Zachary "Zach" Lee Hollingsworth passed away on October 8, 2021, at the age of 35. Born on November 5, 1985, in Wilmington, Ohio, to parents David and Lisa Hollingsworth, he is survived by Krista Hollingsworth, their son Jaxton Hollingsworth, brother Nate (Ann) Hollingsworth, sister Leah (Ayo) Ademiluyi, and maternal grandparents Patricia and Lee Smith. He was "Uncle Zach" to Traverse Hollingsworth, Amari Ademiluyi, Israel Ademiluyi, Zuriel Ademiluyi, and Selah Ademiluyi. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Carrie "Granny" and Don Hollingsworth.
"Beloved" will never truly encapsulate how family and friends will remember Zach. He was charismatic, loyal, loving, and kind. Zach's joyful spirit and incredible sense of humor made everything more fun and colorful. He gave you his full attention, keyed into what you needed, and had a unique ability to make you feel good about yourself. He loved talking to people and many conversations would last for hours, ranging in topic from hunting and music to philosophy and psychology.
Zach was a protector, a natural-born leader, and an entrepreneur. His passion and self-motivation were inspiring, and he seemed to have an endless bank of ideas, many of which were centered around bringing people together and benefiting the greater good. His life was dedicated to serving others, particularly veterans and the most vulnerable or overlooked. He was an amazing father to four-year-old Jaxton who was always right by his side while he scouted for deer or cleared a tree.
Zach was a very active kid who excelled in athletics, including as a member of his Knothole baseball team and the Wilmington City Schools basketball program. He attended Capitol University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in education and was a three-time Capitan on the basketball team.
His military career began after college at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA. After his commission, he attended Field Artillery MOS School at Fort Sill, OK, and was part of the 1st Battalion 10th Marines, stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. He deployed in 2010 with Alpha Battery in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Provence, Afghanistan.
After his active-duty military career, he taught history and coached basketball at Centerville High School, and then later went back to work for the military, this time as a Contracting Officer for the Department of Defense at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. While working full-time, he obtained his Masters of Business Administration from Ohio University, which helped him co-found and launch Have a Shot of Freedom Whiskey Co. The company's mission was always bigger than making great whiskey to Zach. Despite its success, he never took anything out of the business for himself. All profits were either reinvested back into the company or given away to help veteran causes. Freedom Whiskey was created to pay homage to those who served, while honoring the individuals in all military branches who have toiled to make America great.
An avid outdoorsman, Zach felt most at peace out in the country or deep in the woods. We imagine him sitting around the campfire in Heaven, boots up, listening to George Strait with that big infectious smile on his face. He will be deeply missed, forever loved, and never forgotten.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Sunday, October 17, 2021, at SouthBrook Christian Church, 9095 Washington Church Road, Miamisburg, Ohio. A service will begin at 6:00 PM, Sunday at the church. Following the service, the visitation will resume.
In memory of Zach, please consider a charitable donation to one of his favorite veteran causes: The Semper Fi Fund, Fisher House Foundation, or Wounded Warrior Project
Smith Funeral Homes & Cremation Service in Wilmington is serving the family. For more information or to leave a note of condolence visit www.smithandsonfuneralhomes.com
Published by Dayton Daily News on Oct. 14, 2021.