Josh Vach

October 21, 1965 - May 15, 2019
Josh Vach

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On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Joshua B. Vach, loving husband and restaurateur, passed away at age 53.

Josh was born October 21, 1965 to Richard and Mary Carroll Vach. He graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1983 and UNCW in 1987. On October 3, 2009, he married Cindy Parcell on the sand of Wrightsville Beach.

Josh grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where his love for the ocean and surfing started at a young age. He was proud of the two restaurants his parents built and owned, The Quarterdeck and Wild Goose Chase in Ocean City, Maryland. He moved to Southern California after college to enjoy his love of surfing and continued to work in the restaurant industry. Surfing trips to the Baja Coast, and enjoying fish tacos on the side of the road with his surfing buddies were the inspiration for him to establish his first restaurant. In 1993, Josh opened K38 Baja Grill on Oleander Drive with the support of his father. His passion and vision to create a genuine “surf vibe” atmosphere and to serve the fish tacos he loved was truly an original concept that Wilmington instantly embraced. The success of his first location led to what is now known as the family of Live Eat Surf restaurants with a total of 8 locations.

His hands-on approach in the restaurants, hard work and relentless drive to be the best each and every day enabled him to give back to the community and help many animals in need over the years. He created Cinco de Bow Wow, an annual fundraising event, to support local animal shelters and Canines for Service. Josh was a member of the UNCW Surf Club that led him to establish the UNCW Tower 7 Surf Scholarship in 2008. It has grown into the Tower 7/WBLivesurf Scholarship. Josh supported the surf community in many other ways such as feeding the volunteers and participants in the annual Surfers Healing event on Wrightsville Beach. Josh always preferred not to be in the spotlight for his generosity and community involvement. However, many organizations over the years wanted to recognize him for his good deeds. To name a few, Josh was the UNCW Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2015 and was inducted into Wrightsville Beach Museum’s 2014 Waterman Hall of Fame for his contribution to Beach Culture.

Josh was preceded in death by his parents, Richard Joseph Vach, and Mary Carroll Vach, his sisters Mary Elizabeth Vach, Carroll Vach England, and by his beloved dog Wyatt. Josh is survived by his wife Cindy and their treasured dog Gunner, his sister Martha Vach Redding, his brothers Richard Joseph (Jr) and Thomas Carville Vach, along with numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

There will be two Celebrations of Life. One in Wilmington and the other in Ocean City, MD. Details will be announced at a later date in each community.

Contributions in his memory can be made to:
Tower 7/WBLiveSurf Scholarship: Hope From Helen P.O.Box 187 Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
(Please note the name of the scholarship on the tax deductible donation. Email donation questions to Tony Butler – tony@hopefromhelen.com
Cinco de Bow Wow Organizations: Paws Place Dog Rescue, Pender County Human Society, C.A.R.E. – Coastal Animal Rescue Effort, New Hanover County Animal Services Unit, Adopt An Angel, Canines For Service

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the ” Post a Condolence ” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • June 02, 2019
    Allison Denning says:
    Cindy and Gunner - I was so sad to hear of my friend’s passing. I worked in the office with Josh and Wyatt in the 90’s - just the 3 of us - and opened his first Tower 7 together. The things I could tell you... He was always kind and respectful to me and loved the relationship I had with his parents. He knew I had 2 elementary aged sons and gave me the freedom to do things at school with them and extra vacation time in the summer, too. I shall miss seeing my friend. Praying your heart heals with the outpouring of love you are receiving. Hugs.

  • May 23, 2019
    Mario Cruz says:
    About 19 years ago I had the pleasure of started to work at k38 with EL PATRON, he would always care about his workers My family is suffering  his lost, this day is one of the saddest of our lives, we feel an enormous sorrow for his family . All who knew him know the enormous love for his family, love for his workers, he  always tried to encourage and help in times of difficulty, so that they would feel part of the best team in the worl. we all know of your enormous love for nature, love for animals .  Here we are today to express our respect, affection and gratitude to EL PATRON . Your memory is something that will live forever, no one can ever take it away from us, thank you for your example and your Leadership and I will keep the hard work to follow his Legacy. Our condolence and prayers for his family.

  • May 22, 2019
    F Davis says:
    My heartfelt condolences to the Vach family. Though Josh will be dearly missed may you be comforted by many loving memories and the support of those who care. Most importantly may you draw closer to the God of all comfort in prayer. He has promised to end sickness and death forever and restore life to all those who He remembers by means of the grand resurrection, Isaiah 26:19. May you find comfort in the word of God as mentioned at Psalm 34:15, "The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous, and his ears listen to their cry for help." May God keep you and your family in his loving care.

  • May 21, 2019
    Joey McNeill says:
    Praying for you Cindy asking for God to comfort you with His peace and presence.

  • May 21, 2019
    Joy Haley says:
    Cindy our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time...what a wonderful person Josh was and everyone that knew him were blessed. Sending healing energy to you and your beautiful family with prayers for God’s comfort...❤️