Zachary “Zach” J. Wainey

June 30, 1996 - March 14, 2019

Zachary James Wainey was born in Kostroma, Russia. A former resident of Brecksville, Ohio, Zach moved to Cape Coral with his family in 2007. He passed away at the age of 22 on March 14, 2019.

Zach was full of compassion, passion and empathy for animals. From an early age, he rescued abandoned and lost animals. From baby birds which he hand-fed and taught to fly to a half-frozen cat we welcomed into our home and eventually re-homed at a local comic book store, there was no animal immune to his charm. The family’s household pets each have a rescue story, so it was no surprise that Zach entered the veterinary field. He leaves behind a legacy of working with a variety of local animal shelters and rescue groups.

Zach’s curiosity lead to an interest in the environment and history of Florida. He volunteered for many years at Randell Research Center on Pine Island. Fishing and boating on Lake Erie at the family’s second home in Catawba Island, Ohio, were the highlight of many a summer day. Zach was very proud when he obtained his boating license. He had a knack for catching fish even with a homemade string and hook dangled over the boat dock.

Zach enjoyed cooking and was often in the kitchen experimenting with spices and sauces. He recently developed an interest in painting and other artistic mediums. He generously shared his culinary and artistic endeavors with family and friends.

Zach was the kind of young man people naturally turned to when in need, whether for a ride to work, a loan, or an open ear and a shoulder to lean on. He was a teen mentor for many years with a local group. Zach’s heart knew no bounds.

Zach is survived by his parents, James and Deborah Wainey, his sister, Catherine Wainey, and his dear friend, Autumn Martin. He was predeceased by his grandparents and his aunts, Helen Zebrowski and Sharon Zebrowski. On the paternal side, Zach is survived by his godparents, Michael and Annette Wainey, his uncle, Charles Wainey, and his aunt and uncle, Christine and Patrick Yoney. On the maternal side, Zach is survived by his uncles, Joseph Zebrowski, Donald Zebrowski and Michael Zebrowski, as well as his aunt and uncle, Patricia and David Specian. Extended family as well as a multitude of friends who were dear to him will surely miss Zach.

No formal services are planned at this time.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Aunt Chris & Uncle Pat Mar 18, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Dear Zach, We wish with all our hearts that we could have been there for you and now they are forever broken!

  2. Donald zebrowski Mar 19, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Sadness over the news of zachs passing ….. A young life lost to soon

  3. Sarah Sherron Mar 19, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Debbie my heart is breaking for you. This is such a devastating loss. Praying God gives you strength.

  4. Tracy Strouse Mar 19, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I’m so sad to see this amazing young man leave life so early. It appears Zach made a huge impact on the world around him. The animal kingdom has lost a compassionate human being to care for it, but the human kingdom has the greatest loss. I send prayers for his parents and sister to find peace from Zach’s death knowing he is welcomed by many family members into the Kingdom of Heaven.

  5. Debbie Michaels Mar 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    I am very sorry for the passing of Zack. I am at a total loss for words. Please accept my prayers and condolence’s from Ohio.

  6. Debbie Laughlin Mar 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    May God grant you peace and comfort in this time of sorrow and may God grant Zachary eternal rest. With our deepest sympathy, Jim and Debbie Laughlin

  7. Sue Stephens Mar 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Debbie the best that I can tell you at this horribly sad time is that I will be praying for all of you. You have shared so many wonderful things about Zach, although I never met him, through Facebook, you can tell that you both raised a wonderful son who will be sorely missed. I can tell you to look for him. You will see signs from him everywhere, especially in the animals.

  8. Jody Wilson Mar 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Deb….. I am so sorry to hear this news… condolences to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Doug Mohney Mar 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Dear Debbie and Jim: My heart breaks for you both and your family. I watched Zach grown from a youngster to a fine young man who I was proud to know and work with. Always a smile, always ready to help whomever needed it and never any complaints. I truly enjoyed being around Zach and will miss him dearly

  10. Debbie Michaels Mar 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. I am at a loss for words. I know he will be truly missed My prayers are going out from Ohio <3 🙁

  11. Debbie Swartz (Great Aunt) Mar 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    To Zach, I will say that “Although I did not know you well, because I lived so far away, I could tell , each time we were together, that you were a kind and gentle person. You were always so friendly and cared about me and my life, thoughI was just another Great Aunt on your Mom’s side of the family. I too share a love for animals. To my dear niece, Debbie and her family, I can only tell you how sorry I am, and I will pray for you, Jim, Cathy, and all those who knew and loved Zach. My heart goes out to you, and please know that my family and I are keeping you close in our thoughts. Love You, Aunt Deb

  12. Chris Jagodzinski Mar 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Debbie, my thoughts and love to you and your family. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Zach, as you take this time to morn and remember, my hope is that you and your family is surrounded by love, memories, and peace. If you need anything please do not hesitate to reach out to those who love you, myself included. You will be constantly in my thoughts and hopes for peace and love.

  13. Kathie Crowley Mar 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Deb, My condolences to you, Jim, Catherine and the rest of the family on the passing of Zach. I met Zach once at Bealls and I remember his smile and how polite he was. I can\’t even begin to imagine the depth of your pain, but I hope that all the wonderful memories and the love of family and friends help lift you up.

  14. Linda and Art Siegwardt Mar 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    So very sorry to hear aboit your loss. Our prayers are with you all.

  15. Ana Ramos Mar 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Zach, I will never forget your kindness and beautiful spirit. You were a very special person and not to mention the best Alfredo Sauce maker EVER! I will miss dearly your smile and beautiful Paintings! I will Cherish the one you gave me forever… We will miss you dearly and will forever carry you in our hearts! I will always take care of your mom Debbie, like you, she is a angel sent from heaven. Love, Ana!

  16. Robin Huffer Mar 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Debbie my heart hurts for you but I know the heavens are celebrating their newest angel. I am not wise enough for words but my shoulder is very strong if you ever need it.

  17. Pharrah Millan Mar 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    It is with a heavy heart that I write this tribute to one of God’s truest angels. I remember first meeting you my freshman year at Mariner HS. You made those 3 years some of the most memorable and enjoyable times of my life. From goofing around in Spanish class, eating lunch together, even sneaking on your bus home to play Call Of Duty while you recorded our shenanigans on YouTube. Zach’s legacy lives on in the many people, including myself, that he touched with his heart of gold. From your compassion for all and any animal, to your understanding of people from all walks of life. I remember when I met you, my mother had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Your soul that always seemed to light up the room was kind and compassionate enough to take my mind off the situation with your sense of humor, adventurous personality, and your listening ears. You were one of the few people I actually let meet my mother, and she adored you. I hope that now you have the peace you deserved in life, free from mental/physical anguish, free from worries, just free. I love you Zach Wainey, even though time saw us drift apart through circumstances, know that there will never be another person like you. God truly called one of his dearest angels home. Rest In Peace my friend, say hi to my mother for me. Til the day we meet again, and I know you’ll be surrounded with ALL the animals up there

  18. Syrena Aguiar Mar 19, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Zach was a wonderful young man who had a big heart. He was always good to my family. Remember the day we took home Mr. Simms from the Vet class to your house. Trying to load that big tank into my car. All the while laughing & having fun. Those are the wonderful days I will always cherish. May you rest in eternal peace.

  19. Laura Obrzut Mar 20, 2019 at 11:42 am

    I was totally shocked to read about the passing of your son. I cannot begin to know your sadness. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  20. Kim Cumby Mar 20, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Dear Debbie and family. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Zach. I cannot imagine what you are going thru. Please know that I will keep you in my prayers. I only met Zach once but thru your posts, I learned a lot about how loving and caring he was in all aspects of his life. If you need anything, I am just a call away.

  21. Kaylee Minnella Mar 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

    I am beyond heartbroken. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Zach you were such a kind, funny, and caring person. I’ll always cherish the memories you, me and Steven have together. From middle school to all the days we’d spend together after school at Nicks. Or the times me you and steven would spend hours playing call of duty. Or even the days we spent volunteering and Randell and the vets office. You’re a friend I’ll never forget. We lost touch over the last year and there’s so many things I wish I could tell you right now. I love you zach thanks for always being a good friend. I’m SO sorry , rest in paradise.

  22. Kathy Kaltenbach Mar 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

    My deepest sympathies go to the family. I am so sorry to hear of your loss!

  23. Kaylee Minnella Mar 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I still can’t wrap my head around all of this. Me and Steven are absolutely devastated. I have so many wonderful memories with you from middle school all the way to senior year, up until now. I’ll never forget all the days me you and steven would spend hours playing video games instead of doing homework. I’ll never forget how you showed me panic at the disco Or the days we’d all spend hanging out at Nicks and Rikkis. We once spent an entire summer together volunteering at Randell and the vets office. There’s so many things I wish I could say to you right now. I’m SO sorry Zach. You have always been a caring, loving, and funny individual who put compassion into everything you did. You will always be in my heart. Rest in paradise zach.

  24. Karen and Jim Duraney Apr 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Debbie, Jim and Cathy, We are greatly saddened and still in shock about the passing of your wonderful son and brother, Zach. It seems like only yesterday that we were all together picnicking in your backyard in Brecksville, OH. Zach always seemed to be a very caring young man with a big heart. Know that your entire family is in our prayers. We are here for you always. Love you all.

  25. Jamie Shimko Apr 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Debbie, I am so sorry to hear the news about Zach. My heart breaks for you and your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. If you need anything please let me know. Love you!

  26. Betty Hughes Apr 20, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Deb, on behalf of the Animal Refuge Center, our condolences to you, Jim and Catherine. We will always remember the compassion that Zach showed animals. In addition to compassion in the animal world, Zach brought a bright light to whatever he focused on. This was so welcomed in a world that can always use some brightness. He brought hope, joy and success stories to not only pets in need but to humans in need as well. Zach touched many a human heart and we are all better people for it. R.I.P Zach and we will miss you deeply.

  27. April Lionett and Madison Apr 20, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Jim, Debbie, Catherine, Autumn, and Zach\’s extended family and friends…may your Higher Power surround you with comforting light and healing peace. May all your wonderful memories of Zach bring you some peace during this heartbreaking time. I have a feeling that Zach is at the Rainbow Bridge, welcoming, with love, each animal that arrives. With love, April & Madison Lionett

  28. Marianne Knapik George Apr 20, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Dear Wainey Family, I am greatly saddened to hear of the loss of Zach. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Karen Kashi Apr 20, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I have struggled all day looking for the right words to pay tribute to Zach. A wonderful, kind and loving young man with a heart of gold and the soul of a lion proud and strong. Zach was a gentle caring man, kind to all with a special place in his heart for animals. He brightened everyone’s day with his smile and good deeds. You will be missed by all of us that knew you. Your wonderful Mom is my dear friend and I hope to find words to comfort her. RIP Zach our prayers are with you.

  30. Joe Palka Apr 20, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Dear Debbie and Jim, I am so sorry, I am at a loss for words. The last time I saw Zach was in March of 2012 when he helped me after my wife passed. I had a job that had to be done, and was not in the best state of mind at that time. He helped me out by stuffing parts in circuit boards that I was assembling. I so looked forward to his daily arrival. He was like a breath of fresh air, showing up after school with his lizard in tow. Words can’t express my feelings. So long Zach.

  31. Debbie Headd Apr 20, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Debbie, I am at a loss in hearing about Zach. I heart goes out to you and your family. Lots of hugs and prayers will be said in hopes that your load will some how be lessened by the pain you’re experiencing at this time.

  32. Gail Peters Apr 20, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Debbie-I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I do not even know what to say but just know that I am thinking of you and your family and praying for your strength during this most difficult time.

  33. Mary Meler Apr 20, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Dear Jim, Debbie, and Cathy – We are so very saddened about the news of Zach\’s passing. Our families became friends because of Cathy and Zach and our Ann and David. It was a very special time in all our lives when we started our families. The blessing of your family and our family friendship was such a blessing when you lived in Ohio. We ran into Cathy and Zach at Cedar Point several years ago after you had moved to Florida. We were so thrilled to see them. Both children so beautiful. Please know that you will be held in our daily prayers for a very long time. We can\’t imagine, but know that the love of God will be upon you through the closeness of family and friends who hold you through this time. Zach was always the sweetest and gentlest soul. May he rest with the angels and saints and all the loving animals in Heaven. With our love and prayers for each of you. Paul, Mary, Ann, David, and Elizabeth Meler

  34. Margaret Foreso Apr 20, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Heartbroken over this. I can remember meeting you on your first visit to ARC with your mom. You were the most caring boy. Sending prayers to your family.

  35. Ashley Apr 20, 2019 at 11:52 am

    I only met you once, but you made one of my friends very happy. You showed her love and kindness. You also showed her that there are good men out there that would love and cherish not only her but her daughter as well. Thank you for doing this. Rest In Peace.

  36. Kimberly J Cook Apr 20, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Debbie my heart breaks for you. I am here for you if you ever need anything. Zach with be missed by all and especially at the office. He was a very kind soul. I love you and my prayers are with your family as you go through this difficult time.

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