MADISON, ALABAMA—Zachary Keyser, 24, died September 29 in Madison, Alabama, as the result of an auto accident.
He is survived by his parents, Amy and David Keyser and his three younger brothers, Benjamin, Nicholas and Ryan, all of Ghent.
He graduated from Chatham High School in 2004, and shortly after joined the United States Marine Corp in December 2005. In February of this year, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His unit was I&I Staff, K Btry, 2nd BN, 14th Mar Reg in Huntsville, Alabama. He was deployed to the Middle East in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He received many awards, including: the Navy and Marine Corp Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and the Overseas Services Ribbon.
Sergeant Keyser had recently received orders to join the Marine Corp Special Operations Command (MARSOC) following his tour on I&I duty in Huntsville, Alabama.
Sgt. Keyser enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, water-sports and the company of his friends and family. He was a committed 4-H member showing cattle and sheep with Phil Trowbridge at the Columbia County Fair, where he won numerous awards for his showmanship. He was an altar boy at St. James Church in Chatham. Later, he was a member of the National Rifle Association, participated in the Marine Corps Toys-for-Tots program, and the Wounded Warriors Project.
He is also survived by paternal grandmother, Winifred Keyser of Hudson; his maternal grandfather, Richard Schumaker of Delmar; eight aunts; eight uncles; 54 cousins; his girlfriend, Meagan Bartholomew; and his dog, Angus. He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Walter Keyser and his maternal grandmother, Joan Carraher Schumaker.
A wake will be held Thursday, October 7 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Saint James Church, Chatham, where funeral services will be celebrated at 8 p.m.
He will be interred at the Saratoga National Cemetery in Saratoga, October 8 at 11 a.m. along with his Brothers in Arms.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of M. Grimaldi Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. To place online condolences visit www.frenchblasl.com.