Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0863
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of SR0863  95th General Assembly



SR0863 LRB095 22539 KXB 52922 r


2     WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3 learn of the death of Zachary VanderGriend of Aurora, who
4 passed away on September 1, 2008; and
5     WHEREAS, Zachary was born in Sunnyside, Washington and then
6 moved to Lynden, Washington for a short time; his family then
7 relocated to Yakima, Washington where Zach attended WestSide
8 Christian School through 5th grade; during 5th grade, his
9 family again moved, this time to Aurora; Zachary attended
10 Aurora Christian School through his sophomore year and then
11 received his education through Christian Liberty Academy in
12 Arlington Heights, at the same time earning his private pilot's
13 license, attending Waubonsee Community College, working for
14 Shodeen Flight Department and Dick Hansen as an aircraft
15 detailer, and for Lumanair as a lineman, all at Aurora Airport;
16 and
17     WHEREAS, Zach attended Moody Bible Institute and was
18 accepted into their flight program in Spokane, Washington and
19 partnered with Spokane Community College; it was there and at
20 Blue Sky Arrow in Morris that Zach received his Airframe and
21 Powerplant mechanic's license; he worked as a lineman at Felts
22 Field in Spokane during his time there; Zach then moved to
23 Omaha, Nebraska where he attended Grace University and



SR0863 - 2 - LRB095 22539 KXB 52922 r

1 graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Aviation
2 Pilot/Business Program; and
3     WHEREAS, During summer breaks, Zach worked at Blue Sky
4 Arrow in Morris and at Lumanair in Aurora as an A & P mechanic;
5 after receiving his degree, Zach worked for a short time at the
6 Tacoma Narrows airport as an A & P mechanic for Associated
7 Aviation; he moved to Missoula, Montana on May 26, 2008 to
8 begin his dream job with Neptune Aviation; Zach wanted to fly
9 and become a Missionary Pilot and expressed his desire at the
10 age of two; and
11     WHEREAS, After moving to Illinois, Zach was involved in
12 museum work as a docent, detailer, and aircraft restorer; Zach
13 then became acquainted with EAA 579 and their Young Eagle
14 program; he spent many hours volunteering and began giving
15 Young Eagle rides as soon as he obtained his license; the
16 people at 579 made it possible for Zach to earn his pilot's
17 license; Zach was awarded a scholarship to attend the EAA's Air
18 Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; he was awarded the Presidential
19 Youth Service Award and received it at the unveiling of the
20 Butch O'Hare Memorial at O'Hare Airport, an aircraft Zach
21 helped restore; He was given the first ever Eagle award by EAA
22 579; and
23     WHEREAS, Zach loved life and was passionate about his faith



SR0863 - 3 - LRB095 22539 KXB 52922 r

1 in Jesus Christ; he loved his family and adored his little
2 sister; he enjoyed working, whether it was restoring a car or
3 an airplane; Zach loved to "turn wrenches" and get his hands
4 dirty; he loved to travel, fish, hunt, read, ski, and he always
5 enjoyed a good laugh; he also played piano and acted in local
6 church productions; he loved to fly because it was there he
7 felt closest to God; Zach was compassionate and generous to a
8 fault, he was loyal, energetic, and he was loved; and
9     WHEREAS, Zach was preceded in death by his grandfather,
10 Jake Gortsema; and
11     WHEREAS, Zachary will be greatly missed by his parents,
12 Steve and Marci; his very special friend and sister, Andriana;
13 his sweetheart, Ashley Hutton; his "Nan", Grace Gortsema; his
14 grandparents, Mick and LenaMarie VanderGriend; the many aunts,
15 uncles, cousins, friends, and people he called family: Dick and
16 RuthAnn Miller, Steve and Linda Valentine, Joe Cassidy, and
17 Heather and Melody; he will also be missed by his family at
18 Neptune Aviation, and his Crew Chief Robert; therefore, be it
20 ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with
21 his family and friends, the passing of Zachary VanderGriend;
22 and be it further



SR0863 - 4 - LRB095 22539 KXB 52922 r

1     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
2 presented to the family of Zachary VanderGriend as a symbol of
3 our sincere sympathy.