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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Chris G. Zervos: 1921-2014: WWII veteran built business around homes

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Chris G. Zervos, a retired northwest Ohio custom home builder, land developer, and World War II veteran, died of apparent congestive heart failure Wednesday at Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. He was 93.

Mr. Zervos co-owned and operated the former Chris Zervos Builders Inc. on West Laskey Road, a home-building company specializing in upscale homes, from 1972 — when he and his son, Chris Zervos, established the company — until he retired in 1996.

“My father taught me business,” his son said. “He believed in high-quality product and in charging a fair price for it.”

“He was a man of honor. He was very proud of his family, of his heritage, and of his fate.”

Before launching that business, the elder Mr. Zervos owned and operated the former general contracting company Mid-City Builders in West Toledo from 1957 until 1972, when it closed.

Later in the 1970s, Mr. Zervos and his son expanded into land development for single-family residential communities.

They developed Christopher Woods off of Alexis Road in Toledo in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hunter’s Green off of Whiteford Road in Sylvania Township in 1993, and Timber Ridge Estates in Springfield Township, also in 1993.

He also co-owned and operated the former Delite Night Club at Central and Detroit avenues from 1946 — when he and George Stratos, his brother-in-law, bought it — until 1955, when they sold the club. At different times in the mid to late-1950s, he also was a salesman and a project manager at the former Stone & Swartzbaugh, a home improvement and remodeling company on Sylvania Avenue.

Mr. Zervos was born on March 28, 1921, in Toledo. In 1938, he graduated from Waite High School, where he was on the football and wrestling varsity teams. He later was a semipro boxer and wrestler in Toledo.

In 1940, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in the Panama Canal Zone. He later flew multiple missions over central Europe from North Africa and Italy as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in World War II.

In 1944, his plane was shot down at the Bulgaria-Romania border and he was a prisoner of war until Russian troops liberated him later that year. He then joined OSS, the CIA’s precursor, and returned to Bulgaria to be a witness in war-crime trials, his son said.

He completed his tour of duty stateside and was honorably discharged in 1945. His numerous war medals included the Purple Heart.

Upon his return to the United States, he married Cleo Zervos, whose maiden name was Porentas, in 1945.

Mr. Zervos was on the parish council at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for 35 years and was recognized in 1990 for his outstanding service. Mr. Zervos was also named an outstanding alumnus of Waite High School.

A member of numerous organizations, Mr. Zervos participated in groups including the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, Barton Smith Lodge of the Masons in Toledo, Sylvania Country Club, and several area veterans groups.

Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Cleo; daughters, Barbara Batsakes, Dianne Sun, and Debbie Gavalas; son, Chris; eight grandchildren, and two great granddaughters.

Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at Ansberg-West Funeral Home on Sylvania Avenue in Toledo, where Trisagion Prayers will take place at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 740 N. Superior St.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Deaths/2014/ ... PrpBdXg.99


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