On Oct. 25, 2012, Zachary James Benz, 19, lost his battle to MPS and went home to be with his Lord.
Zach was born on Nov. 6, 1992, in Portland, Ore., to Shaun Haynes and Dennis Benz.
He loved St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, where he loved to sing, attend a youth group, and Father Rick.
Throughout his life, he saw Barney, went to Disneyland and Arizona, made several trips to Montana and traveled to Canada and the ocean.
Zach participated in and enjoyed Special Olympics
bowling, track and basketball, which he earned many medals through the years. He had many loves in his life, including swimming, watching TV, listening to the KLAD radio station, chocolate chip cookies, and Wake Up with Al. His most recent joy was meeting Charlie Daniels backstage before a concert and receiving one of Charlie's fiddle bows.
Zach's biggest and most memorable achievement of all was graduating from Klamath Union High School in 2012.
Survivors include his parents; his sister Heather (Ethan) Smith; step-dad Dan Haynes; step-mom Brooke Benz; grandparents; Jerry and Elenette Bach of Klamath Falls, Carol and Ray Mears of Toledo, Ore., and Dan and Pat Haynes of Arizona; aunts and uncles Shayla and Jack Milner of Christmas Valley, Ore., Jim and Connie Bach Conrad of Montana, Brian and Katie Benz, and Ron and Betsy Benz of Minnesota; cousins Caitlin, Justine, Dante, Brandon, Kelsie, Kristie, Jeremy, Nicholas, and Jacob; many friends and caregivers.
He left an impression on everyone he met and had a contagious smile that would light up a room.
Zach was preceded in death by his grandparents Roger and Anela Benz, great-great-grandparents, and great-uncles Bernard, Bob, Eddie, and Denney Bach.
A memorial mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 4880 Bristol Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at 11 a.m. with Reverend Rick Fischer celebrating. A luncheon reception will follow in the parish hall. Final inurnment services will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery at 1:15 p.m. An evening vigil service will be held at the church on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at 5:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Zach's name to The National MPS Society, P.O. Box 14686, Durham, NC 27709-4686.
Ward's Klamath Funeral Home (541-882-4404) is in charge of the arrangements.