Zachary Shively

September 26, 1997 - July 22, 2023


Obituary For Zachary Shively

Zachary (Zach) Stephen Shively, age 25, of Madison, died July 22, 2023. Zach was born on September 26, 1997, in Milwaukee. Zach lived with foster care parents. When he was 18 months old, he was joyfully adopted into the family of John Craig Shively and Anita Marie Banaszak Shively. The adoption day was celebrated every year at Ella’s Deli for many years.

Growing up, Zach enjoyed all the family gatherings, playing with his brother and cousins and going camping with extended family in Wisconsin parks. He enjoyed traveling with his family all around Wisconsin and as far away as Hawaii. Zach felt free and alive in nature. The family dogs, Athena, and Scrappy Doo, allowed him more moments in nature. Zach was talkative, energetic, playful, and fun. He had a great curiosity and learned by seeing, asking, handling, and moving. His parents were very active in his education, promoting experiences such as summer camp, t-ball, and baseball as well as swimming and long bike trips with his family. As a teenager, he participated in Outward Bound. Zach enjoyed primary and middle school. High school brought more friends and new challenges, and with great persistence, Zach attained his high school diploma from LaFollette High School on June 8, 2017. He took on various jobs and especially liked working outdoors and helping people. Zach recently worked at Metro Market in Monona and was excellent in his relationships with fellow employees and customers.

Zach made friends wherever he went with his winning smile and ease of conversation. He connected with people of all ages. He was comfortable with adults. He learned from people’s lived experience. He made it a priority to spend time with his elders, showing respect, patience, and love with his grandparents as they aged. As an adult, he met people from all over the world and many different cultures as a part of his involvement in an international group, SGI.

Zach understood the desires and dreams of his friends and generation. He understood the complexity of people and didn’t judge. Just like his grandparents who were part of the history of their time, Zach was a deep observer of people and yearned for honesty, equality, and real justice in our culture. When he visited Hawaii again as an adult, he found the acceptance of all races uplifting and fervently hoped that this feeling of acceptance could be more present in his beloved hometown.

Zachary was not unacquainted with death, both among family and friends. When Zach was nine, his mother, Anita, died, and he asked, “Where my mother is, will it be dark?” One of his aunts answered, “Wherever your mother is, there is light.” Zach, your light will shine forever. Thank you for all the love you gave us. We love you.

Zach is survived by members of his family: his father, John C. Shively, and brother, Robert I. Shively; his uncle, Rick (Meghan) Shively and aunt, Cynthia Shively; his uncle, Stephen M. Banaszak and his aunts, Mary (Doug) Schaller; Susan Banaszak Priebe; J. Lynn (Richard) Crabtree; Karen (Jeff Reinke) Banaszak; Nancy Banaszak-Lambert; Geradette (Brian) Barkey; Dolores (Mark) Holmes. His uncle, Dick Priebe, died shortly after Zach’s death. He is also survived by many cousins and lifelong friends. He is preceded in death by his mother, Anita Banaszak Shively, and his grandparents, Stephen L. and Dolores M. Banaszak, and Robert T. and Shirley J. Shively, and his aunt, Patricia Banaszak, and his cousins, Theresa Banaszak, Patrick (PJ) Snell, and Daniel and Patrick Banaszak.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, we will be honoring and remembering him with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until time of Mass on Tuesday at the church. There will be a rite of Committal at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to: or you may write a check to Karen Banaszak, Memo: Zach Shively fund.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

5701 Odana Road



26 Sep


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church 401 S. Owen Dr Madison, WI 53711 Get Directions »
26 Sep

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church 401 S. Owen Dr Madison, WI 53711 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • September 27, 2023

    " The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." Elizabeth Kubler-Ross In his short life, Zach had experienced such a journey. He had experienced the "goodness" of people and the happiness in "moments" of life. In his youth of years and wisdom of his heart, he searched how to reconcile these two," joy and loss". Zach would have done it, understood this mystery, because it was what he saw as "the puzzlement" of his life. He expressed this often, he was "being a human being and being an observer of humans". He really did believe that as in the song Ron Isley sang "Love is (still) the Answer". Zach, I love you, miss you so much and thank you for your love, Aunt Karen , So proud of you.

  • September 26, 2023

    I met Zach in Milwaukee through his BUDDHIST practice. The same person who compassionately introduced him to Buddhism also introduced me to Buddhism in Madison WI, 37 years ago. I am so delighted that he had the great fortune to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in his lifetime. Eternally, may Zach and his love ones be endowed with the wisdom to know, "A plant, a tree, a pebble, a speck of dust—each is endowed with cause and effect, and with the function to manifest and the wisdom to realize its Buddha nature." WND I: p356 Zach, Rest in Peace, Blessings & Power🙇🏽‍♀️ Angel Lathan

  • September 25, 2023

    What a gentle kindness Zachary brought to my life when he offered to assist with my work of moving. He shared positive energy then and when we met years later. May Zach's gentle spirit dwell in the hearts of family and friends always. MaryG

  • September 22, 2023

    Sending this entire family strength, love, and courage! What a beautiful young man. I have heard so many wonderful anecdotes and stories about Zach since his passing. This was a beautiful tribute. Please stay steady. Please know that your family is VERY much cared for. You all are supported by people that you may not see or know. Chandra Wagener- Part of the Russell Mackie Family

  • September 16, 2023

    Zachary was such a wonderful and helpful young man. I am going to miss him walking into my house asking me to make him a plate. May God wrap his arms around the family.

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