Zafer Julian Estill
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Zafer Julian Estill

1996 - 2016


Tami Schwerin and Lyle Estill, of Moncure, have lost their son, Zafer, affectionately known to many as simply "Z".

Zafer was a traveler, an explorer, and an avid tennis player who loved to skateboard, hike, kayak, and follow his favorite sports teams. He loved water sports of every description, from water skiing to raft building to surfing—and everything water based in between. Z was a dedicated skier, who loved back-country runs. When not shredding powder, he studied business at University of Colorado at Boulder. He loved fashion, and fine things, and worked a wide number of jobs, from archaeological surveying to carpentry to sustain his high-flying lifestyle. He was active in business, selling his own brand of hemp t-shirts, and firewood, and investing in the stock market. Zafer was a graduate of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, where he wrestled, ran cross-country, and led the tennis team.

Zafer died peacefully in his home in Boulder, Colorado on Thursday, April 14th from heroin, four months before his twentieth birthday.

He is survived by his younger brother Arlo, and sisters Kaitlin and Jessalyn and brother-in-law Dan Kiesa. As siblings the four are extremely close, sharing many laughs and wild adventures together.

Zafer was the grandson of Anne and Ed Schwerin, of Raleigh, NC, and Ann and Don Estill of Guelph, Ontario. He was the nephew of Michael Schwerin, Jim, Glen and Mark Estill.

The family is devastated by Zafer's sudden and unexpected death.

The memorial service will be held 2:00 PM Saturday, April 23rd at the Plant, 220 Lorax Lane in Pittsboro with a reception. Following the service everyone is invited to follow in the funeral procession to the graveside ceremony located at 4435 Moncure Pittsboro Rd. Zafer will be buried in the woods of Chatham County that he so loved.

Z was not a big fan of flowers, but he was actively engaged in Abundance, NC, which has established a fund in his name.

Those interested in attending the service are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. Zafer would appreciate anyone who would bring "their best shoe game".

Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Estill family. You may sign the online register book at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News & Observer from Apr. 17 to Apr. 24, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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31 entries
April 27, 2016
I just heard of Z's passing. I knew him through a friend here in Boulder. I can't believe he's gone, he was a really good guy. He made me laugh. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending love to your family
Mollie Ward
April 27, 2016
I am so very sorry for your loss.
We don't get over it we only get through it.
Sandra Walker
April 26, 2016
So very sorry for your tragic loss. May God ease your pain and give you strength.
Cindy Hopkins
April 25, 2016
So sorry to hear of the passing of your beautiful son Zafer aka Z. I didn't know him but as a parent of an 18 year old and 20 year old sons, I only can imagine the pain. May each passing day you continue to get the strength the endure and may you find comfort in the memories you shared as they have become instant treasures.
April 24, 2016
My heart goes out to you. I did not know you or your child but I am a parent and can not imagine the pain. I am so sorry for your loss.
Kimberly Calhoun
April 23, 2016
We send our warmest sympathy for your devastating loss.

Joel and Ada Farber
April 22, 2016
Heartfelt condolences go out to the family during this most difficult time. May you ponder on the precious memories you can forever hold in your hearts. The many prayers are being heard and god will support and strengthen you with his comfort.
April 22, 2016
To the Family and Friends of Zafer, you have my deepest sympathy. May you find comfort in the hope of seeing Zafer again in the future, under peaceful and righteous condition. John 3:16
Sparks Family
April 21, 2016
Lyle and Tami,

Carolyn and I are deeply saddened to hear of your loss. You are I. Our thoughts and prayers now and in the days to come!

Larry G. Mabe
Larry Mabe
April 21, 2016
Heartbroken at the lost of Z. He will be missed so much.
Ben Choate
April 20, 2016
Diane Zeuner
April 20, 2016
Stunned and saddened by the news. You're in my prayers.
Dave Eubanks
April 20, 2016
You all do so much for the world. May you feel the love of our community now and in the days and weeks ahead.
Nancy and Harvey
April 20, 2016
This was a note he wrote me when I was out on a leave of absence his 6th grade year. He was a special student whom I held dear. Praying for comfort.
Krystal Pister
April 19, 2016
Tami and family,
I was heartbroken to hear about Zafer passing. Your mom adored both of her grandchildren and talked about them both with us (the Euchre group) a lot. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Beth Storms
April 19, 2016
My heart goes out to Zafer's entire family. So very sorry for your loss. Peace and the love of our Holy Father be with you at this time. I remember the picture Ann put on FB when he was leaving for Colorado . Love to each one of you.
Julie Johnson
April 19, 2016
Sweet family,

Tenderest of embraces, tears of sorrow, practically speechless, but that would not be fair to Z. I have such gratitude for the day I last saw him, and in that moment realized what a shining human he'd grown into. His poise and charm overflowed. Oh what a gift to have spent even a day with such a Light. Treasure every single memory, all his brightness, all his warmth, all the joy he lived every day of his life. Who could ask for more. Thank you Z for becoming you, you did YOU so dang well.
CC King
April 19, 2016
Dear Estills,

I knew Zafer from Horton and Northwood. He was a great member of all of the classes I had with him--his input was always original and clever. One of our teachers used to refer to him as an "enigma," and she meant it in the best sense. In middle school we both liked a band called Bishop Allen. I will remember him. I am very sorry for what you all are going through. I deeply wish you well.
Quinn Kerscher
April 19, 2016
I am so sorry to hear of your loss and would like to offer my sincere condolences. It's very hard to bear the loss of someone so dear and although there is little that one can say or do to take away all your pain, please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many. May you continue to assure your heart that Zafer is safe in God's memory as you can read in his word at Malachi 3:16 and Revaluation 21:3&4.
L. Wells
April 19, 2016
Tami, You and your family in my heart and prayers. Love and blessings, Emily Newkirk
April 18, 2016
You have my heartfelt and most tender embrace. May Zafer's sweet memory be a constant blessing to you, soothe you, and give you peace. Abrazos fuerte, Norma Schafer (fka Hawthorne)
Norma Schafer
April 18, 2016
Dearest Tami and Lyle, we are holding Zafer here in prayers at the Lerab Ling Temple in France and also sending his name to buddhist monastery in Nepal monks to pray for him. I hope you get this message, I could'nt find your email address. Love xxxox Betsy
April 18, 2016
To The Family of Zafer,
While we only got to spend a short time with Zafer, he had a profound impact on us. He was hard working, insightful, and well liked by the staff and customers alike. He would take on any task, and dive in head first, and make sure it was done, and done well. He didn't talk much, but did share stories of family and his unique experiences he had growing up. He seemed to have a wealth of knowledge that exceeded his years. We are sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers to friends and family.
Staff at Table Mesa Hardware
Jay French
April 18, 2016
Dearest Tami & family - Please know you are in our thoughts - keep the fond memories and stories of Zafer alive and close to your heart, it will help you during this difficult time. God Bless you all -
Melissa Herbert Simpson
April 18, 2016
Please accept our heartfelt condolences.
Audrey Deyman
April 18, 2016
We are so sorry for your loss. Zafer was an amazing young man. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

Hiller, Tom, and Gabe
April 18, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Christie Greeley
April 18, 2016
I hold you both in my heart and will be here to support you in any way I can. Tears shed for you in suffering this terrible loss. Sending love,

.•.•*) .•*)
(.• (.• .• .•`•.•
Ellen Manning
April 18, 2016

I can't imagine what you are going thru as I read about your loss.
You are in my thoughts and prayers
Steve Bryan
April 17, 2016
Tami, Lyle, Arlo, Anne and all the rest of the family: I can't imagine what it is like for you right know, even as I feel incredible sadness for a beautiful life cut short. When I heard the news, my first reaction was anger, followed by sadness, and the knowledge that, but for the grace of God, my family might have been experiencing this kind of grief. I'll call Zafer's name into our circle at my men's group next week. Holding you in love.

Jim Smith
April 17, 2016
Zafer was an amazing person whose smile lit up a room. Smart and articulate and one of my brightest and wittiest students. One memory I have was when he kept giving me a hard time about not recycling paper efficiently and I walked over and dumped the bin of recycled paper over his head at his desk. He continued working with a smirk covered in paper the rest of the class period. We chuckled over that as we cleaned it up at the end of class. He will be sorely missed. Prayers to your family.
Krystal Pister
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