ Kate L, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    December 06, 2011
    My heart is heavy to learn of this. You are in my families thoughts and prayers. I pray God will help you thru this most difficult time.
    ~ Dean & Gail Schabach, Chilton, Wisconsin

    December 06, 2011
    Sorry to Hear of your Loss. Your Family is in our Thoughts and Prayers. Todd & Colette Vanderkin
    ~ Todd Vanderkin, Plymouth, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Zach, you were a good friend, never judged, we will truley miss you..My sympathies to the family...Bo Senkbeil(kiel, WI)
    ~ Tracy Senkbeil, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Although I didn't know him or the family, my heart aches for all at this difficult time. As a mother I can't imagine losing my "little boy" Prayers to all...
    ~ T Reed, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Zach, you were a great student. I loved your smile and the stories you were always telling me. You were such a hard worker. I am sorry no one knew the pain you had. I will always remember you and I hope you are at peace.
    ~ Mrs. Buckoski

    December 05, 2011
    I am so sorry for your loss. I will remember Zach as a caring, curious boy. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    ~ Brenda Morateck, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Zach, you will be missed dearly. We will remember all the good times you spent at our house with Marqus. You will always have a place in our hearts. George & Bonnie Dietsche

    December 05, 2011
    he was a good friend and i wish he was here today. i will miss his.sorry for your loss.
    ~ danny coulson, kiel, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Dear Steve and Dawn,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God help you through this terrible tradegy and give you the strength to go on.
    Ron and Karen Bohenstengel

    December 05, 2011
    I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss. We lost an adult daughter several years ago. If you need someone to talk to please feel free to contact me.
    Donna at 849-9868.
    ~ Donna Christopherson, CHILTON, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Steve and family, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you today and in the days that follow.
    ~ Lori Hebert, Sheboygan

    December 05, 2011
    I feel your heart in this unexpected tragedy to your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of grief. Please feel free to call me anytime. He will be missed but time moves on. Sincerely in Heart and Soul Charlie
    ~ Charles Vallejo, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    I didn't know u but a lot of my friends did. no one should ever go thought what u did. by what people tell me u were a great kid and always made other people smile and laugh. my prayers for u and your family
    ~ Jenny Ninmer, New Holstein, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Zach you were a good friend to me. I had good times with you and bad times with you. I will never forget those memories. My prayers go out to Zach's family. I just want to say I will miss him most dearly.
    ~ Alex Mueller, kiel, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    You were a bright and generous young man who brought a light into each our lives. Even though were maturing and growing so quckly in front of our eyes, I keep flashing back to memories of you as a rambunctious toddler who loved playing with your cousins and getting into mischief. You are missed by all of us so much. I hope that you can feel how much we all love you in heaven and that you have peace now.
    ~ Aunty Wendy & Family, De Pere, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Zach's family and close friends. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Zach, we will all miss you too much to be put in words. I will always remember the good times we had and how good of a listener you were. the Kannich family.
    ~ Samantha Kannich, Kiel, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 05, 2011
    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the McDonald Family. Zach you will be greatly missed.
    ~ Sonya, Mike, and Deanna Sabish, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    To all:
    Due to the sudden loss of Zach, his family will be putting donations canisters at various locations in Sheboygan and Kiel to help his family cope with this tragedy. If anyone has other suggestions please feel free to post them here.

    I would like to thank everyone for their support.
    ~ Cassi MacDonald, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Steve and family, my heart aches at your loss. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Zack was a wonderful young man and I will treausure my memories of him as he grew up. Much love and Gods blessings to you at this time.
    ~ Deb Wieman, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Words cannot describe the love we have for you and the pain we are feeling. God took my baby brother away too soon but I know Heaven needed their little Angel back and he's in a better place now. My condolences to all who are grieving his loss. I love you little man.
    ~ Cassi MacDonald, Sheboygan, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 05, 2011
    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Chuck,Christima, Kimberly, Phillip
    ~ Chuck southwell, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    We are new to the communuity and when my daughters came home from school on Friday informed us of your tragedy. I am deeply sorry for your loss.
    TJay, Heather, Alysha, Paige and Sydnee Bernhardt
    ~ Heather Bernhardt, Kiel, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers
    ~ Rachel Peichl-McGee

    December 05, 2011
    Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with you.
    ~ Jeff, Mary, Jeremy & Jordan Jesinski, St. Anna, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 05, 2011
    Dear McDonald Family,
    Our hearts were deeply saddened when we learned of the loss of your son, Zach. Even though we don't know each other personally, we do know of the great loss you are experiencing as we lost our daughter, Sarah in a tragic car accident December 6, 2008. We want you to know that we will continue to pray for comfort during this most difficult time in your lives. If there is one thing that we have learned, as parents, keep his memory alive. Focus on all the good, fun times you shared with him and take it one day at a time. Each day will be different and don't be afraid to let your emotions be real, some days laughter, some days tears. This is part of grieving. It will be 3 years tomorrow since we received the unexpected news that our daughter had passed seems like yesterday to be honest. Through the consistent prayers given up by the people who knew our Sarah, friends, family we continue to take it one day at a time. We just want you to know that big hugs are sent in this message to you today and if you ever need to talk, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will be praying.......

    ~ Erick & Anne Adams, Cable, Wisconsin

    December 05, 2011
    Dear Steve & Dawn and all of Zach's family our thoughts & prayers are with each of you.
    ~ Brian & Helen Olig, Jacksn, Wisconsin |Contact Me

    December 05, 2011 Zack. You are such a special young man and we know the Lord is holding you safely in His arms! Your smile and kind heart will be greatly missed until we see you again. Your friends...the Tenpas's ~ Caleb Tenpas, Plymouth, Wisconsin

  • Meiselwitz

    Source: Meiselwitz-Vollstedt Funeral Home

    T. Goodnight
    Killeen, Texas
    December 12, 2011 2:31 PM My deepest symapthy to your family on the untimely loss of Zachary. I'm sure you will cherish the times spend with him.
    In Christian Love, Theresa Goodnight

    Ruthann Kort
    Alsip, IL
    December 7, 2011 3:08 PM
    Dear Julie & family -- our deepest sympathy is extended to you at this time. You will all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, as well as the days ahead. With love and sympathy - Brad, Ruthann and your co-workers.

    Sandra Nytes and Family
    Plymouth Wi
    December 6, 2011 10:11 AM
    Richard and Marie and entire Family: You have my deepest sympathy for your loss.Memories can never be erased and you will tresure them forever.Know that your are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time for you all.

    George & Bonnie Dietsche
    Elkhart Lake, WI
    December 5, 2011 7:18 PM
    Our hearts are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Zach. We will miss him dearly, as will our grandson Marqus. They were pretty much best buds. We will remember all the times he spent here with us and hold them in our hearts forever.Our heart felt sympathy to Zach's family in their hour of grief.

    Jane Pafford
    Oklahoma City, OK
    December 5, 2011 1:54 PM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Brittany, and your family. I wish you much strength to get through this difficult time. God Bless you all!

    Laura L Coombs
    United States
    December 5, 2011 12:41 PM
    My heart goes out to the entire family. May God be with you during especially during this time and always.
    Laura Coombs and family; Joshua Coombs, Hailey and Ally Wirtz)

    Mary Pritchard
    Kiel, WI
    December 5, 2011 11:37 AM
    Our family would like to express our deepest sympathies to Zach's Family. May God bless your family and let His arms will hold you and guide you during this difficult time.
    The Pritchard's

These are just a few of Zach's favorite things. Warning: Some of the content may be offensive to some individuals. A great deal of thought was given to what would actually get published here and what might or might not offend.

One of the many things I often told Zach is that I respect him because he is true to himself, what he likes and who he wants to be no matter what anyone else thinks of it. The world needs a little more of that.

What you see in the sections here are things Zach really enjoyed, for himself, with his friends and sometimes just identified with. If you notice anything missing, please click here to share a suggestion.

Music Zach loved:
"i like hollywood undead, disturbed, brides of destruction, avenged seven fold, and lincoln park"

Activities Zach loved:
golfing, fishing, hunting, camping and sitting down at the river - his friends and family

Things Zach loved privately:
checkers, video games - especially Call of Duty, John Denver, basketball, hugs, getting to build anything (he loved tools), helping others, his friends, his family, coffee (any kind he thought he could get away with lol), children, pranks, picking his mom up for big hugs.

The poems you see below are from the heart of Ashley, Zach's Aunt Leann & Uncle Dan McDonald's beautiful niece. She is just 11 years old yet expresses her thoughts like a well versed old soul. Ashley, bless your heart for allowing us to share your words here.


I know how you feel
Like there's nothing to gain
as if the world will end
and we'll forever be in pain
Something must have happened
where he could not cope
Sometimes people feel
lost without any hope
Some tragedies last minutes
and some will always last
Some things we can not do
is change the memories in the past.
~ Love Ashley

When I Heard the News

My heart was racing fast
like running a 10k
wondering what happened
on that very sad day
When we heard the news
our heart seemed to break
like it was on a chain
in the land of earthquake
I don't know how to bake
I didn't know what to make
So I made a poem instead.
~ Love Ashley

A poem from the heart of our beautiful daughter Lexi McDonald (age 12), Zach's youngest sister, created April 2012.


Zach liked to go to the Jellybean Factory, and loved to eat sweet
Apples! He made a
Catapult with his friends.
How I miss him!

Thoughts from the Tenpas Family

I am so thankful to have had Zach in my life. He adopted us into his family many years ago, and we gladly accepted. Zach was my favorite of my children's friends. He was always smiling and never shied away from the craziness of our home. I loved how he would sit with me in our kitchen asking to be updated in all the things going on in our family since we had last seen him.

I loved how he responded when my little girls hung on his legs or chased him around the house for the zillionth time. He took that time to make them feel special. I especially loved how he never complained about what I made for meals and he even picked up after himself! (Way to go Mom and Dad;))

Knowing Zach has been a blessing to me. He taught me to take time to be a friend. To reach out despite the busyness of this world. He was so faithful to call every couple of weeks over the years. Sometimes to celebrate a successful hunt with his dad. Sometimes just to see how we were doing. He was such a special young man.

Losing Zach has changed me. God really has my attention because of this. I am listening very intently. I realize I missed some opportunities with Zach. Because I can't change that, I am looking around to what I can change.

First, I am not going to be so afraid to tell people that Jesus loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. This is the only thing that gives me any hope in all this loss.

Second, I am going to be more available to those who need someone, because we never really know how important it may be.

Lastly, I want to share that I am mourning the loss of Zach with all of you. But I also know that the funeral of a child of God is to be a glorious thing. I know right here and now that doesn't take all the pain away, but we must trust God in this too. I find comfort in Romans 8:28. Which says, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." I need to believe that God will use this tragedy, somehow, for good.

My hope is that if God has your attention too - that you will be open to Him.

Thank you,
The Tenpas family

Every year for his birthday I shared this poem with Zach. Each year it made a little more sense to him. Birthdays were always a special celebration of life. A time to reflect on what we did with that gift until now and what we would like to do with it for the coming year.

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master; If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Zach's Anime Faves

These are just a few of pieces of anime Zach and his friends enjoyed together. If you have one you would like to include here, please contact us. We treasure all memories shared.
Hollywood Undead, one of the artists Zach likes
Hollywood Undead, one of the artists Zach likes
Zach and his bros as anime
This is one of the shows Zach likes.
From Zach's facebook collection
Zach and his bros as anime
Zach as anime

Golden Gate Bridge Patroller

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

A free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you. No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living.

View details »

The Trevor Project

866 4-U-TREVOR
The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including a nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

View details »