Greg Zanis, 69, of Aurora, IL went to live on with God on Monday May 4th, 2020, after saying his final goodbyes to his closest family members. Greg Zanis was born on November 27th, 1950 to Rev. Steve (a Greek Orthodox Priest) and Maria (a seamstress) Zanis. He was ambitious from youth and always had an inventor’s mind. He was hardworking, a carpenter who loved to build, was creative, and loved to help others.
He attended Waubonsee Community College where fell in love with his wife, Susan Zanis (Stadler) “at first sight”. Greg loved to tell the story about how the first time he saw Sue, he told all his friends that he “was gonna marry that girl”. He went onto do so and they spent 46 happy years together, had five children, and shared both trials and joys which they relied on God to get them through. Greg stated that having his children was one of his greatest joys. He was a fun dad, whom taught his children how to live fun-filled lives, be creative, and think outside the box. Each of his children turned out to be very unique from each other, but all are determined, hardworking, and once they put their mind to something, they follow through (very much so like their dad in this way). Greg is preceded in death by his oldest daughter Maria (Mark) Raibley, whom Greg missed immensely in his last years of life. He kept photos of her pinned up over his desk. He will now be by her side in Heaven. His other children, Chris Zanis, Dr. Catherine (Fletcher) Oliver (children; Jude and Sage), Susie Zanis, and Gregory Zanis carry on with an abundance of both bittersweet and happy memories of their dad.
Greg spent his years working as a carpenter and supported his wife (whom homeschooled all five children) through his work. Greg was always very social and loved to talk to anyone. He was also a doer. He always stayed busy, busy, busy, and was constantly exercising his soul, mind, and body through work, art, inventing, and helping others. Greg was always on the go. Greg found a way to use his unique skills to help others and he did so through his “Crosses for Losses” ministry. He traveled the nation, single handedly making and delivering crosses to the victims and families of tragedies. He provided a place for families to grieve and a way to let families know they are cared for and their deceased loved one is not forgotten. He created a legacy of love through his actions of support and kindness given to complete strangers, whom became fast friends to Greg.
Many of these friends contributed to a celebration of Greg’s life, just days before he passed. His family has been so grateful for the love and support shown. At the celebration of his life, Greg was able to smile and wave at the passersby’s. Greg was provided with a final sense of peace and joy by being able to say goodbye to so many, completing his biography so he could tell his story, and knowing that his wife would be supported and cared for. Greg lives on in the hearts of his family, friends, and many, many countless lives that he personally impacted through his presence.
Greg Zanis will never be forgotten.
Due to current circumstances with COVID-19, Greg will have a private service and burial.
In lieu of flowers, if you desire to you may contribute to his GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gregzanis?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
Or you may read his biography: https://aurorahistory.shop/products/cross-man
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Greg S. Zanis, please visit our floral store.