"THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE: AS THOUGH NOTHING IS A MIRACLE, OR AS THOUGH EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE" - Albert Einstein
Zachary Collin Dillehay, affectionately known to his family as Zachary Collin Boofer Dawa Dillehay, was welcomed here by his Mom Sydney, Dad Michael and older sister and brother Jackie and Jeffrey as he was born at home in Okinawa, Japan on December 5, 1995. Two years later his immediate family was complete as we all welcomed his baby sister Zoe into the world. These two share a special bond and became “partners in crime” as they experienced so much of life together. Zachary is loved and enjoyed by his grandparent’s Ron and Linda, Jeff and Gail, Ed, Karen and Terry. His sister Jackie expanded the immediate family when she married Patrick and they brought baby Vera into the world. Zachary is the only person who knows the sex of his yet unborn niece or nephew that is due this coming December. Zachary has special unique relationships with his Aunts and Uncles Ronnie and Tracie, Daniel and Kathy, David and Lindsay, Mark and Linda and Dave and Shelley. He loves his maternal cousins Caroline, Brooklyn and London; hugs and laughter always being a part of time spent together with them. He also shares a special bond with paternal cousins Jenn and Tim. Zach always eagerly welcomes to the family those that his parents and siblings care for. The list is long but a few of the most significant to the extended family are his Dad’s significant other Janet and her children Kevin, Linn, Chris and Megan and their families. Zachary and Zoe’s boyfriend Jackson created a strong bond over the past two years
Picking one word to focus on to describe an individual can be a challenge but for Zach it’s easy. That word is “special”. It’s one thing for Mom and Dad and even brothers and sisters and extended family to think someone is special, but when that one word shows up consistently in almost every conversation about Zach one knows that he truly shares the gift he was blessed with in his relationships with others. Zach had a way of showing up for those he knew, always knowing just what to say or what kind action he could take to make a difference. Zach always maintains an underlying innocence that is so apparent in children. For Zach this innocence never got buried, his bright light shines through. Other words that come to mind to describe Zach are compassionate, tender, exact, unique, abstract, strong, focused, determined, light hearted, funny and most importantly authentic. Zach is not about doing or saying anything that is not in alignment with who he is.
As Zach searched and explored his meaning in life, names for himself that came from within included Oak Heart, Vast Spirit, Revenant Wolf and Revenant Spirit. Zach earned the ruins of strength, illumination, balance and love and discovered his heart virtues of honor, courage and respect. Zach lives from his heart and I would say that “Love is My Religion” is the best description for his belief system.
Zachary seems to have the perfect balance of introvert and extrovert. His time alone being extremely important to him, he cherishes it and guards it. When quiet time is over there is nothing subtle about his presence and energy. Even in his quiet introspective times with others, his being commands attention. Zach loves to be lighthearted and playful and his laugh is infectious. He can start an entire group laughing just from him finding something funny and starting to laugh.
Among Zach’s greatest treasures are his family and friends and he always looks forward to the next event, gathering or party. Parties at home are top on his list and memories of these cherished times are often chatted about by his friends with lots of laughter and smiles.
Zachary shares how he had the best childhood and amazing life. In his, what we consider brief journey here, he accomplished and experienced more than most could hope to in 100 years. He shared how he has the deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation for his experience of his life. His greatest goal from the time he was in his early teens was to be a Marine. Not just any Marine but a Marine to stand out and be noticed. He fulfilled on that goal when as a Private First Class he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Zach’s command is so impressed with his dedication and perseverance that his Lt. Col. shares his story to motivate other young Marines.
Zachary loves children and I imagine if there were a regret to have, it would be that he did not have the opportunity to be a dad.
Zachary and his Mom have a little thing where she says “I love you, you are my boy” and he replies “I love you too, you are my Mom.” Then always in her heart she would say “I love you forever”
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A Note From His Mom,
It’s likely a common opinion that a parent shouldn’t have to write a bio for their child’s passing. I must admit that it’s not something that I would have ever chosen to do but that is what is in life right now. I was blessed with an amazing child and had the honor to raise him, and I had the honor to care for him while he was on the most challenging journey of his life. I am grateful I took the time to tell him that I was honored to care for him. I’m now honored to share briefly about what an amazing person he is on his life journey. There are so many people that shared amazing experiences with Zach that I can't mention everyone in this writing but know you all hold a special place in our hearts.