Obituary of William M.K. Zawacki
William “Bill” Michael Kelley Zawacki was a loving and caring husband, father figure, grandfather, brother, friend and colleague. He left this world suddenly on May 12, 2023 at the age of 61.
The youngest of eight children, Bill was born to Richard Charles and Anne Maria (Kelley) Zawacki on June 12, 1961. As an infant, Bill was dearly loved by his parents and siblings and had many nicknames, the most endearing being “Billy, Billy Beachball” and “Willy, Willy Lump-Lump.” He spent the lion share of his childhood years in Birmingham, Michigan, later moving to Marietta, Ohio the summer before his senior year of high school. Bill attended Marietta High where he made significant contributions to the school’s varsity football team. After graduating from high school, he attended Ohio University his freshman year and then moved to Colorado where he worked for Pulte Homes as a construction foreman. After leaving Pulte, he attended Colorado State University, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture. He married Louise Janae Krans-Harper on June 16, 2012. He returned to CSU to attain his Master’s degree in Natural Resources Stewardship and graduated May 17, 2014.
Between his bachelor’s and master’s degree, Bill also trained and worked as an EMT, was a member of the Larimer County Yellow Jackets as a Wildland Firefighter, clerked at the United States Forest Service and was a member of the National Association of Realtors.
Bill was a proud member of the Open Lands Advisory Commission for the City of Loveland, Colorado from 2003 until the time of his death. He held many positions and had been the chairperson most recently. Bill held dear his participation with the Loveland Youth Gardeners, attending many volunteer events that involved nature and ecosystem restoration.
Bill worked for the City of Longmont Natural Resources/Ecosystem Management in various capacities—most recently, as Senior Natural Resources Technician, since 2015. His deep love of the outdoors made him a remarkable steward of nature. Even as a small child, Bill was always at home in the great outdoors, communing with nature. This love and natural talent was evident at home, in his workplace, on a lake, or in any outdoor open space. As a horticulturist, Bill could name all plants that he and his soulmate and dearest wife, Louise would encounter on their countless nature walks. Hunting, fishing, hiking, or watching birds and native animals was where Bill was happiest. He was, in fact, an amazing bird caller, being especially adept doing wild turkey calls, to the delight of his family and friends.
Bill loved spending time in the kitchen, creating delicious meals for his wife, family and friends. He had a keen since of humor and all who knew him enjoyed his comedic ways. Laughter always surrounded him, wherever he was, whether at work, play or home.
Bill was also an avid sports fan. He followed and supported his alma mater, the CSU Rams as well as the Denver Broncos, Rockies, and Avalanche. He maintained a great interest for his beloved Detroit sports teams and always rooted for the University of Michigan, Wolverines.
In November of 2019, Bill received a live liver transplant from a selfless donor—Kyle Pickett—who was a friend of the family. In doing so, Kyle saved Bill’s life by providing him the liver donation needed to extend his life. Thank you to all that participated, volunteered in the process and assisted with all of Bill’s care and that of the care of Kyle, post surgeries. We had Bill with us 3 ½ years more than we would have had without this wonderous gift.
Bill is survived by his wife Louise Janae and his two step children Chelsey and Mark (Jen) Harper, Grandchildren, Aubree Rose and Colton Roy Harper, his siblings, Rick (Claudia) Zawacki, Mary (Gary) Kessler, Tom (Debbie) Zawacki, Anne (Michael) Khoury, Katherine Zawacki, Dan Zawacki (Karen Graham) (Phyliss Parsons) and Patty (Tom) Elzinga. His many surviving nieces and nephews include Michael and Dagney Hanner-Zawacki, Sarah and (Ryan) Farris, Jennifer Kessler (Craig Riter), Kristin (Martin) Henry, Theresa Zawacki, Andrea (Benjamin) Beaton, Erin (Bryan) Xavier, Molly (Jordan) Keller, Trisha (Damian) Merklinger, Aimee Zawacki, Daniel Zawacki, Dezi Elzinga (Wim Dejonghe), Andrew (Morgan) Elzinga, and Kelley Elzinga as well as many great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Richard and Anne (Kelley) Zawacki and his dear brother-in-law, Lynn Lahey.
Bill’s Celebration of Life will be held on June 17, 2023 at 11:00 am at LifeSpring Covenant Church in Loveland, CO
A lunch reception is planned at the church following the service.
Please follow the link to Northern Colorado Crematory Online Obituary and Memory book.
If desired, flowers can be arranged through Earle’s Loveland Floral and Gifts: (970) 667-7550.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the following organizations:
- Loveland Youth Gardeners: https://www.lovelandyouthgardeners.org/
- Donate Life America: https://donatelife.net/how-you-can-help/contribute/give-to-dla/
- American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/donate.html
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