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Zach’s legacy inspires others

Philippians 4:13 reads: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

This was the favorite Bible verse of Zachary Thomas Weimer, a Farragut Middle School student, pictured right, who lost his life in October after a tragic zip-line accident, and it is to this verse that his family clung as they endured their first holiday season without their only son and brother.

“We just have to hold on to that verse,” Zach’s mother, Sally Weimer, said. “Because we can’t do any of this without our faith.”

Zach’s death has left a void in the lives of the Weimer family, but Sally, along with Zach’s father, Shawn, and his sister, Kelly, said their family has been unbelievably touched by the outpouring of love and support from the community following their loss.

“It has really shown us what kind of community Farragut really is. We have only lived here a year and a half … all the support we have gotten through cards and Caring Bridge posts and gifts and neighbors.

“We hardly know our neighbors here but they sent posts and gifts and food … It just made us realize that even though we didn’t think Farragut was a small town, because it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, it has that small town feel when you need it,” Sally said.

Sally said the family especially is thankful to Calhoun’s restaurant, Two Rivers Church, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Farragut High School, Farragut Middle School and Christian Academy of Knoxville.

“We just want to thank them for their love and their support and their willingness to give unconditionally and to care about people who have lived here for such a short time. They have made a very, very difficult situation a little bit easier,” she said.

Immediately after Zach’s accident the family set up a Caring Bridge Web site as a means to pass information to friends and family members en masse.

The site, which is still active, has become a place of refuge and comfort to the family in the months since Zach’s passing.

Friends, acquaintances and even strangers still leave messages of love and support for the Weimers, as well as examples of the legacy Zach has left behind, on the site.

Recently, Ethan Young, a FMS student, wrote: “I am one of Zach’s friends and a student from FMS. I just wanted to tell you that on the day Zach passed away I saw some amazing things. People who didn’t normally talk to each other were hugging and though it would sound crazy, I could feel God move through the students while they were mourning. The entire FMS body was united in thinking of him. All this is to tell you that though Zach’s death was tragic and heartbreaking, I saw just a glimpse of how God can bring people together.”

Sally said the family was unaware of just how much of an impact Zach’s life, and death, made on the people around him.

“Zach was the kind of guy whose best friend was Cody, his cousin. So when we got all of this support from Farragut Middle School, all the posts on Caring Bridge from Farragut Middle School children … we didn’t really know about all of his friends there.

“We had no idea. We knew he was a sweet kid, but we had no idea that he was nice to people that no one else was nice to,” she added.

Zach’s friends at FMS, where he was a trumpet player in the band, continue to remember him.

Lauren Byrd, an FMS teacher said, “My students in Gold Pod and F-M-S Service League are continuing to raise money for a donation in Zach’s honor and to purchase an instrument for our school band in Zach’s name. That instrument will be available to a student who may not have been able to acquire one without assistance. Our wish is that for years to come Zach’s memory will be honored through its music.”

Kim Malmquist, a mother of one of Zach’s classmates, recently reached out to the family via Caring Bridge and offered proof that Zach will live on in the hearts of and good deeds he has inspired in, others.

Malmquist said following Zach’s death she and her family began reaching out to a less fortunate family with a son who was injured in a car accident.

“Zach has reached farther than you will ever be able to comprehend and he brought so many of us together to walk with God. Through Zach’s legacy, there will continue to be lives touched each day,” Malmquist said.


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