• "I remember Zach as a young man always looking for life's..."
    - Michael Kline
  • "The Wells and Victor Family are in our prayers. Zachary..."
    - Angela & Francis Lombardi
  • "Our heart goes out to you and your family. You are forever..."
    - Scott Primiano
  • "Steph and Jim, Bev Willsey spoke to me today after church..."
  • "Our family is greatly saddened to read this news. Our..."

ZACHARY JAMES WELLS KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - We lost our beautiful son, brother, nephew, grandson and friend Zach in the early hours of Dec. 20, 2012, to the pristine waters off the coast of Maine. Zach was born on March 14, 1991, in Burlington, to Stephanie and James Wells. From the moment of his birth, Zachary made his presence known. He was a force to be reckoned with, a bright light whose laughter and love were extinguished all too early. The gigantic space that Zach filled is now a void left to be furnished by the multitude of memories held by those who knew and loved him. Zach cultivated relationships and his many friends were of great importance to him. He loved an adventure and cherished the memories of the varied expeditions, road trips, and outings he shared with a variety of friends, all while eagerly awaiting and planning the next big trip. In the limited years he was with us, Zach accomplished much. A 2009 graduate of Champlain Valley Union High School, he flew a plane at 16, went skydiving at 18, and sailed on a tall ship to ports around the world. He drove solo across the country, checking in with his friends scattered along the way. He was fortunate to visit several different countries around the globe by land and by sea, and had an insatiable desire to learn about other cultures and connect with people from all walks of life. Zach's creative eye captured images from his travels and we are lucky to have a collection of his photographs that bear witness to his experiences. He became a certified scuba diver and looked forward to continuing his need to explore in a new venue. In his early years, he was a swimmer, biker, soccer and lacrosse player, but his enduring sport was snowboarding. While he had wanderlust, he was always happy to come home to family and the hills of Vermont. Zach faced a significant medical issue at the age of 16, and despite the inevitable fear, Zachary demonstrated courage, strength and grace while managing the problem. The extent of love shown to Zach during this time forever changed him and brought clarity to what is important. Perhaps because of his health trials, Zach showed remarkable compassion and no hesitancy toward helping those who struggled. Whatever the need, Zach seemed happiest when he could lend a hand. Zach's passion for the water recently brought him to The Landing School in Maine, where he was very happy to continue to expand his knowledge of all things maritime. His hope was to continue his exploration on the water around the world. Zach has an extended and loving family and he valued time spent with them. He was beloved by his parents, Stephanie and Jim, his sister, Alexandra, and brother, Nathaniel, all of whom will miss him so very dearly. He is a much loved grandson of Milton and Joan Victor of Saco, Maine, and Janet Wells of South Burlington. He was recently predeceased by his grandfather, Robert Wells. Reunions are a constant in our family and Zach cherished the time spent with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. He is survived by David, Lolly, Zoe, Calista and Helena Victor of Seattle, Wash.; Peter, Mimi, Luc and Eliott Victor of Ellsworth, Maine; Cristine, Rob, Ryan and Katie Reynolds of Albany, N.Y.; Mike, Olga, Mae, Nolan, and Wesley Moriarty of Lincoln; and Joan and Tom Hughes of Branford, Conn. Above all else, Zach was about unconditional love. He taught it, accepted it, offered it, and we ask that you keep him alive in your hearts. A celebration of Zach's life will be held at the Charlotte Congregational Church at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. A reception will immediately follow at the Old Lantern in Charlotte. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a fund which is being established in Zach's name. Contributions may be made to the Zachary James Wells Fund, c/o Jeffrey Small, CPA, 72 Pine St., Burlington, VT 05401.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 3, 2013
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