Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Zachary Vaughn Miller

Zachary Vaughn Miller, age 24, of Shelby, died Sunday, April 5, 2020 at The James Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. His death came after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Zach was born August 18, 1995 in Troy, Ohio to Ryan Vaughn and Melissa Gail (Watts) Miller. He attended Norwalk City Schools, graduating in 2013 from Norwalk High School, and had most recently been attending Owens Community College where he was studying to be an electrician. Zach had an engineer’s mind and was constantly tearing things apart and rebuilding. He was a sports fanatic with an absolute love for The Ohio State University Buckeyes and was also a lover of fishing and fast cars.

His personality was second to none as he lit up any room he entered with his smile and made friends with anyone he encountered as his personality was shining and welcoming. Anyone who knew Zach loved him which he made easy to do as he was always a good and loyal friend. His quick witted “smart aleck” sense of humor could never outdo his positive and fighting attitude that never was self-centered but rather was to bring comfort to those around him, especially through his illness.

Zach’s survivors include his mother: Melissa Gail (Watts) Miller of Shelby; his father and step-mother: Ryan Vaughn and Kathleen Miller of Greenville, NC; maternal grandparents: Jeannie and Eugene Case of Shelby; paternal grandparents: Karen and Richard Miller of Wooster; 2 aunts and uncles and their families: Amy and Keith Jones of Johnstown and Gayle and Jim Byrne of Wooster; and other relatives and numerous friends. His maternal grandfather, John Wayne Watts, preceded him in death.

Private funeral services will be held with the family at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby. Zach’s great uncle, Rev. Clarence Gresham, will officiate the services. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a public gathering and celebration of Zach’s life will be announced as soon as we are able. Zach’s burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Monroeville, Ohio.

To honor Zachary, memorial contributions may be made to his mom, Melissa Miller, and mailed to Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875 for a future contribution to be made in his honor.

Friends and family are encouraged to share a memory or express a condolence at

Memories & Condolence

  1. Barb Beal says:

    Melissa, and the whole family, I know what a special young man Zach was ,and how very much he will be missed . My heart goes out to all of you . You will be in my prayers for God to bring you comfort and ease your pain.

  2. Patty Schaffer says:

    Zach was the finest boy I have ever met. Always such a gentleman with politeness and respect. He had such a unique humor, with this playful and loving teasing of his mother. Always with a beautiful grin.He will be missed and never forgotten. My family sends our love and sympathy to all of his family.

  3. Doug and Linda Case says:

    Zach was a smart, energetic and fine young man. He was always willing to help on any job and could figure out how to do whatever was needed. He was respectable and had great integrity. His smile and sense of humor made him enjoyable to be with. Our hearts are there with you and we send our love to you all as well. May God send you comfort in the coming days.

  4. Kris Thompson says:

    I’m so sorry that you are suffering this great loss. I heard many times how special Zachary is, and how much joy he brought to you all. I know that he will be greatly missed.
    You will have that joy with Zachary again according to the promises of our Heavenly Father.
    I am lifting you all up in prayer.

    He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3)

    “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” (Isa. 66:13)

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Mt. 5:4)

  5. Kashmir Meade says:

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I went to high school with Zach, and he has always been someone that I have never forgot. He was always so nice to me. We sat next to each other in study hall and I remember laughing all the time and having the best times with him. What made him stand out was the fact that he didn’t care what group I was a part of. He liked me, for me. Now that I am a mother, I just cannot fathom your pain. Please know that I am praying for your comfort and your peace.

  6. Charisse Finn says:

    ‘When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure’
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    His memory will be your treasure forevermore.

  7. Pete and Esther Lovejoy says:

    We never met Zach but had prayed for him (and for his mother) for many months because we loved his grandparents – Jeannie and Gene Case. Their love for this young man overflowed to all of us, and we shared in their concern for Zach (and for his mother as she cared for him). And so, in that same way, we share in their loss. Our continued prayers will be with the family.

  8. Sean and Julie Grossman, and family says:


    So many wonderful times and happy moments shared together with you and Zach. Julie and I loved how he’d always greet us with his delightful warm hearted smile.
    We shared many stories of life’s events together and some wonderful laughter.
    A happy memory was surprising both you and Zach out for a 21st birthday celebration, meeting all his friends he had that were able to join him that evening.
    We’re feeling very blessed to have the friendship of you both. Zach had a distinct and brightly burning twinkle in his eyes that was no doubt the unending love shining through from his very soul unto you, his mother.
    There will forevermore be a star in the heavens shining brightly down and always keeping a watchful eye on you. Know that is your loveing son, Zach.

    God Bless You and Keep You Close,
    Sean & Julie Grossman

  9. Craig Callen says:

    Zach was an amazing young man and a joy to be around. I know he was the light of your lives. Very difficult to lose a loved one, and so much more difficult to lose a child/ grandchild. I cannot even imagine. I hope you take comfort in knowing he is at peace with the Lord and pain can no longer touch him. He was blessed to have all of you as his family to walk through this most difficult and trying time with him. He knew he was loved.

  10. Linda D. & Jim Perez says:

    Dear Dick & Karen Miller:

    I watched my parents suffer to the point that it killed my Father when my son died (their first grandson). Jim & I feel your pain and suffering. This should never be.

    One of God’s arrangements is that after Winter there shall come beautiful Spring days. It happens every year and it happens in every life. Zach is now enjoying his beautiful Spring days with no more suffering and pain.

    Please know that we care.

  11. Lisa Montgomery says:

    I got the pleasure of working with Zach at East of Chicago. I enjoyed so much working with him. A very hard worker and a joy to work with. I often thought how I would love for my daughter to meet and marry a young man like him one day. Zach was a very kind, generous, and selfless man. I only knew him a short time but knew right away what a loving soul he had. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.

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