NewsTreasure CoastRegion Martin CountyJensen Beach


Bait shop owner remembers Trooper Zachary Fink as 'lovable' and 'humble'

'He was a very pleasant young man ... very humble,' Steve Keller says
Trooper Zachary Fink displayed love for fishing
Posted at 2:12 PM, Feb 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-12 14:48:30-05

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — Friends, family and law enforcement personnel said their final goodbyes to Trooper Zachary Fink on Monday.

Steve Keller, a bait shop owner in Martin County, knew a different side of the trooper — a man who loved being on the water and had a passion for fishing.

Keller, the owner of North Fork Bait and Tackle in Jensen Beach, formed a strong relationship with the trooper whom he knew as a loyal customer.

"[He would] come in and you catch up, like, 'Oh yeah, you know I've been working a lot, working extra shifts,'" Keller said.

Steve Keller shares some of his memories from his relationship with Trooper Zachary Fink.
Steve Keller shares some of his memories from his relationship with Trooper Zachary Fink.

He was shocked when he heard about the news of Fink's death.

"It was like, 'Oh my God,'" Keller said. "It was very sad to hear."

Keller said the trooper would come in to get his rods repaired and was soft-spoken, kind and personable.

"He was a very pleasant young man ... very humble," Keller said.

Zachary Fink and mother Heather Yokie-Fink. Feb. 3, 2024.jpg

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It came as no surprise to him that the 26-year-old trooper died while trying to serve and protect.

What stood out to Keller most was Fink's humility, the way he never bragged about his job or used it for personal gain.

"Some people are very blatant or open, like, 'Hey, I'm a police officer, don't you give discounts?'" Keller said. "He was just a lovable kind of guy. He's not like, 'Hey, I'm an officer, respect me.'"

Keller may not have known Fink for as long or as well as the trooper's family and close friends, but he still has a pit in his stomach knowing he won't hear the trooper's friendly voice again.

"Yeah, that's those things you don't even want to think about," Keller said. "Being a dad, I think (his family) should be very proud having him as a son."