Ocean Beach 11

Zachary Joshua Chafos

February 14, 2002 ~ August 24, 2021 (age 19)


The followoing obituary was lovingly submitted by the family of Zachary Chafos


With deepest sorrow, we announce that our beloved son, brother, family member, and friend, Zachary Joshua Chafos, age 19, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, in Towson, Maryland. Zach positively touched many people during his short life. 

Zachary was born Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2002 in PoggiBonsi, Italy, to Timothy A. and Cheryl Chafos. His godparents are Salvatore and Luana Perugini of Colle Val d’Elsa, Italy.  

After starting life in idyllic Tuscany, Zach moved with his military family to Leavenworth, Kansas, for one year, and then to Fort Meade, Maryland in 2003. In 2013, he moved with his family to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, returning to Fort Meade in 2015. Following his father’s retirement from the Army in 2019, the family settled in Clarksville, Maryland.  

Zachary was a sweet, innocent boy and a special child. He was autistic, intellectually disabled, and suffered from seizures. He tolerated hours of testing, treatment, and therapy. He was loved by dozens of therapists, teachers, and others throughout his life.  

Zach loved (LOVED!) Pixar movies and characters: Toy Story, Cars, the Incredibles, and others, and spent hours a day examining details of scenes from these movies. He often repeated funny lines from movies and “VeggieTales,” another favorite. He enjoyed going to the beach and his Nanny’s house. When Zach was super happy, he danced and rocked to favorites such as “Call Me Maybe,” “Can’t Touch This,” “September,” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” In recent years, Zach bounded on his trampoline for hours a day. Zach was well known for giving and insisting upon “Big Hugs” and he loved good food. Trips to Disney World, Hawaii, and two Disney Cruises were special treats for him. He travelled to Spain as a baby and made several trips back to Italy.  

Zachary was especially close to and deeply loved by his mother, Cheryl, who was steadfast in her love for him and determined to ensure he received help and support. Cheryl spent countless hours advocating on his behalf with school staffs, doctors, therapists, support agencies, and others—as well as driving to therapies, consultations, and events. Zach deeply and genuinely loved his dad, his brothers, his Nanny and Poppy, and his cousins.  

Zachary died unexpectedly on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Towson. He is survived by his parents, Tim and Cheryl Chafos; brothers Andrew, Anthony, and Christopher; grandparents Gus Chafos, Julian Mote, Ruth Tufaro, and Don Tufaro, and his uncles, aunts, and cousins. Like Buzz Lightyear, he is off: “To Infinity and Beyond.” He will be deeply missed and our time with him treasured.  

Visitation is Thursday, Sept. 2nd from 6-8:30 pm at Donaldson Funeral Home in Clarksville, Maryland; followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville on Friday, Sept. 3rd at 10:00 am. Zach will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.  

Support in his name to Surfer’s Healing, a wonderful organization that helps Zach and kids like him have “One Perfect Day at the Beach,” would honor Zachary. 

To send flowers to Zachary's family, please visit our floral store.


September 2, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P. A.
12540 Clarksville Pike, Rt 108
Clarksville, Maryland 21029

Vigil Service
September 2, 2021

6:30 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P. A.
12540 Clarksville Pike, Rt 108
Clarksville, Maryland 21029

Time of Remembrance
September 2, 2021

7:00 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P. A.
12540 Clarksville Pike, Rt 108
Clarksville, Maryland 21029

Mass of Christian Burial
September 3, 2021

10:00 AM
St. Louis Catholic Church
12500 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

Interment at later date

Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Ave
Arlington, VA 22211


Surfers Healing
P.O. Box 1267, CA 92693, San Juan Capistrano CA 92693
Web: https://www.surfershealing.org/

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