March 28, 1921 - November 26, 2014
March 28, 1921 - November 26, 2014
Chris G. Zervos, 93, a prominent custom homebuilder and land developer, passed away November 26th surrounded by his wife of 69 years, Cleo, and his family. Mr. Zervos was born in Toledo, March 28, 1921, the youngest of six children of George and Stratigoula Zervos. He was a 1938 graduate of Waite High School where he lettered in football and wrestling. He was, for a time, a semi-pro boxer and wrestler before enlisting in the Army Air Corps 13 months before Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Zervos graduated Officer Cadet School after serving two years in the Panama Canal Zone and was awarded his pilot’s wings. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. As a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot, he flew missions from North Africa and Italy, joining the 376th Bomb Group, 515 Bomb Squadron, the oldest air wing in the European theatre of World War II. After successful missions, his plane was severely damaged over the Ploesti, Romania oil fields. Forced to abandon his plane, he and his crew became prisoners of war in Bulgaria on August 10, 1944. Upon his release, he joined the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA, returned to Bulgaria to assist in war crimes trials against those who had committed atrocities against the POWs. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with cluster, American Defense Service medal European-African-Middle Eastern Service medal, American Campaign Service medal and the Prisoner of War medal.
Upon his return from Europe, Mr. Zervos married Cleo Porentas, February 11, 1945. He completed his tour of duty stateside. He purchased and operated the Delite Night Club at Central & Detroit Ave with brother-in-law George Stratos. In 1956, he joined Stone & Swartzbaugh, a home improvement and remodeling company. In 1957, he formed Mid-City Builders a general contracting company. In 1972, he was joined in business by his son, Chris. Together they established Chris Zervos Builders, Inc. a home building company specializing in up-scale homes. Expanding into land development, they developed Christopher Woods and Hunter’s Green. Mr. Zervos developed Timber Ridge Estates, the site of the 1993 Parade of Homes, before his retirement in 1996.
Mr. Zervos was active at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, serving on its parish council for 35 years and as a 2-term Council President. He sang in its choir. He was chairman of its reverse raffle dinner auction for countless years and was a major parish donor and fund-raiser. He was recognized in 1990 for his outstanding service to the parish. He was likewise named an Outstanding Alumnus of Waite High School and the East Toledo Family Center. He was a member of AHEPA, Barton Smith Lodge of the Masons, Toledo Home Builders Association, Sylvania County Club and American Veterans’ groups.
Mr. Zervos is survived by his wife Cleo and children: Barbara (Evan) Batsakes of Ypsilanti, MI; Chris (Persilla) Zervos of Toledo; Dianne (Peter) Sun of Poquoson, VA; and Debbie Gavalas (Robert) Ritchie of Tampa, FL and grandchildren James Batsakes, Stephanie (Jake) Franklin, Christopher (Tricia) Zervos, Jacqueline Zervos, Michael Sun, Stacey Gavalas, Nic (Kendall) Gavalas, John Gavalas, great grandchildren Kathryn and Abigail Zervos and many nieces, nephews, friends and fine neighbors.
The family will receive visitors at Ansberg West Funeral Home from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30th where Trisagion Prayers will be offered at 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at Holy Trinity Cathedral at 11:00 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1st. The family thanks the staff of Ebeid Hospice for its love and care. Memorial tributes may be made to Holy Trinity Cathedral, 740 N. Superior St. Toledo, OH 43604.
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