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Victor Grigas


1919 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Victor Grigas Obituary
Victor Albert Grigas, (died June 10, 2017), was born Vytautas Grigas on October 30, 1919, in Bridgeport, Chicago, to immigrant parents from Lithuania. Raised in a beer flat during alcohol prohibition, his first memory was syphoning beer from barrels under floorboards and being scared of the rats. From an early age, he learned to love reading. During World War II, after he read 'Mein Kampf' and saw Hitler's plans for world domination, he decided to join the army. He served two and a half years in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers, despite having four deferments. After the war, he pursued a successful career as a photographer and used the funds to build a house in Willow Springs, Illinois. During the 1960s and 1970s, he rehabbed three buildings in Old Town and Lincoln Park, by appropriating remnants of other buildings found in dumpsters and alleys. That work was profiled by the Chicago Tribune on January 22, 1967: "Raising the Roof Gives New Life to Old Coach House." Those who have commuted via the Sedgwick El station may have walked past his wall around his building made from railroad ties, brick, tile, doors and iron fencing. Always creative, he loved talking to people, fishing, hunting, classical music, plants and the outdoors, tennis, cycling, Miller Genuine Draft, The Bears, reading, coffee, dogs, philosophizing, cognac, Edy's ice cream, and was always curious about everything. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, two sons and two grandchildren. We love you. Etc., Etc., Etc. His funeral will be held at noon on Thursday, June 15, at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road, in Elwood. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a gofundme page to raise funds to scan Victor's photography and release the photos for free under a Creative Commons license, so that anyone can use them for any purpose, forever: https://www.gofundme.com/remember-my-dad-through-his-photos
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on June 14, 2017
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