Zachary Wade Nicholson died unexpectedly on Sunday, January 25th in Winooski, Vermont. He was born in Aspen, Colorado on March 9, 1984, the son of Marsha Nicholson Van Leeuwen and the late Mark Hod Nicholson. Zach moved to Waitsfield, VT at age 4 where he attended Waitsfield Elementary School and graduated from Harwood Union High School in 2002. Since graduation Zach has worked in the culinary field in the Mad River Valley and Burlington, Vermont areas.
He is survived by his mother Marsha Nicholson Van Leeuwen and step father Don Van Leeuwen of Plattsburgh, NY and his sister Kate Ellen Nicholson of Vermont. He is also survived by his aunts and uncles including Bob and Deb Barris of Saco ME, Sid and Barbara Smidt of Fayston VT, Paul and Judy Cote of Portland ME and his cousins Matthew Cote and his wife Olivia of Manchester, NH, Siemen Smidt of Waitsfield, VT, and Kelly Vigil of Colorado.
Zach and his sister Kate had many fun times at our family beach house in Ocean Park Maine with his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandfather. Zach grew up skiing and snowboarding at Buttermilk Ski Area, Aspen and Sugarbush, VT. For Zach, it was always play. He was also passionate about skateboarding.
Together with his friends, he was instrumental in creating the first skateboard park at the Skatium in Waitsfield. He brought that passion with him when he moved to the Burlington area, shredding wherever and whenever he could.
Zach, also known as Creature, is remembered by his huge circle of friends for his hugs, smiles and sense of humor. He loved people. Some Facebook quotes from his friends include: “we lost another beautiful soul”; “keep those kick flips nice and snappy up there in heaven”; “Zach was the most loyal and kind hearted brother a man could ask for, he gave everything and asked for nothing in return”; “will always remember your laugh”; thank you for the love, the hugs, the laughs, you will always be missed my friend”; “I feel blessed to have walked in just the little bit of sunshine you spread so freely”; and “no one will ever have the same brand of cool”.
Zach loved his mother dearly, and her cookies almost as much. Zach was her “A number one son” who would rub her head and say, “Aw, Mumsy”. It was always “you and me, me and you “Zach. He was a wonderful man and an incredible human being.
“Life happens, death is inevitable. You left us way too soon.”
Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, 261 Shelburne Rd., Burlington. To send condolences, please visit cremationsocietycc.com. Those who wish, memorial contributions in Zach’s name may be sent to: Parks Foundation of Burlington, 645 Pine Street, Suite B, Burlington, VT 05401