Zachary Frederick Neitzel, beloved son, brother, and father, passed away on September 2, 2023. He was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, on April 30, 2003, to Chad and Elizabeth (Economy) Neitzel.
Zachary attended and graduated from NRHEG High School in 2021. He had a passion for soccer and played on the high school team. Zachary also had a talent for baseball, having played t-ball at a young age and baseball through 11th grade.
After high school, Zachary pursued his dream in the culinary arts. He was currently attending Escoffier Culinary School online, based in Boulder, Colorado. It was during his early work as a dishwasher and later a cook at The Willows that his passion for cooking ignited. Zachary worked his way up to become a skilled cook, holding positions at Willy McCoy's in Champlin, Minnesota, and most recently at Devil's Advocate in Stillwater, Minnesota. He was recently offered a position as a manager, showcasing his dedication and talent in the restaurant industry.
Zachary's love for his partner, Alicia, brought them to Maplewood, where they built a life together. Alicia adored his bright smile, laughing together, and attending concerts with Zachary. Their love welcomed their cherished daughter, Brooklyn, on September 28, 2022. Zachary adored Brooklyn and everything he did was for her. He was a loving and devoted father.
As a prankster and a protective older brother, Zachary shared a special bond with his siblings. He enjoyed spending time with his sister, Brynlee, taking trips to the Mall of America, watching movies, and attending the county fair. He also cherished the times spent wrestling and playing video games with his brother, Kaeden, and spinning his brother Rylan around on his shoulders. He was an exceptional big brother.
Zachary had a compassionate heart and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He loved his family dearly and looked forward to the holiday season, particularly Christmas. He would wake up early, excitedly rousing everyone, making it a memorable time for all. His love for cooking was demonstrated through his signature dish, bacon-fried rice, a family favorite and dish that would require his Aunt Diane to purchase the cooking wine for him.
Zachary found solace in music and it created a space for him to escape and reflect and he also loved playing video games. He cherished his pets, including his dog, Kaiser, his two cats, Beanie and Earmuff, and his lizard, Drake, whom he has had since he was 11.
Left to cherish his memory are his parents, Chad and Elizabeth; siblings, Kaeden, Brynlee, and Rylan; girlfriend, Alicia Richert; daughter, Brooklyn; grandparents, Julie and Daniel Economy, Todd (Tricia Neumann) Neitzel, and Doreen Neitzel; great grandparents, Willis Neitzel and Bonnie Waltz; aunt, Alexandra (Bryan) Hennekens; uncles, Matthew (Tonya) Economy, Clint Neitzel, Cole (Brittany) Neitzel, and Corie (Ashley) Neitzel, many great aunts and uncles, and cousins; and his special pup, Kaiser.
Zachary is preceded in death by his great grandparents, Evelyn and Dale Smith and Ella and Gust Economy; great aunt, Barb Thompson; and great uncle, Jon Economy.
A memorial service in honor of Zachary Frederick Neitzel will be held on September 12, 2023, at 2:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church; Pastor Mary Iverson will officiate. Zachary's family will greet guests at a visitation on September 11, 2023, from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Friedrich's Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at St Peter's Cemetery in New Richland, MN.
Zachary's family would like to extend their gratitude for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time.
Zachary will always be remembered for his warm smile, contagious laughter, and his unwavering love for his family. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are preferred to Zachary's family.