Greg Zanis spent 23 years making and delivering crosses to honor the victims of mass shootings and other tragedies. Today, his community has what might be the last chance to honor him in life.
Zanis, the founder of Crosses for Losses, is in the last stages of a fight with terminal cancer. His family has planned a “living visitation” at his home. Visitors are asked to drop off a sign, letter, or card, which Zanis’ family will read to him. Earlier this year, Zanis retired from his Crosses for Losses project, and handed the reins over to Lutheran Church Charities. Rich Martin now directs the program for the organization. He says Zanis comforted thousands of people through his work and leaves a legacy of compassion. “And those crosses," he said, "I can tell you firsthand from seeing people, people’s faces and theiremotions when they’re kneeling or laying down or sitting by the cross, what kind of an impactthat makes on them.” Martin added that Lutheran Church Charities is “humbled” to continue his mission. “People are touched in a very deep way by your willingness to travel wherever and drop whatever you’re doing to provide that comfort.” The visitation will take place from 2 to 4 pm at 1230 Church Road, in Aurora. Visitors are askedto leave cards, signs, and letters, which Zanis’ family will read to him. They say cards and letters are also welcome by mail.