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Dec. 15 was a very difficult day for me, with so many memories flooding thru my head. Christmas will be even more difficult, as it was my first Christmas in TX as well as Zach's first visit, and he really liked it here, even checked out UT. His luggage got lost so his Dad took him out to buy a few new things, one being a plaid sweatshirt~I think you'll see him wearing it in a lot of the pictures.

Zach didn't come into my life until he was 11 years old, and I couldn't help but love him. Every time I visited he would say, 'Grandma why don't you just move in with us?' He never wanted me to leave. hahahaha

My heart aches knowing I'll never physically be able to plant a big kiss on his cheek or never feel his big 'bearhug'. But I know his spirit will eternally be with us and he'll live on thru the wonderful memories he gave to all of us.

Merry Christmas my sweet Grandson, I know you will be here celebrating along with your family~how Zach LOVED family times together!!

Until I see you again......


Natalie Russell

Mr. Raffety I don't have your number or address and just wanted to say not a day has gone by where I haven't thought about zach and how he impacted me. I hope you see this soon and know I'll never forget how happy he made me. Zach was nothing less than amazing and you raised him to be a ridiculously good person. I'll be thinking about your family through his birthday and the holidays. I hope you and your family are doing well.

-Love always, Natalie Russell

MaMa & PaPa

Zachy, Today is your day of birth. Always in our hearts. We love you

-MaMa & PaPa

Emily Raffety

I remember every moment of this day 18 years ago because it is the happiest day of my life. I was given the most precious gift in the world. and if I had to do it all over again, knowing the outcome 17 years, 4 months and 7 days later, I would do it in a heartbeat. You brought me the greatest joy and the greatest love into my life, and for that I will be eternally grateful. you have the kindest, most generous, humble and loving soul of anyone I know and it is evident to all who met you. thank you for blessing all of us for the brief time you were here and for teaching us the true meaning of life. This day belongs to you - always, forever and beyond. happy 18th birthday, zach...I love you with all of my heart and soul


Zac Kavanaugh

Zach was one of those friends who made it fun even if we had nothing to do on a friday night. We could sit there and I still ended up enjoying myself. He always talked about "babes" and the hotties he met. He was a good older brother and treated his parents respectfully. I miss him so much.


Zach, not one day has gone by since April 7, 2009 that my mind is not filled with your image. Your picture is the first thing I see each morning and the last thing I see before sleep. Every thought I have is overwhelmed by your presence in my mind. I will never recover or come to terms with your loss. I tell myself constantly it can't be true. I ache with grief. Four more days and it will be four months since your physical being left us. The longest four months of my life. I know you're here in spirit, you managed to give me the slightest hint this week!

I miss you Zachy, I love you. MaMa

Johnny Whichard

Ok so I have a couple memories of Zach that I would like to share....
1.when we were all in 5th grade, I decided to play Pop Warner football. Zach was one of three kids on the team who actually welcomed me on the team. He was one of my only friends on the team for the entire season. He proved himself such a loving and compassionate guy. It wasn't "cool" to be friends with a football noob, but zach did it anyways.

2. Chase Heavirland, Tyler Voss, Zach, and I all went to Arrowhead freshman year. We were so bored and were walking around the village. Zach decided at 2 in the morning to moon a sales clerk by putting his butt against the glass. Here were four guys bored out of our minds and Zach never stopped making us all smile. That sense of humor was a permanent fixture in Zach's character, and I'm sure probably one of everybody's favorite features of Zach. Between his missing nose bone and his jokes, Zach always could make anybody laugh without even trying.

3. It is easy to notice that Zach was one hell of an athlete. From football to airsofting, Zach was a passionate player. Although he wasn't even that big in a tackle football environment, he hit harder than kids twice his size. I believe Zach's heart was bigger than his body. If he loved the game he was playing, his entire heart and soul was being thrown into it.

- Above all other things I saw in Zach and was fortunate enough to get to learn about him, the one thing I admired most was how he kept his relationship with his dad. His dad is probably one of the most loving parents who ever existed and he proved it. From coaching zach's football teams to simply the way he talked with zach, Coach Cary was so great to Zach and Zach was never embarrassed by it. He kept a pure relationship with his dad for as long as i knew him. While most kids tried to push away from their parents in middle school, zach never did.

- So zach, you've left dozens of great memories in our hearts and you were a role model for any dad and son. Just know you'll never leave my thoughts or prayers. You were always so kind to me and I'll miss you.

Kelly Christensen

I never knew Zach extremely well. I met him through the Daulton family; Jessie is one of my best friends. I remember being 10 years old and sitting on the curb of the Daulton house eating a drumstick on the fourth of July and laughing at everything Zach did.

He was genuinely kind to me, even though I was just a little kid to him. I'm never going to forget those simple days during summer. It was the ordinary times spent with Jessie and him listening to his iPod or making him brownies that I will always remember.

It seems really unfair to have lost him, but the impact he made on so many people will never be forgotten.


Freshman year, 2007, Mr. Hirshman's class. Zach was relentless. He stood up and demanded we have Borrito Days. It continued all year, every late start.

Last year I heard from a freshman that they still had Borrito Days. That was the most heart warming thing, that his memory lived on every late start in peoples tummies.

Love you Zach, Forever Missing Your Amazing Laugh.

Hunter Graham

I had known Zach for such a long time, starting at SJES, for at least 10+ years. I feel really priveleged to have been friends with him and grown up with him for so long, and, like so many other people, feel like he really had an impact on my life.

Sophomore year in Algebra II, he sat right next to me, and I'll never forget that group in the corner. Throughout my life knowing him, he had always taught me so slow down, take a break, enjoy life, and don't get so caught up in everything. I think he really taught me to just relax more than anything...which is what I really needed.

Thanks bro for so many fun times, adventures, and just hanging out throughout my life...and especially for always keeping me smiling.

Spencer Tyson

Zach was one of my first friends at SM. Comming from a public school, I didn't know pretty much any body, Luckily I joined to football team and met Zach. Zach and I also were in the same Health/Geography class freshman year. Our seats were arranged in order of birthdays, because his birthday (12/15) was a day before mine (12/16) we sat next to eachother all year and became good friends. We talked so much, our teacher had to separate us, but as goofy freshman we waved and said hi from all the way across the class every single day. I'm going to miss going into Jerry's asking for Zach, bugging him to join the football team again, and listening to music together.

I'll see you another day. God bless

Anna Kelley

I remember in middle school one day,zach came to school and he was soooo excited and smiley (as usualy) and I went up to talk to him before the bell rang and he told me that he was going to be a big brother, and he was so excited, and he loved his little brother so much even before he was born. He told me that he was going to be the best big brother ever and how he always wanted a little brother. Zach was extatic and before and after the birth of his brother that was all he could talk about. He loved him so much.

Emily Raffety

A Mother's Poem

So many questions run wild through my mind i look inside my heart, no answers there to find desperate, i turn to you but you are still and silent you were called to come back home and faithfully you went

Morning has come and i am still in the day before clinging to the memories, holding fast forevermore could have's, should have's would have's should never cross the mind but it's all we ever think about - those of us left behind

My teary eyes land once more upon your smiling face and i know deep inside my heart no one could ever take your place and that, my love, is the saddest thing of all to bear but somehow, someway - i know - you will always be here

And so i slowly close my weary eyes to rest knowing that this is just another brutal test but my faith will never be broken no matter what I endure for my love for you is everlasting, unconditional and pure And nothing will break that bond despite the passage of time you and i together - and forever you are mine.

-Emily Raffety

Chelsea Pollard

From preschool till 8th grade with this kid, he always made it fun. =] Connor being my neighbor became like a brother to me. Zach happened to be one of his best friends so naturally he became one of mine as well.

Throughout the years his smile was always something that could turn your bad day good. I remember on the DC trip we had a group on the bus, which consisted of Zach, Rachel, chase, Austin, and Kelsey. We always sat together and had some great times and lots of amazing pictures. DC wouldn't have been the same without him.

In high school he was one of the SJES kids that I kept in touch with, mainly because of Connor being my "brother" but I'm glad I did. I can be thanked for getting him his smoking hot homecoming date sophomore year (Laura bookout) haha. We had a great time in the limo, (Zach, Laura, Connor, and I) even though the rest of the group ignored us. The after party was fun; I and he sat together, his head made a great arm rest haha. On the way back we heard of a crash on Oso. I knew that one of my friends was in it; I could just feel it and he comforted me. Luckily she made it out okay.

Another story with him is when I broke his phone haha. I'm not going to say why we were fighting over it but it was a great night of Jacuzzi and movies =]. The last time I ever hung out with Zach was at Connor's house. It was the first night something happened though I will not say what. I'm glad it was I that was there to see it because oh what a sight it was. We watched final destination 3 together while Connor slept then I went home.

I'm bummed that we didn't get to hang more, I look back at all the nights I was too busy when him and Connor texted or called. Every memory that includes him is a good one and I'm glad to have spent 14 years of my life having him as a friend. I love you and miss you zachyy poo, you're always in my heart <3


I sat directly next to Zach in my Spanish class first semester this year. He was honestly the nicest and funniest guy. I cried so much when I found out he died even though I barely knew him, I just don't understand why he had to go.

Why him? He did nothing wrong...he was a great guy. I know everyone at sm is suffering over the loss of him and Mark. I may have transferred at the semester but I'm still suffering along with them. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone at sm. R.I.P Zach <3 You're incredibly missed.

Kendyl Bilt

I remember last year when Zach and I were in Biology, I came to school one day with my nails painted green. Zach was so excited that my nails were painted the EXACT color of the Monster logo, and he thought it was the coolest thing that they made that color nail polish. I loved how little things like that would make him so happy, and how his smile would lead to everyone else smiling and laughing.

Jaimee Lieske

I love you Zach. You're my best friend for ever and ever <33333

Casey Young


I love you sooo much!!
I will miss you soooo much.
The thought of you being gone gets me into tears every time.
We had several fun times together like the river.
I hope you knew I loved you <3 and I will always miss you

Meghan Talpash

I remember he gave me my first monster when I was babysitting Tyler... RIP Zach

Leslie Dornan

Hi, I am from southern california, now living in vermont. My family is from huntington beach and knew the Raffety family. My heart goes out to them. I have no memories to share but would like to extend my condolences.

Jaclyn Mino

I think about you every single day.. You're smile, laugh, and the memories we've shared together growing up constantly run through my mind. When you and I we're younger, you we're my big brother.

You shared everything you had to offer with me, and you never complained. You played a huge role in my childhood and I will forever remember you and all that you taught me.

I'm so happy to have known you and to have had someone as loving as you always were to have been apart of my life. I love you so much and I miss you every second you're gone <3 I'll be seeing you.. Rest in peace

Carly Hurley

Oh God, where do I start? How about the time in Hircshmans class when we didnt know how hot the salsa was for our burritos.. I raced you to the door and out to the water fountain, in the process slamming my foot into the door and breaking my toe.. as im on the ground you keep springting , get water and bring me back a cup of water saying " I thought you'd like this so your mouth wasnt hot while you have a broken toe. That could ruin a day right there ".

I miss you big dogggg. save us some good seats up there. Oh and please stick with your mom, dad, and stepmom and everyone else trying to get through this. I love you

Luke Brennan

Oh Zach, fun times in 6th grade man.
Sitting next to each other during math, standing up on the science chairs when Mrs. Alva had her back turned. Ahaha, great time. When I went back to cali for you I talked to Mrs. Alva, she found out about what we did, but she was cool with it.

Karina Gonzalez

Zach I miss you so much. I still cant forget the time you almost crashed talias golf cart. well actually you slammed the breaks and I fell foward and my knee fell on the gas and I didnt know hahah and I was yelling at you to stop and it was me the whole time. good times. and all the times me and talia would meet up with you mark and jake to get food, or go off roading, or watch movies. or the time you went to the lake with kyle and you constantly call me and ranmlbe on about nothing and you and ky ky would sing songs to me ahhahhaa, you had a horrible voice. jk :) I will treasure those time foever in my heart. I love you so much and I will miss your smile forever.

Jessie Daulton

This is my peom for zach..

Zach was my neighbor, my best friend, and my brother,
He was such an amazing person, and was definitely like no other.
His signature smile would light up a room the second he walked in,
And even if you didn't notice it, you'd always start to grin.
Zach has six times more friends than anyone I know,
And in a few brief statements, I will tell you why this is so.
He would befriend anyone, even all my friends,
This is quite an ordeal because no one likes freshmens.
Anger and bitterness was not in Zach's DNA,
He would always be happy, every single day.
I cannot even begin to describe all the love that Zach possessed,
And if the lines before didn't convince you, this surpasses all the rest.
His love for his friends was present 24/7,
And I believe it is still here, just coming down from Heaven.
This tragedy didn't happen to make things out of wack,
It happened because Heaven was missing a guy named Zach.
He has lived across the street from us for 15 years,
So whenever you needed him, he was always near.
In fact, he was at our house more than he was at his,
This is a trait of Zach that I have truly come to miss.
My family would always tease him about all his crazy stunts,
And although he was embarrassed, he didn't get mad even once.
There are too many memories of Zach to put into words,
And in this time, he'd want us to think of Bob Marley's Three Little Birds.
Don't worry, about a thing, cause every little thing, is gonna be alright,
And in memory of Zach, I sing that verse, every single night.
This is how he would have wanted to be remembered,
Ever since he was born, on the 15th of December.
If we wish to talk to him, we can all pray,
And for Zach, I have one last thing to say.
He is always with you when you want him back,
Goodnight best friend, I love you Zach.

Written by: Jessie Daulton
In memory of Zachary Tyler Raffety. Loving son, brother, and friend to many.
We all miss you Zach.
If tears could build a stairway, and memories were a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven, and bring you home again.

Alex Ooms

Zach has truly changed my life. He inspired me to be a better person and to always be conscious of my actions. He was such a great person and friend and was always such a fun goofball! I really miss him and will never forget him. Love you forever zachy.

Daniel Newell

I never really knew Zach and he never really knew me. I remember the day when Zach, my brother scott and some people from the street, and a bunch of other of his friends went air softing, and my brother brought me along. I was scared, they were all like two feet taller than me. As the day came to a close it was our last game. I was on Zach's side, I felt pretty safe considering he had the best gun.

I remember him telling me "mini newell follow me", so I followed, and sure enough it came down to Zach and I, against like 3 other friends. We hid somewhere, I can't remember though, and then he told me to follow him, so I did. We snuk up behind the other team... and I think I fell or something like that and the other team heard. Zach ran behind a tree while I was getting annihilated, I took two bbs to the leg and then the shooting stopped. I heard out of the bushes three or so I'm outs..... we won! Later we ordered some pizza and we all said goodbye. That was the last time I saw him!

.. This was about 4 to 5 years ago. I'm 14. Thanks dude I really enjoyed that day.

Alissa Rubio

This past year I was in Chemistry with Zach. I never really had the chance to know him personally but he was one of the funniest kids I know. He made the class more fun then it already was. I remember that I held the door open for him one day and he gave me a bright smile and said thank you. He was truely one of the nicest and funniest kids I will ever know.

Connor Aylward

Not many people know this but I was one of the last people to know of Zachs death. Despite my great friendship with him I was not told by anyone until after I had finish football practice. I was told at the beginning of practice that Zach had hit a tree in his car and I hadnt though much of it because another one of my friends had hit a tree just weeks before and been fine. So I called Zach to make sure he was ok. When I got no answer I just figured he was standing on the side of the road laughing that he was ok. When I looked up at one point during practice and saw my dad and brother standing in front of me I knew that was a bad sign. Especially since I had not seen my brother in a number of months and had not expected to see him on that day. I did not find this out until 5:30 which was 4 hours after the accident.

When this happened I thought of some of the times Zach and I had spent together during our 14 years of friendship. The nights where we would stay up and just talk to eachother for hours because there was nothing else we would rather do. We honored our friendship and knew that it was something special. Not a day went by that we didnt know that. The clippers games we went to, the snowboarding trips we took, the basketball games we played at st. johns. From 3 years old to 17 years old my best friend remained the same and on my 18th birthday he'll still be my best friend he'll just be farther away. I miss you brother and I'll talk to you later.


Eagles Lacrosse

Santa Margarita High

Bob Marley



The AllState Foundation

Keep the Drive

National Safety Council

It Won't Happen to Me


CDC Teen Drivers Fact Sheet

MasterDrive of Orange County

Beginning Teenage Drivers