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PROTZ, Zachary “Zak” Hamilton

October 28, 1988 – March 1, 2013

Zachary “Zak” Hamilton Protz of Calgary, passed away after a short battle with cancer on Friday, March 1, 2013 at the age of 24 years.

Zak lived life on his own terms from the day he was born. “Typical” and “traditional” were not words you would use to describe him. Zak had a zest for life which led to many memorable adventures with his friends and family. He enjoyed camping on long weekends, skiing, house-boating, playing with his dog and working as needed to support his lifestyle. His sharp sense of humour, his charm and his loyalty endeared him to those who knew and loved him.

Zak was always keen to try something new – getting his pilot’s license, obtaining his firearm’s license and learning to white-water kayak. Once Zak set his mind to something, you couldn’t change it. While his life’s journey was short, he packed a lot into it and we were glad we were along for the ride.

Left behind to honour his memory and celebrate his life are his parents, Andrea Merrick and Stephan Protz, his sister Megan and his dog Ruger. He will be missed by his grandparents and many aunts and uncles and friends.

A Gathering will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Sunday, March 10, 2013 between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Telephone: (403) 205-3966, email donorservices@cancer.ab.ca. We would like to thank the doctors and nurses on Unit 47 at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for the care and support they provided both to Zak and his family.

In living memory of Zak Protz, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

Offer Condolence for the family of PROTZ, Zachary “Zak” Hamilton

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Condolence Messages

  1. Linda Sailer :

    Our prayers and condolences from our family to yours. We recall many wonderful times at the BMX races. Zak always was full of adventure with a fierce determination to do things his way. Off track he was a wonderfully sweet kid with a smile to light up the day! He will be dearly missed by all those whose lives he touched.
    The Sailer Family

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  2. Faith & Reagan Wood :

    Our hearts are broken yet our love remains strong. In our hearts and minds he will never be gone.
    Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905 – 2004)
    “Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glint on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you wake in the morning hush,
    I am the swift, uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    (Do not stand at my grave and cry.
    I am not there, I did not die!)”

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  3. Thinking of you during this difficult time. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    luv you, Sis Celine

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  4. Jason Stavroff :

    I am at a loss for words, I am absolutely gutted. I remember babysitting little Zachary a long time ago. You were taken too soon by a cruel disease. You will live forever in my memories.

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  5. Andrea, Stefan and Megan,
    There is no way to change the grief you feel now but know that people who care are holding you all in their thoughts and prayers. I will try to help Bob and Barb as much as I can in their sadness at not being able to be with you right now.
    Sincerely, Don Gregory

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  6. Michelle Rich and Lisa Rich :

    Andrea, Stephan, Megan,
    We’ll always remember our trip to Calgary, the Calgary Stampede and Canmore. How full of life and energetic Zak was. Zak’s passing reminds us how fragile life is and how we must always live life to the fullest. Zak appears to have done that, living life on his terms! My condolences go out to all of you. I’m also including Lisa’s condolences as she is currently out of the country in Cuba and won’t be back until Friday.

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  7. Frank& Betty Hamilton :

    Thinking of you at this sad time.

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  8. Sue and Bruce :

    Andy, Stephan and Megan,
    Our hearts are breaking for you right now. We felt Zak was part of our extended family and we are so sad to lose him so soon. Please know we are here to support you in any way we can. We love you guys so much.
    Sue, Bruce, Matthew and Rachel

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  9. Steve Davis :

    Dear Andrea and Family,
    I wish to extend my condolences for the loss of your son. Andrea, you have always impressed me with your kindness and good nature. It is apparent that these great traits are common throughout your whole family. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    Steve Davis

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  10. Dear Andrea and family, I want to extend my sincere condolences. While the loss of my wife of 34 years to cancer was difficult, I cannot imagine having to deal with the loss of a child. I wish you strength and trust that you will find comfort with family and friends as you deal with this.
    Sincerely, Rod Haig

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  11. John D'Alessandro :

    Deepest condolences to Andrea Merrick and Protz family for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    John

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  12. Bart Van Acker :

    Andrea and Family,
    I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through and how difficult all this must be for you. My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult loss. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you in this trying time.
    Bart

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  13. Dawna and Erwin Sippert :

    Andrea, Stephan and Megan:
    You have been very much in our thoughts since we first heard Zak was ill. We are so terribly sorry that you and your families have this loss to accept now and we will do as much as we can to help Barb and Bob get through it. Our deepest sympathy to you all.
    Dawna and Erwin Sippert

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  14. Jennifer and Robert Campbell :

    Andrea, Stephan, and Megan,
    You have been in our thoughts and prayers these last few months. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
    Jen, Rob, Luke, and Noah Campbell

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  15. So sorry for your loss. Thinking about you and your family Stephan.

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  16. Deborah Tetz :

    Dear Andrea,
    It sounds like Zak was an incredible young man. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
    Deborah

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  17. Cindy & Mark Savage :

    Dear Andrea and Family,
    Deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    Cindy & Mark Savage

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  18. Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
    Warmest Regards, Judi

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  19. Anne and Don Marion :

    Dear Andrea, Stephan and Megan
    I wish we knew the right words to say to you all during this terrible time, Zak was so young and such an incredible young man. May happy memories warm your hearts and a lot of caring friends and family surround you with great comfort. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
    Anne and Don Marion

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  20. Siobhan Chinnery :

    Andrea, Stephan and Megan
    We are so deeply sorry for your loss. Thinking of you at this very difficult time, with our deepest sympathy.
    The Chinnery Family

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  21. Jenny and Nigel Douglas :

    Dear Stephan, Andrea and Megan,
    It’s so difficult to know what to say at such a time, so we just want you to know that you are in our thoughts.
    With love and sympathy, Jenny and Nigel and the dogs

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  22. Asmara Tedeschi :

    Andrea and family,
    So sad for your loss, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers will be with with you.
    Asmara

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  23. Alain Cousineau :

    My deepeest sympathy to you and your family.
    Sincerely, Alain Cousineau

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  24. Aleksandra Stavroff :

    I can’t believe it, what a loss. Zach will always be an adventurous, friendly and energetic spirit in my memories. I’m so sorry for this tragic loss.

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  25. I want to send you all a huge hug. May your hearts feel love from family and friends at this time.

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  26. I was sorry to hear about Zack. There, but for the grace of luck, go I.

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  27. Peter McMullen :

    My condolences Andrea & Stephan to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.

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  28. Bill and Pat McKim :

    Stephan, Andrea and Megan;
    Please accept our deepest condolences. So very sorry we’re not there to offer our support in person. We miss you all terribly and your sad news is heartrending. We have only happy remembrances of Zak in his early life as a stalwart lad. Reading your exceptional tribute to your son makes us fully realize we missed knowing a wonderful young man.
    Pat and Bill McKim

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  29. Pamela Hamilton :

    Dear Zak:
    If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane. I’d walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again. At night when looking up at the stars I will see your smile and the porch lights on and Zak we will know you found your way home. You achieved so much in such a short time and I am so thankful and proud that I was able to have spent some time with you over the last few years and see what a good man you became. God speed Zak.
    Love always, cousin Pamela Hamilton

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  30. Susan and Katie Spencer :

    Andrea, Stephan and Megan, So sorry to hear about Zak. Our sympathies and prayers are with you all.

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  31. Dick & Sheila Vastenhout :

    Andrea, Stephen and Megan,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We see there are so many people thinking of you. We are sorry we cannot be there to offer you our support. As we can see from the condolences, he was a remarkable young man.
    Love from Dick and Sheila

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  32. Ricky Di Rado :

    Dear Andrea and Family:
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with you and your family in this time of sorrow.
    Ricky Di Rado

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  33. Heather McKim :

    Hi Stephan, Andrea and Megan,
    I am shocked at the very sad news my parents passed on to me. I’m so sorry for your loss and as my parents mentioned I have only good memories of Zak at your old house and the mischief we’d get up to in your basement!
    Heather McKim

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  34. Mardel Robillard :

    Our deepest sympathy for the loss of Zak. Darrell and I remember him BMX racing and his bright smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Mardel Robillard and Darrell Brown

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  35. Lori McNabb (nee Heikkila) :

    Andrea and Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time of your lives.
    Lori

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  36. Christine Miller :

    Andrea, Stephan and Megan,
    It has been sometime since I’ve seen Zak and your family. I remember how clever, caring and adventurous he was, with a smile that could cheer anyone up. My deepest condolences to your family and loved ones.
    Christine Miller

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  37. Lydia Chipper :

    Andrea, I was so very sorry to hear of the loss of your son Zak. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Please accept my deepest condolences.

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  38. Graham Leduke :

    Andrea, words cannot begin to express how deeply sorry I am for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  39. Carol Zazula :

    Dear Andrea and family, my son was born in the same year as Zak. Zak’s independent spirit sounds pretty inspiring. What a treasure you have lost and my heart goes out to all of you. My sincerest condolences.
    Carol Zazula

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  40. Stephan, Andrea, and Megan,
    Am deeply saddened by you loss, I have very pleasant memories of him ! Camping, soccer and family dinners were always a blast. He will be missed.
    Rob McKim

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  41. Deborah Merrick :

    Andrea, my condolences to you and your family. I’m very sorry for your loss.

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  42. Elisa Cheung :

    Andrea, I extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I am at loss of words to offer that may bring comfort and make peace. Please accept my thoughts and prayers to you and your family for these to come. Warm hugs.

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  43. Lorraine and Robert Bissell :

    Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies on your loss.
    Lots of love, Lolo xo

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  44. Steph, Andrea and Megan,
    I am just finding out about Zak today after reading the Herald. My thoughts are with you at this time of loss. Our time together in cadets was precious and Zak will live on in our hearts and memories.

    Luv Kate Shaw and Family

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  45. Calvin Kanderka :

    Dear Andrea and Family,
    I am very sorry for your loss.Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
    The Kanderka Family

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  46. Renee and Ron bourbonnais :

    Our sincere condolences to all the family. This is so sad for all of you. Our thoughts are with you always. Take good care of yourselves. We will see you when we get back to Canada.

    Ron & Renee

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  47. Christine and Tim Martin :

    Andrea, Stephan and Megan,
    We were so saddened to hear of your loss. It is with deepest sympathy we offer our condolences,
    Christine and Tim Martin

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  48. Colleen Quinn :

    We wish Zak’s family and friends much love and faith so that your memories will be forever alive and ease your grief. Life is so precious and unpredictable.
    Garry & Colleen

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  49. Nicholas Cook :

    Andrea and family,

    My deepest of sympathies to you all during this extremely difficult period. You are in my thoughts. Celebrate Zak’s love of life.

    Nicholas Cook – London UK

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  50. Juli and Paul Sacco :

    Andrea, Stephan, and Megan,
    Too sad for words. We cannot imagine your sadness. Our condolences.
    Paul and Juli Sacco

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  51. Captain Gordon Cousins CD :

    Dear Stephan and Family
    Zak shall always be on the ” Nominal Roll” of 2137 Calgary Highlanders.
    It is with great Sadness that we have just learned of Zak’s Passing.
    He did pack a lot into such a short life, we were privileged to have his Zest and his Father’s input into his Cadet Cadet Corps.
    God Bless both Zak ‘s Memory and your time of grieving for a good life cut short. Sincerely Gord

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  52. Elizabeth Hailstone :

    Andrea and Family,

    I’m so sorry to hear of Zak’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

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  53. Natasha Landree :

    I cannot believe your life has been taken so quickly. Just over a year ago you were telling me your plans for the future, I come home to find that a horrible diseases has taken your life. My thought’s and prayers go out to your family ♥ You can now fly with the angel’s and be pain free. This isn’t goodbye but I’ll be seeing you again. Please look down on those lives in which you have affected and know we love you and miss you dearly. Rest easy Zak ♥

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  54. The D'Arcy Chenier family :

    We were deeply saddened after hearing of your loss and our thoughts are with you at this time of sorrow. We love you all very much.
    Pauline, D’Arcy, Carl and Stephane Chenier

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  55. Haggis & Marjorie Mackay :

    Dear Andrea and family,
    It seems that even God sometimes drops the ball. You have suffered the most dreadful loss that parents can. Our heartfelt sympathy to you and yours and sincere best wishes for the future.
    Haggis & Marjorie Mackay
    Gibsons, BC.

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  56. Frank & Betty Hamilton (Aunt and Uncle) :

    Dear Andrea, Stephan and Megan:
    “I’ll lend you for a while a child of mine,” He said. “For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead. It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three, But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief, You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.”
    “I cannot promise he will stay; since all from earth return, But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn. I’ve looked the wide world over in My search for teachers true And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes I have chosen you. Now will you give him all your love, not think the labor vain, Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?”
    “I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, Thy will be done! For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we run. We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may, And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay; But should the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned, We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand!” Love Uncle Frank and Aunt Betty (Hamilton)xoxoxo

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  57. Jamie Petrowich :

    Andrea and family,
    I was so very saddened to hear about the loss of Zak. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

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  58. My condolences to you and your family during this difficult time with the passing of Zak. My thoughts are with you guys now, and in the days to come.

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  59. Andrea and family,
    My sincerest condolences to you and your family. Anh

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  60. Lewis Steeves :

    Andrea, Megan and Stephan,
    We are so sorry to hear about Zak. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. God bless.
    Lewis, Cindy and Meagan

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  61. Glenda Rowley :

    Stephan, Andrea, Megan and of course Ruger:
    Not a day goes by that I think about how very sad it is that Zak’s gone. He was lucky to have you as his family. To be there with him through his illness and through all the great, healthy times as a family. He knew that you loved him deeply.
    Love, Glenda

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  62. Dear Andrea and Family:
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with you and your family in this time of sorrow.
    Jasmine Le

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  63. John & Jo-Ann Dicker :

    Dear Andrea and family,
    We only met Zack a couple of times at Bob & Barb’s but we know that he was a fine young man and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
    John & Jo-Ann

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  64. Andrea and family, I’m sorry I could not convey my condolences in person, I was heartbroken by the news. May his memories be enternal. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. I wish you peace as you grieve this loss.

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  65. Megoran Family :

    Stephan, Andrea and Megan, We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We have many happy memories of Zak and Stephan at Cub Scouts and hope that these and many more memories will help you now and in the future. We are all thinking of you at this time.
    Jane, Shane, Callum and Liam Megoran

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  66. Andrea, Stephan and Megan,
    Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear just know that you are very close in my thoughts and prayers.

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  67. Dr. Kerstin Kelly :

    My deepest sympathies. From someone who recently lost a child, no words are sufficient to console you at this time of tragedy and pain. May the love and support of family, friends and the community help in some way to comfort you and help you through the dark hours.
    Love Kerstin

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