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Zachary James Braswell

October 23, 1977 ~ May 6, 2019 (age 41)
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Zachary J. Braswell, age 41, of Des Moines (a former life-time resident Norwalk)

A visitation will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 13th at O’Leary Funeral & Cremation Services in Norwalk.  Family encourages guests to wear their happy, and comfortable clothes. A private burial will take place in Highland Memory Gardens.

For those wishing to make a donation to be used for the raising and education expenses of Zak's new son, Paxton James Braswell (who is expected to arrive in May 2019) please select the green "Appeal for Donations" tab on this screen.

Flowers are available by clicking the “send flowers” tab on this screen or by calling (515) 981-0700.  Also, Dena and Zak’s parents request that everyone select the “send tribute” tab; and to share a story of how they knew Zak (perhaps something funny, a fond memory, and/or loving tribute) to be shared with Zak’s son when he grows older.

Zak's Life Story

Zak James Braswell, the son of James Alonzo and Jane Ellen (Scribner) Braswell, was born on October 23, 1977 in Des Moines, Iowa.  Zak grew up in Norwalk where he was involved in various sports such as soccer; and high school baseball and football.  He was musically inclined learning to play the piano and trombone; where he played in the Norwalk High School Marching, Concert and Jazz Bands.  During those years the jazz band won every competition; winning the state jazz band championship two years in a row.  Zak graduated from high school with class of 1996.  He later graduated with his Associates Degree and earned his Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree Magna Cum Laude from William Penn College graduating 2011.   

Throughout the years Zak worked at Scotts Grocery in Norwalk, Ultimate Electronics, Wells Fargo, Praxair, Echo Electric, and Nationwide Insurance where he was an associate underwriter.   Zak loved watching custom car shows and attending classic car shows.  He had a love of sports.  His favorite sport teams were the Iowa State Cyclones, Green Bay Packers, and the Chicago Cubs.    Zak liked to target shoot with his rifle and handguns.  He loved to spend time with his family and being an overall handyman and problem solver; always lending an extra set of hands to help.

Zak died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism at University of Iowa Hospital on Monday afternoon, May 6, 2019.  He lived 41 years 6 months, and 13 days.  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, James, Jr and Louis Braswell and Merle and Lavohn Scribner; and Uncle Ron Davis.

Zak is survived by his best-friend Dena Ostrander of Des Moines and their newborn son, Paxton James Braswell to be born May 2019, and step-daughter, Anneliesa Ostrander; parents, James and Jane Braswell of Norwalk; a brother Austin (wife, Lily) Braswell of Dobbs Ferry, NY and their children Hudson and Piper; his Aunt Jo Ann Davis of West Des Moines; cousin, Scott (Karen) Davis and their daughter Cadence of Urbandale; Dena’s parents, George and Deb Wise; Dena’s brother, Nathan Wise and his two daughters, Evelyn and Carman all of Des Moines.

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