Tuesday, January 3, 2023
11:00 AM EST
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church
14175 Farmington Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Instate at 10 am
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA Program)
715 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
Life Story / Obituary
So much could be said about a person like Nick Zilincik who had the immense pleasure of always looking on the bright side of life. He lived his life with the great joy found in simple moments as well as those mixed with adventure or the next thrill. Nick had a passion to connect with others and to make them laugh. He leaves behind a rich collection of special memories that will be cherished by all who knew and loved him.
The year 1997 brought about many technological changes. The world of home movies continued with the growth of DVDs, the number of internet users was expanding, and virtual toy pets were taking over the shelves. Nicholas Todd was born on April 25th to Todd and Christa Zilincik in Livonia, Michigan. Born with a cone-shaped head full of hair, his uniqueness was seen right from the start!
Growing up on the southeast side of Livonia, Nick lived a very active childhood. His mother, Christa, was known to take him to the local Burger King playsets two or three times a week, just to burn off some of his energy! Each and every night they would take the family dog, Charlie, for a walk and Nick would ride his bike alongside. He loved playing outdoors in his sandbox and riding his motorized Jeep toy. At this age, he was really into cowboys and wearing cowboy boots and a hat, so his bedroom was decorated with everything cowboy! His sense of adventure and antics started at an early age.
Once his baby sister, Katie, arrived, they had outgrown their first family home and moved to a new neighborhood. Nick was a great big brother. He did everything for his little sister, so much so, that she didn’t even learn how to walk until she was nearly fourteen months old! He would bounce her in her bouncy chair, dance, give her food, and toys, and endlessly make her laugh. Their new neighborhood provided Nick with countless friends and activities. They built a treehouse, played ice hockey, went sledding, and played games like cops and robbers, ghost in the graveyard, and capture the flag. One day when Nick was playing with his sister and the neighborhood kids in the woods in their backyard, Nick heard the ice cracking, so he climbed up onto a tree branch. Moments later the branch broke, and he fell straight down on a two-inch-wide piece of wood that impaled him! After pulling him out of the woods on a sled, the wood had to be surgically removed!
As a family, they would take summer trips up north to Christa’s parents’ cottage in Grayling. They never left without a good story to tell! He also enjoyed going to Todd’s parent’s home every year with cousins in the summer. They enjoyed swimming, walking the Midland Tridge, attending the Midland County Fair, and visiting Sanford Lake Park. Nick even learned how to sail there on the Saginaw River in Bay City. He was the ringleader of all his cousins. Always energetic and fun to be around, the younger cousins followed him around like little ducklings! Whether it was tubing, fishing, or boating, he was always up for it earning him the nickname, Captain of Mischief.
He went on many family trips every year. For many years Nick, Todd, and Papou (Abe) went to Vail, Colorado, with his friends. They loved to eat at the Red Lion restaurant, go hot tub hopping, and ski in the back bowls and Blue-Sky Basin. He notably refused to wear a winter jacket and always had his eyes peeled for the next biggest cliff jump. A highlight of these years was the times that Nick and his dad would take the 1989 Four Winns deck boat to many different lakes around Michigan during the 4th of July week. They also enjoyed a 100-mile canoe trip to the Northern Boundary Waters of Minnesota back on June 26th through July 5, 2012. Seven years later, Nick returned with his cousin, Mason, to spend another week on the river. Leaving with minimal supplies, they packed in the best of memories! Another remarkable trip was in August of 2014 when Nick went to Greece with his family. He jumped off cave cliffs and snorkeled all day with his sister at Hydra Island. He especially loved being able to order a beer and ouzo! A highlight was meeting his relatives and second cousins that live in Thessaloniki along with visiting their olive farm.
His favorite pastimes of his teen years were spending weekends out at Walled or Belleville Lakes with friends. They spent countless hours tubing. He was normally the one person who could never get thrown from the tube! He always wanted to go faster and do more donuts! Nick absolutely loved being on the water. When only sixteen years old, his mother allowed him to take the boat out on Walled Lake. A fast-approaching storm rolled in so they sped the boat back home and popped the anchor in the water. Little did they know, the boat started floating away! Without hesitation, Nick went out in the pouring rain, thunder, and lightning to retrieve the boat and secure it correctly!
Always active and on the go, Nick loved to be a part of his community. During his middle school years, he played Eagles football. He also ran cross country for three years in high school, in addition to some time as a freshman football player and the LJAL sports of basketball, football, and baseball. He even tried out swimming for a few years along with the Livonia Soccer Club. Nick loved bonding with his teammates and building lasting memories. In addition, another major accomplishment during high school was earning his Eagle Scout Award on June 11, 2012, at 15 years old with Troop 782. Many of his elementary school friends were from Boy Scouts. These parents and kids took yearly ski trips to Boyne Highlands, spent time at the local swim club, and got together quite often for weekend parties. Later in life, Nick started snowboarding out west and taking childhood friends on these adventures. His parents raised him with the values of hard work, independence, and adventure. They taught him to always push the boundaries while remaining humble and kind.
Nick's happiest time period was when he lived in Traverse City and was attending the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. He lived in a cove on Silver Lake and made many lasting friendships with a few other roommates and countless others that also attended school with him. He would take his friends, roommates, and sister out on his 1995 Sea Rayder that was gifted down from his Grams and Gramps. He was even courageous enough to take it a couple of times on the West Bay and go all the way to Marion Island. Traverse City was his favorite location because it had all the elements he loved; a community, close friendships, and all the outdoor activities he loved like boating, canoeing, hiking, and snowboarding. Above all else, he loved to get people together and make fantastic food and drinks and provide laughter to all.
Nick’s vibrant personality was magnetic. People enjoyed his positive energy and free spirit. He was always one to root for the underdog and accepted all people with great compassion. He was known to live his life on his own terms and never doubted that his life held purpose. He felt blessed to have been raised with an open mind and a loving and supportive family. Nick always found himself into new passions or hobbies, living his life to the fullest. Known to be a social butterfly, he made everyone feel special in his presence. Nick loved to do random acts of kindness, dabble in Karaoke, and dance freely when gathered together with friends. Sadly, he is gone, and his generous spirit will be greatly missed. May his loved ones always find comfort in the gracious ways he touched the world around him. May his bright spark continue to shine in their hearts and help them through any challenges they face.
Nicholas T. Zilincik “Nick” of Livonia, Michigan passed away on December 23, 2022, at the age of 25. Beloved son of Todd and Christa Zilincik. Loving brother of Katherine “Katie” Zilincik. Cherished grandson of Marie & Abraham Keisoglou and Jerry & Sandy Zilincik. Dear great-grandson of Shirley Palmer and Eleanor Scott. Dearest nephew of Nicole Allen, Laura Blair, Scott (Janar) Zilincik, and Jerome (Javier) Zilincik. Great-nephew of Maria Keisoglou. Nick is also survived by many cousins and friends.
Nick was a 2015 graduate of Stevenson High School in Livonia, Michigan. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Maritime Technology at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy located in Traverse City, Michigan in May 2020. He successfully passed the U.S. Coast Guard examinations and was licensed as a 3rd Mate of unlimited tonnage upon oceans and as a first-class pilot of unlimited tonnage vessels upon Great Lakes waterways. He was employed as a 2nd mate on the Great Lakes with Van Enkevort Tug and Barge, Inc. (VTB) on the ship Laura L. VanEnkevort.
Visitation will be Monday, January 2, 2022, from 3-8 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan 48154. Instate 10 am on Tuesday, January 3, 2022, until time of service 11 am at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 14175 Farmington Rd., Livonia, Michigan 48154. The interment will take place at Parkview Memorial Cemetery, Livonia, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to be made to Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA Program) in honor of his memory or the Livonia Save Our Youth Coalition.