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Zachery Taylor Brokaw

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Zachery Taylor Brokaw, 20, Woodstock, died tragically Saturday, June 20, 2015, the result of an automobile accident. 

He was born April 9, 1995, to Myron and Diane (Stock) Brokaw in Barrington.

He attended Greenwood School, Northwood Middle School and was the Woodstock North High School Class of 2013 salutatorian. From a very young age he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and excelled academically. While at Woodstock North he served as president of the National Honor Society, played trombone in the band and was a member of the track and cross-country teams. He had just completed his freshman year at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., where he had been designated as a William Carleton Scholar in recognition of his outstanding scholarship, character and promise of achievement. 

He was employed as a tech support assistant at Carleton College, and nature director at Camp Lowden in Oregon. He had a passion for nature, was an avid birder and had recently been selected to work as a student naturalist with the Cowling Arboretum’s Cole Naturalist program this fall. He was a member of both the McHenry County and Illinois Audubon Societies and the Climate Justice Coalition and was a writer for the Carletonian. 

Scouting was an important part of his life, and at age 16, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He also earned a black belt in taekwondo. He was passionate about genealogy and spent many years researching and documenting his family history. He always marched to the beat of his own drum and never felt the need to conform to norms. He was his own person and highly regarded by all who knew him. He touched countless lives and will be terribly missed by many.

Survivors include his mother, Diane (Frank) Brokaw-Sieroslawski, Woodstock; his father, Myron (Kathy) Brokaw, Spring, Texas; grandparents, Robert Stock, Woodstock, Patricia (Benito) Diaz, Crystal Lake, Warren Brokaw, Branson West, Mo., and Sue Brokaw, Monticello, Iowa; aunts and uncles, Dan (Sue) Brokaw, Woodstock, Dawn Brokaw, Nixa, Mo., and Guy (Debbie) Brokaw, Reeds Springs Mo.; and cousins Ryan Brokaw, Stephanie (Adam) Schaefer, Jeremy (Kristie) Brokaw, Hannah Gardner and Ben and Kristy Brokaw. He also is survived by stepsiblings, Nick and Taylor Brown and Bailey (Gage) Daggett. Other special people in his life include his second mom, Laura Brokaw; godmother, Shonda Skelton; Eric and Grace Dahle and many extended-family members. He had many special friends in his life including Josiah, Tyler, Carlee, Madison, Will and Soren, among others. And he absolutely adored his dog, Bugsy.

He was preceded in death by his beloved uncle, Ronnie Stock, and cousin Brian Heine.

The visitation and funeral were held June 25 and 26 at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home. Interment was private.

Memorials in his name can be made to BSA Troop 456 c/o Matt Kempster, 3909 W. Meadow Lane, Wonder Lake, IL 60097.

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