Obituary: John "Zach" Zachary Bates

May 25, 1975 - November 25, 2023
John "Zach" Zachary Bates
May 25, 1975 - November 25, 2023
Posted at 2:18 PM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 16:18:36-05

John Zachary Bates, beloved father, brother, son, partner, and friend, died on Saturday November 25, 2023, at the age of 48. He was born in Great Falls, MT on May 25, 1975, and never wanted to live anywhere else.

He explored a variety of interests including music, skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding, bladesmithing, sales, and welding before settling into his favorite job, groundskeeping at Mount Olivet Cemetery and working for the Diocese of Eastern Montana. Although the gophers were a nemesis, he regularly fed peanuts to the squirrels at the cemetery.

His sons will remember a great dad, one who listened, was always ready to lend a helping hand, one who ran into a friend wherever he went and always took the time to catch up, and one who really didn't want a big fuss. Most fondly, they will remember a father who was tough as nails, and strong enough to be gentle.

Zach was a giver of joy and his heart was huge. It held so much love for so many, but in the end his fragile heart failed him and us.

He is survived by his father, Jerry; sons, Ian and Ethan; siblings, Becky (Jonathan), Sarah (Joe), and Joe; niece, Isalei; nephew, Kavika; partner, Shauna Walton; cousins and uncles; as well as people who are forever family, Susan (mother of Ian), Becca (mother of Ethan), and Michelle, Cade, Brook, Jayce, Falynn, and Tiauna.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.