Malachi Siltzer was born on February 3rd, 2008. Born in Wolayta, Ethiopia, Malachi went nothing short of traveling the world. As a result of his biological parents passing away, he was placed in a situation where he was adopted. Not knowing what they were about to do was going to completely change their lives forever, Jay and Kelly Siltzer began the adoption process, and gracefully settled on the beautiful country of Ethiopia. While visiting there, they met Malachi, and after seeing his beautiful, big brown eyes, they just couldn’t say no.
They adopted Malachi and brought him back to Hendersonville, NC, where he would soon attend Immaculata Catholic School. Not long after he began, his mother, Kelly, was diagnosed with Leukemia. After a long and hard-fought battle, she passed away in 2014. Malachi and Jay were very impacted, but the one thing that got them through this hard time was their love and commitment to the Catholic faith. Their connection to God flooded their lives with hope and inspiration, let alone the inspiration and comedically-funny humor that Malachi brought himself. One would think this would have broken their faith, but instead it made them stronger. However, this faith would soon be put to the test once more. In November of 2015, Malachi was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer. Jay being a cancer survivor himself and losing a spouse to cancer, he now had to deal with it again. Once again, this did not hinder their faith, only strengthened it. Over this period of time, they formed a relationship with God much stronger than ever before. Malachi was filled with the love of the Holy Spirit, and shared this love with everyone around him. His innocence was astounding and even funny at times. “Yeah, my mom passed away but hey, we played dodgeball in gym today”.
Unfortunately, on August 31st 2016, he passed away. After a hard several-month battle with brain cancer, he finally spread his wings to join his mother in heaven. His 8 short years were very fast, but he came nowhere short of impacting absolutely everyone around him. He carried with him a spirit and enthusiasm that was so necessary in his familial events, as well as the lives of his fellow classmates.
He left with us a duty to spread love to everyone as he did, while also giving back to the community. As a result of this, we rasied money to build a new playground in honor of Malachi. We wanted to form a physical embodiment of the love he shared for everyone; something that will carry put his legacy for all the people that don’t know his story. After two years of fundraising and with the help of the community, as well as our school and church families, enough money was raised to build the playground in Malachi's memory. Construction was completed in June 2019 and our students have greatly enjoyed the new addition. We are forever grateful for the love and joy Malachi left behind.