Zane Warner Stranger, 23 years young, was welcomed into God’s loving arms on March 29, 2023.
Born on a Thursday, March 23, 2000, at 12:13 p.m., he was eagerly awaited by his 23-year-old mom, Renee, and 32-year-old father, Steven Stranger. Little did they know this baby would be speaking in full, articulated sentences by 1.5, reading at the age of 3 and fascinating them with the wonders of his mind.
Zane had an affinity for many things. From red pandas to cats, country maps, coins, globes, vanilla meringues from Trader Joes, Inca Cola, chess, ghost pepper salsa, Super Smash Bros., Sponge Bob, linguistics, Legos, and the color orange, there wasn’t anyone that was knit together like him. His passion for languages, geography, politics, books, and international flags began very early in life. When he attended pre-K at the International School of Minnesota, he would obsess over all the flags hanging in the halls. As a 4-year-old collector of state coins, he announced one day that he wouldn’t be happy until 2008, when his collection would be made complete.
Elementary years were spent exclusively at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion, where he was a member of the school’s first graduating class. Loved and cared for by staff and students, Zane not only won their hearts with his unique Zane-ness, but also back-to-back spelling bees in fifth and sixth grade. It was there that he formed a club with a few other boys known as THE BACH 5.
As a child, he would recite PI to at least 100 places to anyone who would listen. When Zane was curious about something, he would spend weeks or months focused on that one thing and learn everything he could before finally moving on to the next thing. (This never changed) Because of the storage in his head for all sorts of knowledge, he was a member of Quiz Bowl starting in junior high. Zane always loved telling people random facts even if they didn’t want to know and was an avid Jeopardy watcher. He was so proud of his EP classmate Nibir who won the show’s college championship. A talented percussionist of EPHS Eagle Marching Band and Drum Line, Zane spent countless hours practicing and performing with his amazing bandmates, traveling thousands of bus miles to competitions across Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio. It was at Eagle Band camp where he met Minwoo, who was a great encouragement to his life up until his passing. Zane loved the Marimba and was thrilled when he finally made tryouts for the coveted instrument. Eden Prairie took state sophomore year, where he had a solo performance playing the glockenspiel.
A 2018 graduate of Eden Prairie High School, Zane attended Normandale College that same fall, determined not to let his health issues stop him. He graduated with honors in 2020 with a global studies emphasis. It was there that he studied two years of Japanese and started learning Chinese on his own and then testing into Normandale’s Chinese advanced classes. His goal to major in Chinese at the University of Minnesota started in the fall of 2022 after taking a medical break.
Zane is loved beyond measure, and his earthly presence is missed by his friends and family. Even though it took him a while to accept all of us (who often seemed weird to him), Zane eventually loved us all back. He was an important member of our tribe, and it pained us all to see him struggle in his last years.
Zane is survived by his mom, Renee, Dad (DD), Steve, younger sisters Zoe, Linzie, Ophelia, little brother Felix, stepdad Adam, Nama Julie, Papa Randal, cousins Brie, Jeremy, Rylee, Sherri, Hailey and Krista, aunts and uncles, his best friend Minwoo, his beloved childhood pup Sammie, and his kitten Banjo.
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories of Zane and to attend a celebration of life, which will be held at Mill City Church, 685 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, on Friday, April 21, with visitation starting at 10:30 a.m. The service is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with lunch to follow.
Burial will be held at 3:15 p.m. at Eden Prairie Cemetery, 8810 Eden Prairie Road.
In lieu of flowers, donations (paypal.com) can be made to the Eden Prairie Band Parents Organization. Please include a note in your donation indicating that it is for the “Zane Stranger Scholarship Fund.”
Billman-Hunt Funeral Chapel in Minneapolis is handling arrangements.
You can watch the Celebration of Zane’s life by clicking on this link.
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