Nathaniel Zelie (1999-2023)

4 mins read
Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Zelie

AVON – It is with great sadness that I write of my brother, Nathaniel Jacob Zelie’s, passing, which took place early on May 25, 2023. Nate was an advocate for and a defender of the underdog; he was reliable, and funny, and kind; most of all, he felt things with a intensity that only a few will understand. Those who had the pleasure of meeting him, and especially those who knew him well, will carry that richness with them forever.

Our momma’s sweetheart was born on September 2, 1999. Despite the fact that I had wished desperately for a little sister, I waltzed into that hospital room, held him in my three-year-old arms, and said “wake up Jacob.” For the next ten years, or as long as Nate let me, I dressed him up and together we held grand tea-parties, entered fantastical worlds, and raced our bicycles until one of us ended up with less skin than we had started with. My brother would give up anything for the people he loved; he even gave up his birthday once so that I could have mine, complete with fairy wings and flower crowns. As we grew older, we grew apart, but he never let me fail a math class or miss an oil change.

Nate was fiercely protective of the people he loved, and he demonstrated that again and again for his family and friends, often sheltering us from even his own suffering. To his friends, Nate was the life of the party, but more than that, he was the listening ear, the one they could rely on to have their back or fix their engine. He was always whistling, singing, or laughing so loudly that it sometimes drove the people around him to madness, though if given the chance, we would do anything to hear that again.

Nate had many passions. He loved tinkering with anything with a motor. He could ice skate us all under the table; lived for fishing; would take anyone on for full contact skiing; and loved racing with 207 Superbikez, along with just about anything that involved his friends. The love of Nate’s life was his dog Roxie and he never let her go a day without tucking her in, singing her to sleep, and supplying her with toys and treats.

Nathaniel is survived by his parents, Pamela and Joel Reed and Robert Zelie; his brother, Jedidiah Zelie; his three sisters, Michaela Zelie, Brynna Zelie, and Clara Zelie; his three stepbrothers Taylor Reed, Trenton Reed, and Trey Reed; his beloved dog, Roxie, and the friends that he loved like family. Memorial Visitation will be held at Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Road, on Saturday, June 3 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Family and friends are encouraged to leave remembrances in Nate’s Book of Memories at Arrangements and cremation care are under the direction of Wiles Remembrance. In lieu of flowers, the family requests toys for Nate’s dog.

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  1. What a beautiful obituary. I wish I had the pleasure to know and meet Nate. RIP good man.

  2. Oh, Michaela. How beautifully written. My heart breaks for you all. My deepest condolences. XO

  3. I’m so sorry to his family and friends for their loss and I’m sorry his brother had to write this but he did a beautiful job.

  4. I’m so sorry for your families loss. May you all remember the good times and find peace or mind.

  5. I had the pleasure of knowing Nate for about 3 years as his Snap-on tools dealer, and in that time he quickly became one of my favorite people to interact with. He was always happy, which in turn made me happy as well. I’ll truly miss him and the happiness he brought to whichever shop he was in. My deepest condolences

  6. Michaela, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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