CHILLICOTHE - Zachary Lee Crawford, 26, of Chillicothe passed away and flew first class directly to heaven on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.
Zach was born on Aug. 26, 1987, in Peoria to Michael L. and Renee L. (Merdian) Crawford.
Zach was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Mager and Patricia Crawford; maternal grandfather, Jim Merdian; and uncle, Scott Crawford.
Zach is survived by his parents; his grandmother, Esther Merdian; aunts and uncles, Cindy (Leon) Shane and Jeff Crawford of Chillicothe, Debbie (Chris) Talcott of Peoria and David (Helen) Merdian of Bethel, Alaska; and many cousins and close friends.
Zach graduated in 2005 from IVC High School.
Following graduation, he answered his country's call by enlisting in the U.S. Army. He completed his basic and AIT training at Fort Jackson, S.C. He graduated with honors, as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. From Fort Jackson, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed in October of 2006 to Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq, serving a 15-month tour in the 1st Calvary Division. Zach was deployed again to Iraq in 2009, returning early to Fort Hood, Texas, until his honorable discharge on April 25, 2010. Zach received the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Driver and Mechanic badge.
Zach enjoyed fishing, being with family and friends and listening to music, especially DMB, John Frusciante and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He had an infectious smile and was always the class clown.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, Sept. 11, 2013, at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe. A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Chillicothe. Father Keith Walder will officiate. Burial will be in the Chillicothe City Cemetery, with military rites accorded.
Memorials may be made to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Online memorials may be made to the family at www.hurdfamilyfunerals.com.