LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The man who became a hero to many Las Vegans when he made crosses to honor victims of the 1 October mass shooting has died after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.
Greg Zanis, the carpenter whose handmade crosses honored victims of gun violence, died at his home in Aurora, Illinois Monday.
His daughter, Susie Zanis, confirmed her dad’s passing to Chicago’s WGN-TV. He was 69 years old.
Just last year, Zanis placed a second set of 58 crosses at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” for the two-year anniversary of the 1 October tragedy.
Since starting “Crosses for Losses” in 1999, Zanis delivered more than 26,000 handmade wooden crosses memorials at mass-shooting sites all across the U.S.
Zanis retired from installing the crosses in December 2019 after he said it had taken an emotional toll on him.
When Zanis delivered crosses to Las Vegas in 2019, he told 8 News Now why he was motivated to help to honor the victims.
“It’s very simple: I’m not a politician. I’m not a gun guy. I’m not a church guy. I just want families to have their children remembered,” Zanis said.
On Friday, his daughter organized a drive-by procession and living visitation so his supporters could say their goodbyes. Zanis, who thought he had weeks to live, greeted everyone from the front porch.
His family has created a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses.