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Wambli Zach Hayes

Wambli Zach Hayes

Wambli Zach Hayes

- November 19, 2019

Wambli was born in Pennington County, SD.  He has two biological sisters, Victoria Tucker and Arnita Odegaard, to which he is very close to.  He also has many other siblings, including Donna, Lorenzo Jr, Raymond, Sean, and James.

     Wambli was put in foster care in 2009 and was placed in 21 different homes throughout the years. He had a childhood full of trauma and tragic events.  He was moved around from group homes to different foster houses and it left him with wounds and scars that were not visible to others.  He was very independent and even though he had people in his life that were there for him, he felt like he was taking on the world and all his problems alone most of the time.

     Trauma changes how people process things, so life was difficult for him in many ways.  He had a wonderful support team; Chelsie (LSS), Misty (DSS), Sarah (LSS), Marcus (DSS), and Heather, our family counselor, who have all been amazing and have always done what they felt was in his best interest.

      In 2018, he met and became close to Jon Schuster.  He spent quite a bit of time at the Schuster house and when a need arose, Kelly and Shannon decided to become foster parents.  They went through the training and started the process to adopt Wambli.  He gained an older brother, Kenneth Jensen (31) and his fiancé, Allison; three older sisters, Melinda “Mindy” Jensen (28), Hannah Schuster (21), and Olivia Schuster (17); a younger brother, Jon Schuster (15); and two nephews, Vance Caron (7), and Cameron Scott (11).

     Wambli’s closest friends and family would describe him as having the biggest heart; he was full of compassion, always very polite, funny, and loud.  He was always the jokester, super smart, and a beautiful person.  He played football and video games as much as he could.  He loved to lift weights, dance and listen to music, play basketball with friends, and he would race anyone who would accept the challenge.  He made friends easily- he was able to talk to anyone and he would go out of his way to make the people around him happy.    

     Wambli was a sophomore at Sturgis Brown High School and played fullback and safety for the Sturgis Scooper football team.  He loved going to the training camps and experiencing all the aspects of being on a team.

    When Wambli came to live with us there were multiple challenges because of his background, but no matter what happened we all knew we were in it for the long haul.  He was our boy, and he was no different than our other children.  He bonded so well with everyone and was a regular and treasured part of our family.

    The 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 verse is a strong foundation for our family. Typically, this verse is seen at weddings, but we embrace it as our family motto.

     “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ENDURES ALL THINGS.”

     Wambli Zach Hayes, 16, of Sturgis, died on Sunday, November 17, 2019.

     Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 22, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.

     Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019, at LifeSpring Wesleyan Church in Sturgis with Pastor Matt Shulaw and Pastor Ryan Smith officiating.  Burial will follow at Bear Butte Cemetery.

     In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785