Zachary Scott Canaday was born on August 27, 1999 in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Brighton, Colorado, and attended Zion Lutheran School from preschool through 8th grade. He attended Holy Family High School in Broomfield, Colorado and graduated in 2017. At Holy Family, he was on the golf team and was a member of the National Honor Society. As a senior at Holy Family, Zach was voted by the student body as the Homecoming King.
After high school, Zach attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, and graduated in 2021 with high honors with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology and a minor in Geography. While at UNC, Zach was a member of and secretary for the Geology Club and was a member of Challenge UNC, a Christian ministry. To complete his degree, Zach interned with the wonderful staff at High Plains Engineering in Hudson, Colorado.
Zach was an avid coin collector, a Star Wars aficionado, and a Lego lover – he always said his dream job was to be a Lego engineer. He grew up enjoying golfing and snowboarding and continued enjoying that even while undergoing cancer treatment. He volunteered his time for several organizations that aimed to raise funds to help find cures for children’s cancer – he shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s ten years in a row and was knighted into the Round Table. In 2014, Zach and his family were introduced to the Jessie Rees Foundation, an organization with the mission to encourage kids fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up (NEGU); Zach and his family enjoyed volunteering by stuffing Joy Jars on every trip they took to California.
As one of Zach’s past teachers stated, “If you wanted to meet the power of grace in the midst of great suffering, all you had to do was be around Zach for a few minutes. His faith in God, his kindness, strength, and smile were more powerful than any cancer. He taught me more than I ever was able to teach him and I know that he will continue to do as much good from Heaven as he did on earth.”
Zach was originally diagnosed with medulloblastoma cancer in 2008 and after several relapses and trials, passed away on September 25, 2021.
Zach is survived by his parents and sister, Tim, Catherine, and Olivia Canaday; his grandparents, Frank and Jane Canaday; Mickey and Lora Finnerty; Nick Giancamilli and Anne Sullivan; his aunts and uncles, Tracey and Kristy Canaday and Michelle Giancamilli and Gendo Sebben; and other extended family members.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Harvest Fellowship, 11401 East 160th Avenue, Brighton Colorado, 80602. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Zach’s name to either Make-A-Wish Colorado (wish.org), the Jessie Rees Foundation (negu.org), or the Morgan Adams Foundation (morganadamsfoundation.org).
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