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Chris J. Zazas


1924 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Chris J. Zazas Obituary
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Zazas, Chris J. LA MESA -- Chris J. Zazas, passed away on Friday, May 2, 2014 in the comfort of his home. He was born on July 25, 1924 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was married to his beloved wife Mary (Cappas) Zazas for 64 years. Loving father to James C. Zazas (Patricia) and Angie (Fred) Georggin. Grandfather to George (Courtney) Georggin, Chris Georggin, Chris "CJ" and Maddie Zazas, Austin and Preston Braithwaite; great- grandchildren Sophia and Andrew Georggin. Loving brother to Zack (Kathy) Zazas of Des Moines and loving cousin to Lou Soter, also of Des Moines. Nieces and nephews-John (Russ Ann) Zazas, Cathie (Brad) Zazas Holm, great nephews Zack, Alex, and Niko; Stephanie Zazas-Miller (Steve), great nephews Zacharias and Gabriel; Alexandra Fluyeras; great nephew James (Andrea) Zazas, and cousin John Economos. Preceded in death were parents Demetrios and Demetra Zazas, brother Spero (Lula) Zazas, nephew James Zazas and loving cousin Rose Economos. At the age of 19, Chris was drafted by the United States Army, February 12, 1943. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant. In June 1944, Sergeant Zazas was among the first wave of troops to land on Omaha Beach. He was one of a 55-man-unit sent ashore to take out German .88 caliber gun emplacements. Only four of the 55 men survived the assault after German gunfire immediately destroyed his landing craft. Having engaged in countless battles, Sergeant Zazas and a small unit of his men were captured by Germans troops while crossing the Rhine River. They were briefly taken to Stalag 7-A and then transferred to the villainous Dachau death camp, where they were incarcerated. Sergeant Zazas was liberated when Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army marched across Europe in the fall of 1945. Chris returned to Des Moines a hero and decorated veteran. He was credited with numerous U.S. Army citations; good conduct medals; the POW Medal; the European/African Service Medal; the WWII Victory Medal; the D-Day Medal; two Bronze Stars; five Purple Hearts and in February 2014, the French Legion of Honor Medal -- France's highest award. Chris graduated from Drake University on the G.I. Bill with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. Chris enjoyed over 50 years in the jewelry business and later went into real estate management. He was an esteemed member of his church, and exhibited exemplary service to it. He served as Parish Council President at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Des Moines, Iowa and served in various parish council positions in San Diego. He was a lifetime member of the Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association). He held every Chapter officer position, District Lodge position, and eventually served as Supreme Governor. As a youth, he was a member of the Sons of Pericles. Chris was credited with more than 70 years of distinguished service to the Order of AHEPA and received the Periclean Award in June 2013. Visitation Viewing will be Tuesday, May 6 from 5-9 p.m. Trisagion Service 7:00 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery. Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, May 7 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of San Diego is appreciated.
Published in U-T San Diego on May 6, 2014
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