Zachary Shane Finch

December 16, 2021


Zachary Shane Finch, age 34. Heartbreak and stillness fell over us on Thursday December 16th as Zach peacefully continued his path beyond this world. Despite his long battle with cancer, Zach passed the way he chose – at home surrounded by loved ones and family near the Christmas tree. 
From the time he was young, Zachary always had a plan and attacked life with passion, love, and the goal to experience as much as possible. His hurry to always do things “now” allowed him to pack more friends, food, world travels, hobbies, and love in his 34 short years than most people do in an entire lifetime. He loved researching, reading, learning, and sharing his knowledge with anyone that would listen. Zach loved to entertain and cook amazing meals for others, especially Val. His positive energy, spark for life, and easy-going attitude drew people to him, and his ability to truly connect with people on any range of topics made you want to be more than just a friend. This is evidenced by the overwhelming number of stories, laughs, friends, and pictures that have been shared with us over the last year.     
Zach was preceded in death by maternal grandfather Ray Helmuth and paternal grandfather and grandmother Oakley and Alice Finch, and later Mirriam Finch. 
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Valerie (Lewis) Finch, his beloved dog Sirus, his adored grandmother Dorothy (Dot) Helmuth, deeply missed by his parents Tina (Helmuth) and Shane Finch, his loving sister Caitlin (Finch) Noufer and nephew Liam Noufer, his Aunt Teresa (TT) and Uncle Darrell Clevenger and cousins Jarod and Jenna, and numerous other aunts, uncles, and many beloved cousins. On Val’s side, Zach is survived and will be deeply missed by his mother and father in-law Maureen and Jim Lewis, brothers, and sisters- in law Paula (Lewis) and Mark Glitch, and nephew Kenneth Glitch, Jason Lewis, and Andrew and Erin Lewis. 
Zach found peace in nature, specifically in the mountains, woods, and hiking and cycling trails. On the day of a big adventure (that he likely had planned and over-planned for weeks) he would have the biggest grin on his face. Zach wanted to be cremated so that his ashes could return to the places that brought him the most joy. Knowing his transition would be difficult for so many, he hoped that thinking of him in those places would bring peace to those he left behind.  
We can’t begin to express our deepest gratitude to the many friends and family we have leaned on over the past year, as well as our work families (PNNL and DOE Strong) who continue to support us. We received excellent care at the INOVA Schar Cancer Institute, and especially want to thank the very best nurse practitioner, Eileen, and our favorite nurse, Sammi. These people really went above and beyond in getting Zach the best care possible. Finally, thank you to Sabrina, whose acupuncture techniques eased Zach’s physical changes and pain through his cancer battle and whose conversation and advice soothed his soul. 

Calling hours will be held 4:00 – 6:00 PM Monday, December 20, 2021, with a small Testimonial service immediately following 6:00 PM at Sly Family Funeral Home in Middlefield. There will be a celebration of life on a later date. Memorial donations can be made in Zach’s name to The National Park Foundation, 1500 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005.  

Zack's Testimonial Service will be streamed on our Facebook Page, starting at 5:50 PM.  


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Zachary Shane Finch, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service


Calling Hours
December 20, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Sly Family Funeral Home
15670 W. High Street, PO Box 1275
Middlefield, OH 44062

Testimonial Service
December 20, 2021

6:00 PM
Sly Family Funeral Home
15670 W. High Street, PO Box 1275
Middlefield, OH 44062

Video is available for this event

A Celebration of Life will be held on a later date


The National Park Foundation
1500 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington DC 20005

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