Cover photo for Zachary Jacob Plantz's Obituary
Zachary Jacob Plantz Profile Photo
1993 Zachary 2020

Zachary Jacob Plantz

March 18, 1993 — November 26, 2020

Zachary “Zac” Jacob Plantz (Zaq, Zacamo, Mo Monkey, Mo), a Frankfort native and a lifelong Chicago loyalist, passed away in a tragic car accident on Thanksgiving Day, November 26. He was 27 years old.
His last day of life was spent in his happy place—on a boat with his family in Sanibel Island, Florida, their home away from home—and his last hours were spent enjoying his life’s greatest mastery: talking the night away with old friends. But Zac’s exit from Earth was unfitting and unlike him. It was an early and premature departure from a party that still had much more in store, and most uncharacteristically, he left behind the people that he loved the most.
Zac was born in Oak Lawn, IL on March 18, 1993 to Ronald and Laura (née Zoberis) Plantz, an early arrival weighing in at 11 pounds, 6 ounces. A chubby, happy baby, Zac grew into a cute and endearing little boy who held a record for ring bearer appearances. He spent his childhood roaming around Butternut Circle, winning football championships for the Frankfort Falcons (GO BLUE!) and playing king of the hill in his swimming pool with his three siblings Tyler, Logan, and Abby. On the football field, he was an intense competitor and leader, playing alongside his big brother Tyler for most of his career. And they were leaders together like only brothers could be. Zac was a beloved member of Providence Catholic High School’s Class of 2011. He remained a faithful and dedicated alumnus and PCHS football fan, all his life.
Matriculating to his family’s alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, Zac’s childhood affection for the Fighting Irish flourished into a lifelong love affair. There, Zac’s athletic prowess found a new home on the rugby pitch, and Zac found a beloved new family in the Notre Dame Rugby Club. Known by his teammates for being as strong as “an ox in the scrum,” Zac was a stalwart defender who made his tackles count and left nothing on the field. The team left its mark on Zac’s heart in turn, its crest permanently inked on his upper right thigh.
Those four years at Notre Dame were among his happiest, where Zac discovered new loves that sustained and shaped the rest of his life— a Notre Dame rugby brotherhood, a family in the men of Morrissey Manor/Meat Suite, a stomping ground known as Finnis, a girl named Kathleen.
Zac graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business (2015) with a degree in IT Management and took his first job as a Technology Consultant at Protiviti in downtown Chicago, where he also became co-founder, captain, and unofficial social chair of the Kraken Rugby Football Club. It was an easy and natural transition—a competitive job in his favorite city in the world; a short drive east to South Bend to see his brothers Tyler (Tuna) and Logan (Nagol) in his favorite college football stadium; a shorter drive south home to Frankfort, where he could watch a Bears game at Jameson’s with his dad, grab lunch on Francesca’s patio with his mom, and relive his Providence glory days through his baby sister Abby’s (Frabbers) major milestones. Back downtown, he’d relish Chicago summer nights on the Rose Angelis patio with his girlfriend and partner in crime, who he affectionately called “Kow,” ordering bottles of wine they couldn’t afford and every entree on the menu as appetizers.
Zac’s journey into adulthood came with a new sense of purpose: at 25, he walked away from a successful consulting career to pursue his true passion of public service. His first foray into politics was a campaign consulting gig for Jerry Joyce for Mayor of Chicago. Zac took great pride in the campaign and considered it the most rewarding pursuit of his career. It sparked a promising new career in politics, or as Zac called it, “sports for grown-ups.” Zac was a smart, adept consultant, and his earnestness, dynamism, and competitive spirit made him an asset to any political campaign. Most recently, he served as a campaign manager and senior policy adviser for Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03). Zac was also planning to attend law school next year. He was a naturally gifted advocate with unshakable conviction and immeasurable potential, a tremendous loss for a legal community that never got to meet him.
The essence of who Zac was as a person came through as much in his no-frills wardrobe (camo sweatpants, ND Hawaiian shirt, endless supply of bucket hats) as it did in the wooden Kairos cross he often donned beneath the surface. Handsome, charming, and a rascal at heart, he had a dapper smile and a twinkle in his eye, the kind of genetic sparkle that made him immune to reproach. He was also a man of strong faith and conviction with a few hidden soft spots. He read a daily devotional every morning before work. He had tears in his eyes when the Cubs won the World Series. He poured himself into the things he cared about with his whole heart.
Zac was fun to his core. A well-known “ball of energy,” he was a staple to every good shenanigan, a couch buddy always in popular demand, a staunch advocate for celebrating mediocrity. His heyday was the prolific Plantz Family tailgate, a precursor to both football games and graduations alike. But there was also an altruism to Zac’s playful antics. He left this earth with a dirty mustache that helped him single-handedly raise over $85,000 (and counting) for the Movember Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving men’s physical and mental health. He was a shepherd of sorts for every odd-man-out, known to bridge the gap between old-timers and newcomers: you likely knew Zac if you were ever an out-of-towner visiting a Morrissey dorm party or a rookie at the Plantz football tailgates. He had a knack for making old pals out of strangers, and anyone who spent five minutes with Zac knew why—he was engaging, gregarious, and charismatic. He was a fantastic cheerleader. And though he will be remembered by many for his rallying cries to “late-night,” those who knew Zac best will remember him for the sensitivity that he listened with, the secrets he kept, and the vivid stories he told during those after-hours bull sessions. While his journey on Earth might be over, his legacy will live on in the advice he gave, the stories he told, and the people he brought together.
Zac loved traditions. He loved to sing the Notre Dame Alma Mater in the stadium after football games, to dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve in Grandma Plantz’s basement, to drop everything for opening day at Wrigley Field and eat as many hot dogs as he could stomach (always keeping count). He was stubbornly committed to his childhood delights--he venerated Elvis, cherished birthdays, and adhered to the same McDonald’s regimen his entire life (two McDoubles and an Oreo McFlurry). A little superstitious at heart, Zac was always getting in on the action of Notre Dame and Chicago sports and he carried his gambling mantra “PVO” (positive vibes only) into all aspects of his life. He never sweat the small stuff and loved to "thank God tomorrow's Sunday" on Sundays of three-day weekends, a reminder to relax and live in the moment.
At home, Zac was considered “the energy of the family.” He added personality and punch—and most importantly, a plan—to every family get together. He constantly doted on his Grandpa Wally and Grandma Erna, a jack-of-all-trades in their eyes. He was the family ghost-writer, in-house expert on all things related to technology, co-captain and skipper of his brother Logan’s boat, and an everyday Mr. Fix It.
Zac was a lot of things—a proud son, a loyal friend, a talented athlete, a gifted student, a bright consultant, a faithful Catholic, a devoted Irish, Bears, Cubs, and Blackhawks fan—but above all, his starring role on this earth was as a brother. He was exceptionally proud of his three siblings, and his life was the most precious gift to them. Their loss is shared by an army of friends and loved ones who will painfully miss Zac as their own brother. Zac was as generous with his brotherly love as he was with his good deeds--there was no destination too far for him to drive,
no repair too tedious for him to fix. To know him well was to always have Zac in your corner: he was fiercely loyal and he loved with depth and devotion. His family and his friends could always depend on him. They still can.
Zac is preceded in death by his paternal grandmother Lorraine Plantz; a cousin Kyle Plantz; his family dog, Domer, and his beloved 2005 GMC Canyon.
Zac is survived by his parents, Ron and Laura, his siblings Tyler (Jay), Logan (Buzz & Mowgli), and Abby; maternal grandparents Walter and Erna Jean Zoberis; his longtime girlfriend Kathleen Hough; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many dear friends.
The family will receive friends at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, Frankfort on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 3pm - 9pm. Funeral Services on Saturday, December 5, 2020 with everyone meeting at St. Jude Catholic Church, New Lenox for Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00am. Interment Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Frankfort, IL. Masks and social distancing required for all in attendance. No food is allowed in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the "Zac Plantz Foundation", which will support student athletes at both Providence Catholic High School and the University of Notre Dame, and the construction of a rugby stadium at the University of Notre Dame.
Watch livestream of Zac’s Funeral Mass

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 4, 2020

3:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Kurtz Memorial Chapel - Frankfort

65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Starts at 11:45 am (Central time)

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