There are not enough pages in this paper to tell you about the amazing person Zachary David Bartz was, but here is a glimpse into his beautiful life: Zachary was born May 15, 2002 and his angels brought him home November 20, 2013. His battle with brain cancer, a result from neurofibromitosis, ended not because he gave up, but because he knew his work on earth was complete. Zac had done enough and God was pleased. In Zac's 11 years he attracted numerous people to him with his infectious smile. His spirit warmed an entire room. He loved people. He had a way of making every person he met feel like they were his best friend.
He loved sports, especially hockey, and played baseball and football until cancer spread to his leg last year. He enjoyed golf and archery and even shot a 19 point buck, a 200 pound bear and a 22 pound turkey, despite being blind in one eye. He was chosen to greet and be the first to touch the Stanley Cup at Amplatz Children's Hospital. He made friends with various athletes including players from Minnesota Gopher hockey and the Minnesota Wild. He was the proud recipient of the Jake Parenteau Award for hockey players. Even if his illness never allowed him to play, he epitomized what it meant to be a team player: he always displayed dedication and determination and support of others. This support was evident off the ice as well as Zac ministered to other cancer patients and told them "I will pray for you", and "My angels are with you", even though he, himself, was suffering. Zac also helped raise tens of thousands of dollars in hopes of finding a cure. His motto was, "I will NEVER give up!"
He never complained through all the years he fought. He never said "I can't". It was always, "I'll try". He was the true definition of what it means to be brave. His faith and love for God could NOT be shaken. By maintaining a positive outlook on life even through his suffering and limitations, Zac was able to bring more people closer to God. He never felt sorry for himself. He made the most out of every day and frequently said with a huge smile on his face, "This is my best day ever"! Zac will be greatly missed! Our community will never be the same. He will now be relying on us to continue his important work. His legacy will live on.
Survived by parents Nathan and Carol Ann; siblings Nicholas, Jessica and Alexandra; grandparents David and Darlene Rudolph and Harvey and Janet Bartz; Aunt Barb (Quinn), Aunt Marie ( Dan), Aunt Therese, Uncle Greg ( Sandy), Uncle Eric, Aunt Karla, Uncle Doug, "Aunt Carla" (Tom); cousins David, Jacob, Violet, Joseph, Olivia, Jack, Lily, Trevor, Jared, Jace, Zachary, Krysta, and Andrew; countless family and friends. Funeral mass was held at St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church, Lindstrom, MN November 25, 2013. Burial followed at South Green Lake Cemetery in Chisago City. Memorials to: Zachary Bartz Memorial Fund, US Bank, 11493 Lake Lane, Chisago City, MN 55013. Grandstrand Funeral Home, 651-257-4000, www.grandstrandfh.com