Zachary Pondolfino, 26; A Soul So Pure, Innocent


Zachary Pondolfino, 26;

A Soul So Pure, Innocent

December 30, 1994 – December 17, 2020
Zachary Pondolfino

ONEONTA – Zachary Pondolfino gifted us with his gentle strength for nearly 26 precious years. In that time, he never spoke a word or took a single step, but his ethereal spirit was a light that penetrated deep in the hearts of all who knew him.

He held no grudges, loved without condition, and accepted everyone who came into his world as yet another person to embrace in his sacred life journey. Zach knew only love, tenderness and trust.

We often said that being with Zach was like going to church…for rarely do you sit with a soul so pure and innocent – one who never demanded or complained…who, even during his most challenging moments – emanated peace.

Zach loved music, being read to, lotion massages and anything Harry Potter.  He will be missed more deeply than can be expressed, but we feel joyful knowing that he will be free from the confines of his disabilities and that he will be reunited with his baby brother Scottie Pondolfino who predeceased him in 2010.

Zachary is survived by his immediate family – his mom Michele Barry, his dad, Dr. Gerald Pondolfino (Katie Segrue and her son Logan), his sister Jackie Pondolfino, his grandmother, Valerie Barry, Aunt Jolee Barry, Aunt Kristen Pondolfino Wasilewski, (Jim), Aunt Kelly Pondolfino Burch (Kenny), Aunt Darlene Pondolfino, and Uncle Robert Pondolfino Jr., and numerous cousins. He is pre-deceased by his grandfather Robert Pondolfino Sr. and paternal grandmother Kathleen Oliver Pondolfino.

Zach was a resident at Springbrook since 2009 where he lived a full, happy and lavishly pampered life with the dedicated care-givers who so lovingly attended to his most basic needs. We are forever indebted to these fine people for their care, tenderness, and for giving so selflessly for the people they serve. Special thanks for their epic effort to bring Zach home from the hospital for his last days of life and for creating space so that his family could be with him 24 hours a day.

Sabrina Hogan, Carol Krueger, and Kathy Ramiza moved mountains so that Zach could make his transition surrounded by an abundance of love. To name only a few unfairly negates the contribution of the whole, but a few additional credits must be noted. Lori Spicer – thank you for the overnight hospital reprieves and for always selflessly giving 100%, Nurse Kelly – we were deeply touched by your care and compassion for Zach in his final days. Lisa Young, Nicole Stilson, & Megan Love…you ladies have played instrumental roles in Zach’s life and have an enormous place in our hearts. Nathan, Carol W, Heidi, Adrienne, N’estra, Wally, Matt L., Sam J., you are in our hearts forever. Dr. Gretchen Hodgdon (Bassett) thank you for your compassion and rationality.

For all who attended Zach’s farewell Zoom meeting…the sentiment you shared with him brought tears of joy. To the beautiful ladies who came to Zach’s window to tell him you loved him and to play Johnny Cash for him…thank you for the sweet memory.

To our family, friends and trusted helpers throughout Zach’s life…we thank you for your contributions, guidance, love and support. Your presence undoubtedly enabled a smoother path for us to navigate, and we could not be more grateful to have you in our lives. To name you all here is an impossible task, but we trust that you know who you are.

There will be no calling hours or services at this time however, an intimate spring burial will be announced at a later date.

Donations in Zach’s name to further benefit the very important work Springbrook provides throughout ours, and so many surrounding communities, would be greatly appreciated.

Arrangements are with Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta. Expressions of sympathy may be made at,

5 thoughts on “Zachary Pondolfino, 26; A Soul So Pure, Innocent

  1. dploutz

    Our deepest condolences at the profound loss of your cherished son. Hold close to all the warm memories and they will help sustain you. You have much love through the Springbrook network and surrounding communities you’ve been such an important part of. Much love.
    David and Susan Ploutz

  2. Joe Pondolfino

    Though I never got to know my third cousin, Zachary, I have always been aware of your quiet, consistent, compassion and dedication to a son who would never get to experience the fullness of this life, but could bestow upon you his genuine love. I’m sorry for your loss Jerry.

  3. Anonymous

    A beautifully written tribute to an obviously lovely man. I’m sorry you lost your beloved Zachary.
    Annie Pondolfino Hirshfield

  4. Sabrina Beckerink

    A beautifully written obituary to commemorate a beautiful and innocent life. Love and peace to you all as you navigate the days ahead. Thank you for sharing Zach’s light with us.

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