Monday, May 23rd, 2022

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Stories and photographs of a teenager nicknamed “Ice” are pouring in on a recently made Facebook page. Titled “Ice’s Legacy,” the page is dedicated to a Plainfield student who died unexpectedly the day after Christmas.

Scroll through the page, whose description reads “Speak his name and keep him alive,” and you’ll be scrolling for some time. At only 19 years old, Zachary Icenogle left a deep impact on the community. And although he died out of the blue, his family told Patch he went peacefully and without pain.

Heavily involved in choir and described as “the most kind-hearted, passionate, and hard-working person,” the 2021 Plainfield Central High School graduate is remembered by classmates, friends and co-workers.

“While I wish it wasn’t real, I’m so glad this page exists as I absolutely enjoy reading everyone’s memories of such an amazing young man,” one person said in a post describing her experience taking an American Sign Language class with Zach and his sister.

In another woman’s story describing Zach’s personality, she said the teen was one of the first to make friends with her son, who is on the autism spectrum. She said he went out of his way to greet her son and treated him with kindness.

“Our family has known Zach since grade school. And I truly mean it when I say that he was one of my favorite people,” she wrote. “From a very young age, he was caring and kind.”

That’s just one of dozens of stories describing Zach’s warm personality and big heart. At downtown Plainfield’s Wine & Cheese Co., where he worked as a cook, employees shared similar sentiments, remembering his positive impact on the shop.

“Watching you grow in the past two years to the man you became and to be a part of your journey in life has truly been a gift to all of us,” staff wrote in a post on Facebook. “Never a moment that you wouldn’t lend a helping hand, tell a great dad joke, or be there for a co-worker in need. A true friend to so many. To say we are all devastated would be an understatement. You were compassionate, empathetic, amiable, sincere, and gregarious.”

The community’s outpour of love following Zach’s death is one that has left his mom, Tabitha Galaty, and 21-year-old sister, Mikayla, in shock.

“We’re just awed by the outpouring of love that the community of Plainfield had for him,” said Tabitha, an Ira Jones Middle School teacher of 17 years. “We weren’t residents of Plainfield for forever; we only moved here in 2014 … and we just cannot believe the support for him and how much he was cared about.”
The community’s outpour of love following Zach’s death is one that has left his mom, Tabitha Galaty, and 21-year-old sister, Mikayla, in shock.

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