Zachary J. Junkermeier, age 18, of Lake Lillian, died Tuesday afternoon, March 11, from injuries received in an avalanche while snowmobiling near Cooke City, Montana.
Services will be held at 2 P.M., Tuesday, March 18, at the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School gymnasium in Grove City, Minnesota. The interment will be in the Tromso Cemetery near Lake Lillian. Friends may call from 5-8 P.M. Monday and one hour prior to the service at the school gymnasium on Tuesday. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the ACGC Track Team for clothing and equipment. The arrangements are with the Peterson Brothers Atwater Funeral Home in Atwater.
Zach blessed his parents lives, Stacy and Kim (Neyssen) Junkermeier, and graced this earth with his birth on September 5, 1995 in Willmar, Minnesota. He has two loving brothers, Jordan and Sutton. Zach was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church and confirmed at United Lutheran Church, both in Lake Lillian. Zach was active in his church from birth though high school and was involved in numerous church activities with his family. Zach attended school at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City since preschool and was excited to graduate this year in May. He was a gifted athlete throughout school and was on the football and track teams in high school. He loved being involved with his friends in sports and especially loved pole vaulting, jumping, and running. Although an extremely gifted and bright student, his main joy at school was being with his friends. Zach was planning on attending St. Cloud State University in the Fall where his brother Jordan attends.
Zach grew up on his familys dairy farm in Lake Lillian. When little, he loved being with the baby animals. When older, he helped work the farm by feeding, milking, baling, and driving tractors. He was an extremely hard worker and would work full-time or go to school and then come home to bale hay and straw and harvest the grain. Zach had a special love for his paternal grandparents, who lived next door and owned the farm. If Zach wasnt home, just look next door and youd probably find him eating Kit-Kats with grandma or riding four-wheeler with grandpa.
Zach represented Atwater in royalty as the junior king. He was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts most of his life in Atwater Pack and Troop 221. Stopping as a Life Scout, he enjoyed countless activities through the years with his family who were all involved in scouts, especially camping and fishing in the great outdoors with his dad and brothers. He reveled in the scout trips to the Boundary Waters area where he could be outside with his dad and brothers, fishing, canoeing, and basking in the glory of catching the most fish.
Zach was active in many things as a young child, including karate, wrestling, and countless summer days filled with football and baseball, but found his true passion and skill in high school track. He was proud of his speed and jumping abilities. He played trumpet and drums in band and was looking forward to his Spanish trip to Puerto Rico in April.
Zach was known for his hard work and work ethic. He worked construction full-time in the summer for many years for Joe Fordyce Construction. He loved his job and was proud of his tool belt and that he was the one that would walk on top of the rafters at work. Anyone who knew him knew he liked to climb as high as he could and had little fear.
Zach had a passion for anything outdoors. His main joy was snowmobiling in the winter with his friends. The higher the jump the better. He tolerated trail riding with his family because he loved them. Zach loved to go deer hunting and couldnt wait to hunt with extended family and friends. He was eager to use all of the guns he bought and his compound bow.
From pulling friends out of ditches with his beloved Chevy truck, doing random acts of kindness to strangers, and driving his little brother to school, Zachs tenderness and kind-hearted spirit was so evident since birth, as a little boy, and as a young man. He was willing to help anyone at a moments notice, however big or small the task. All you had to do was ask and it would be done, with a smile. He was appreciative for everything he had and never neglected to say thank you. He wasnt afraid to tell his parents he loved them in front of everyone, including from the top of the mountain out west during his snowmobile trip. He left this world a better place and the loss of his young life is a tragedy to everyone who knew him, especially to his family.
Zach had a zest for life, a wide-open future, and love in his heart. He worked hard to earn money to buy his own Chevy truck, his snowmobile, his guns and knives, and all his other treasures. His greatest wish in life was to ride his snowmobile out west. It is all he ever talked about. We are filled with joy that he got the chance to live out his biggest adventure. Ride with the wind, Zach. You are free to jump as high and as hard as you want now.
Zachary is survived by his parents, Stacy and Kimberly Junkermeier of rural Lake Lillian, two brothers, Jordan and Sutton Junkermeier and his paternal grandmother, Betty Junkermeier of rural Lake Lillian, besides other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his paternal grandpa Allan Junkermeier and his maternal grandparents Willard and Deloris Neyssen.