George Evangkelos Zanic

August 22, 1938March 12, 2019

George Evangkelos Zanic (Zanicopoulos) Pitt All-American, Navy Officer, Coach and Teacher George “Zeke” Zanic passed away in Florida on March 12, 2019, he was 80 years old. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 22, 1938, he was the son of the late Evangkelos and Helen Zanicopoulos. He is survived by his brother Michael of Forest Hills, Pennsylvania; his wife of 54 years, Mary Elizabeth (Kokales) of The Villages, Florida; sons George Nicholas Zanic and his wife Lori of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and Van Zanic and his wife Rebecca of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; and grandchildren Savannah Zanic, Nicholas Zanic, Zachary Zanic and Alexia Zanic. He was a life-long member of the Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church (Ypapanti) in East Pittsburgh and a member of the St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church in Belleview, Florida. Zeke graduated from Edgewood High School in 1956, earning three varsity letters each in baseball, basketball and football, and served as team Captain in all three sports during his senior year. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1960, and later received his masters of education from Pitt. While at Pitt, he was a two-time varsity letter winner in both soccer and baseball, and earned All-American honors as a goalkeeper for the Panther soccer team in 1959. That season, he set the Pitt record for the least goals given up in a season. After his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, he attended and graduated from Naval Officer Candidate School in 1961, and he then served in active duty in the United States Navy from 1961 to 1965. He served as an ensign on the USS Huntington during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He left active duty and served in the United States Navy Reserves until he retired in 1986, having attained the rank of Commander. Zeke began his teaching and coaching career at South Side Beaver in 1965, and then returned to Edgewood in 1967. While at Edgewood he was the head football, basketball and baseball coach. His 1967 Edgewood football team was undefeated and the Vikings were the WPIAL basketball champions in 1973 and WPIAL runners-up in 1974 and 1975. He taught physical education and coached at Edgewood until the 1982 school year, and then at Woodland Hills School District from 1982 until his retirement in 1995. During his Woodland Hills career he coached soccer, tennis, softball and girls’ basketball. He finished his coaching career by coaching four years of girls’ basketball at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf from 1996-1999. He coached over 70 seasons of various high school sports in 34 years of coaching. In 2013 Zeke and his wife Mary moved from Pittsburgh to The Villages in Florida. Visitation will be held at the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Avenue, East Pittsburgh, on Thursday, March 21 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a 4:30 p.m. Trisagion service. A funeral service will take place at the Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, 1575 Electric Avenue, East Pittsburgh, on Friday, March 22, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Homewood Cemetery, 1599 S. Dallas Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15217. Memorial contributions can be made to the Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox, 1575 Electric Avenue, East Pittsburgh, Pa 15112 or St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church, 9926 SE 36th Avenue, Belleview, FL 34420.


  • Visitation Saturday, March 16, 2019
  • Prayer Service Saturday, March 16, 2019

George Evangkelos Zanic

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Abby (Lucas) Rath

March 16, 2019

My dad and Mr. Zanic were peas in a pod and where they went trouble and laughter followed. He kept a close eye on my while I was at EHS and advocated for me fiercely. He was a kind, loving man who never met a kid he didn’t like. He was an essential benefit of growing up in Edgewood. I know my parents have been waiting for him ...

David Newell

March 16, 2019

Mr Z was a great coach and a wonderful man. I can see him clear at day our HS soccer practices and games. God bless him and all of his family from the Nebraska Newell’s...

george davidson

March 16, 2019

Shock and great sadness to lose my lifelong friend. From grade school, junior high, high school and Pitt, an almost 70
year relationship. The ups and downs of life, our high school reunions and the excitement of Zeke and Mary moving to Florida. Sharing our retirement stories over lunch as we rode out our 70s will be my lasting memory. Farewell my friend, and my prayers for Mary and her wonderful family.

Tracy Vincett

March 15, 2019

He was my most favorite gym teacher . He always had a funny remark when he saw me and loved telling me stories about he and my Uncle Tom. We all loved that your door was always open for us... and every reunion to see you and Mrs. Zanic enjoying everything with all of us.. warmed my heart... you made school and Edgewood so much better... we are all blessed to have known you. RIP kind sir.

Paul Robey

March 15, 2019

I was never one of Zeke’s favorite students but loved and respected him nonetheless.

Kim Matarrese Rectenwald

March 15, 2019

Coach was one of the finest men I ever met! He filled in as my "dad" for a high school Father/Daughter dinner and we won the prize for "Who knows Dad/Daughter best!" We always got a chuckle from that story. He also took a chance on two untested females (Gina Amato and myself) as statisticians for the men's basket ball team because he said we'd be more focused on the game than the guys. ha ha! He was right, too!

Mary and family, how blessed you were to call him husband and father and how very blessed we all were to call him coach and friend!

David Conrad

March 15, 2019

Mr Zanic was a rock. He was the lodestar Edgewood school revolved around back in the day.
What a fine man.
What a kind man.
Two blocks away on Lloyd - always the house that took you in.