OBITUARY

Christopher Zafiris Vamvakias

January 18, 1944November 29, 2017
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Christopher Zafiris Vamvakias

Christopher Z. Vamvakias went to meet his loving creator and those who have preceded us in this life on November 29, 2017.

Chris was born on January 18, 1944, in Portland, Maine. In 1947, his family moved to Houston, Texas, and settled in Cloverleaf where Chris attended school, graduating from Galena Park High School in 1962. Chris attended college at Georgia Tech University and University of Houston and worked at Karm Repair Company, Maxey Road Lumber, Concept Woodwork Corporation, before opening his own general contracting company Construction Services Group with life-long friend and business partner Bob Welker. He was active in multiple professional associations including: NARI, GHBA and the Remodelers Council.

Chris enjoyed hunting, shooting, riding his four wheelers and especially spending time outdoors appreciating nature. Starting at an early age, he had a passion for helping others and bringing people together. His inclusionary love for all was evident in the way he always put others before himself and opened his home to those in need. Chris was a man of tremendous faith. He put his complete trust in God and knew in his heart that God has a plan for each of us.

He is preceded in passing by his father, Zafiris Vamvakias; mother, Malama Vamvakias; son, Kevin C. Vamvakias; brother, Nicholas Z. Vamvakias; sister-in-law, Tina A. Vamvakias; sister-in- law, Barbara A. Vamvakias; nephews, Jeffery N. Vamvakias, Paul N. Vamvakias, Jeffrey P. Vamvakias; and several other Nieces, Nephews and Cousins.

He is survived by his daughter, Nicole Vamvakias, and son-in-law, Damon Knox; wife of 7 years, Barbara E. Vamvakias; daughter, Claudia Sears, and son-in-law, Greg Sears; son, Daniel Lager, and daughter-in-law, Cheryl Lager; brother, Jim Z. Vamvakias; nephews, Jeffrey J. Vamvakias and Gregory J. Vamvakias; brother, Plutarch Z. Vamvakias; sister-in-Law Tina P. Vamvakias; and niece, Christine Waldron; nephews from Nicholas Z. Vamvakias: Gary N. Vamvakias, Mark N. Vamvakias, Brian N. Vamvakias and Byron N. Vamvakias; cousin, Nicholas P. Vamvakias, sister-in-law, Carol Vamvakias; niece, Mary Kate Moran; and nephew, P. Nicholas Vamvakias.

Chris’s request was that we not mourn his passing but instead celebrate his life and the wonderful family and friends we are blessed to have. He will be greatly missed by all of us whose lives he impacted. May his memory be eternal.

Visitation will be held at St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Christian Church (7202 FM 2920 Spring TX, 77379) on Monday, December 4, 2017 from 5:00 PM– 7:00PM with the Trisagion Service from 7-7:15pm. Light refreshments will follow in the church Fellowship Hall.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00AM on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Christian Church (7202 FM 2920 Spring TX, 77379) with burial to follow at Forest Park The Woodlands (18000 I-45, Conroe TX, 77384) at approximately 11:30 AM. A Mercy Meal and Celebration of Life will be held in St Anthony’s Fellowship Hall at approximately 12:30PM. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the Mercy Meal, even if your schedule does not allow you to attend the Visitation or Funeral Services.

Flowers or Donations: If you would like to send flowers, please send them to Forest Park The Woodlands (18000 I-45, Conroe TX, 77384) by no later than 1pm, Monday, December 4th. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: MD Anderson Cancer Center P.O. Box 4486 Houston, TX 77210-4486

Please include that the gift is in memory of Christopher Vamvakias. Website: www.mdanderson.org/gifts, when using the website please select the give in memory tab and under the billing information please select the checkbox that says I would like to choose where my donation goes. Once selected, please select the Fund designated by family option (Acute Palliative Care) from the dropdown box. If you need any assistance or would like for MD Anderson to process the donation on your behalf please call 713-792-3450 or 1-800-525-5841.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, December 4, 2017

  • Trisagion Prayers

    Monday, December 4, 2017

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

  • Trisagion Prayers

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

  • Meal of Mercy Following Interment

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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Christopher Zafiris Vamvakias

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Kay Meriam Vamvakias

January 22, 2018

December 05, 2017

Today was a celebration of like. Even though there were tears of sadness for ourselves I hope Chris was happy with the togetherness we had today. (Chris is Gary's uncle that I am coexecutor with on my father in laws estate.) His friends that he was in 7th grade with talked about their friendship, talk of love of family. This was a man that truly gave of himself, who looked for the good in every one, who honored his God, he was a person we should all strive to be like. So Chris, I will attempt as you put it to be nice when I really want to let the quick Italian temper go. You are missed by so many for so many reasons! Hug Mudder and Fudder for me and tell them Dotter sends her love. And I will hug Barb Vamvakias for you often!
Kay Meriam Vamvakias

Lori & Russ Walker

January 22, 2018

November, 2017
Good afternoon Chris. I don't know if you are comforted by scripture,,,this is from 2 Timothy 4:6. "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day".

May God be with you always and forever. You are much loved here, but no one can love you as much as our Lord. Praying for you and aunt Barbara. We love you! Lori and Russ

Bob Welker

January 22, 2018

December 5, 2017
Celebration Dinner

I think it the year was 1956. The place was North Shore Jr. High. Kids from several blue collard neighborhoods made up the first 7th grade class. Chris, Fred Weston and I met and would become lifelong friends.
We were raised by parents that instilled the very values of work, responsibility, respect and many other things that are being discounted today.

Three years later we were bussed to Galena Park High School. Those were great years. Chris often said that we were so lucky to have grown up during this time. All of us made many friends that are still in our lives today. After high school we all moved in different directions but still kept in contact.

We raised our families together.
I share the memory with Nicole of watching her stand on a chair in our kitchen making a cake. She was around 5 or 6 at that time and she had more cake on her than she had in the bowl.
I have many wonderful memories of Kevin at the deer lease-we shared so many campfires.

Chris and I worked for a company called Concept Architectural Woodwork-several of those folks we worked with are here today. I have great memories of those days-many things that we learned while working there would help us when we opened our own company.

Fast forward several years and we opened up our own company called Construction Services Group, Inc.
Lots of long hours, lots of weekends-not much money! We used to dread Wednesday and Thursdays because we were always trying to collect money owed to us to secure Fridays payroll. We asked God to lead us and we trusted Him to help us. CSG had it's ups and downs! I remember many times we prayed together asking for God's help. At one point we had absolutely no jobs and decided it was time we closed our doors and cut our losses. We both were so discouraged. We went into the conference room, closed the door and started praying and we asked God what we should do. While we were praying the phone started to ring. Within the next couple of hours four new customers called accepting our proposals to do their projects. We were so excited but soon realized that we did not have the people or working capital to do the work. You might guess what we did-we got back on our knees and asked for help from God.

You can count yourself blessed if you have a friend like Chris. If you had a need Chris was the one you called. He would respond. We now live in times when people are so centered on themselves-but not Chris he was always the first on to respond to another person's need.

Chris took care of his mother-she lived in an apartment near the Greek Orthodox Church. Often when Chris checked on her it was my job to get her into another room so he could clean out her refrigerator. Like so many of her generation she was not going to waste food or throw any away even if it had been there to long.

Chris moved his cousin David into his home and cared for him for many months until he passed away from cancer.

Chris met a man named Ron. Ron could operate his phone and his computer by placing a small rod between his teeth. Chris and Barbara entered his life and became major care givers. They made several trips to his home on the West side of Houston to care for him and take care of his needs until be passed away.

When his brother Nick became ill and needed help-guess who was there to help him and his family. Chris invested his life into other people. He showed us how to live!

When Chris realized that his cancer would take his life he showed all of us how to finish our lives with dignity. Chris loved all of us. He gave us a great example of how to live and also how to die.

We will miss you Chris!

Jessica Sears

January 22, 2018


November 13, 2017

Dear Grandpa Chris,
Revelations 14:13

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on" "Yes," says the Spirit "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them".

Grandpa,
You are so loved...I send all my love and happiness to you for I pray that you find peace on that long journey to heaven. Do not be afraid, for you will be with us in our hearts forever and always. I will cherish my memories of you, even through they not long they will last a lifetime. I love you from the bottom of my heart. All of us have been blessed to have you in our lives working for Crist and spreading his love. For your labors will be remembered by all. Thinking of you always and still praying for recovery. Your are so kind and gentle. The love you have put in all our lives will never be forgotten. I want you to know this came from my heart and will miss you always. With tears in my eyes this is not goodbye. This is a time to rejoice, for you will be reunited with our Lord and in his name Amen. I love you Grandpa.
Love Jessica and Stephen
Always praying for you.

Gene Lawson

January 22, 2018

December, 2017

Dear Chris:
As we talked several weeks ago, I told you that among all of my male friends, you were at the top along with my best friend Bob Latour as the nicest, always giving to others, family man to the utmost, hard working and honest men I have known. No BS, just spit it out.
I will miss our chats and our griping at world issues....with our own solutions.

Our handshakes were firm and we looked each other in the eye.
When you enter heaven, do not get into politics. ..unless you and Him can help out here.

We will be here for Barbara anytime she needs me or Kelli. God Bless your children.
Your friend
Gene

Greg Tsopelas

January 22, 2018

December, 2017
My dear Chris, there are few words that can express the sorrow that we all feel during this time, that hasn't already been share among us all. You're a rockstar of sorts...having composed music that will forever remain dear to us all. Your east coast family were all so grateful for this last family gathering here in Maine. I will always be thankful for our impromptu dinners when visiting Houston on business. You are loved. Greg

Blair Jordan

January 22, 2018

November, 2017
Pop pops-
I'm praying for you. I love you so much. Just like God our father in heaven has adopted us into His kingdom and loves us I have adopted you as my earthly father. I'm thankful and grateful for the many years we have had to talk, laugh, and fellowship as a friend and family. Thank you for adopting me and my family into your covey. I'm going to miss our weekly hour plus long talks about life, marriage, work, kids, politics, and everything else. Promise me you will be there along the way in spirit. You have helped me grow and learn so much, so much wisdom, patience, guidance, compassion. I love you sir. Hang on, I'm going to try to get there to see you today, maybe tomorrow.

God is Rock, our salvation, our hope, our eternity, He is the greater reward. I have no doubt your spirit will carry on in His kingdom. Tell Him you are His child and believe in Him and that you believe He has prepared a special place in His kingdom for you. You have deferred many treasures on earth to store many treasures in His kingdom! A good and faithful servant to our King you are.
I love you, my kids love you, Alicia and Edwin love you.
Blair

Greg Tsopelas

January 22, 2018

November, 2017

To a man that humbles us all with his spiritual strength, his love for God and passion of Family. Chris, you've shown me how to have faith where it's easy to cave. I feel so blessed to have become closer with you and this family over the years. May God be at your side.
Love you Brother -
Greg T

Jeff Vamvakias

January 22, 2018

This was in November, 2017

Dear Uncle Chris,

If there is one thing that jumps to the front of my thoughts about you, it is that every single person that I have ever known that knows you, everyone, has the highest respect for you. Not a single person has ever had anything but the best things to say about you. And there is a reason for that. You are respected and trusted, and listened to, because your actions and your words make it clear that you are an honest person, with integrity, and a good mind and solid common sense. And this what others look for in a friend, counselor, business partner, someone they want to be associated with.

In times of trouble, emergency, in any situation I've ever seen you encounter in my life, you are always calm, steady, you cut to the heart of the matter and to the truth of the matter without drama or biasyou don't shy away from the truth, you uncover it logically, and then you address the situation calmly, but honestly. That is what I've always admired most about you.

I've never heard you say one bad thing about another person, ever. You are a model for what we all aspire to be and fall short of.

My earliest and happiest memories are of you, Uncle Pluto, Yiayia, and the rest of our family at Yiayia's house in Cloverleaf. I remember your Jeep and your VW Bug parked at the end of the driveway by the big pile of sand. You and Uncle Pluto used to tape together baseball bat pieces and other things to make me guns or different kinds.

I remember all the times we played Marco Polo at the lake at Huntsville State Park, canoeing across the lake, swimming across it. I can remember you taking me driving in your Jeep and your Bug.

One memory I have that I never forgot was at our old house at 611 Regal Street. You were covered with a sheet pretending to be a monster and chasing me and I was terrified. I was running around the side of the house, where the gate was and suddenly I just turned and charged at you, until you took off the sheet and started laughing.

I can remember coming home from Marine Corps Boot Camp and hanging out with you in the garage of your house in the Woodlands. You had a deer you shot, and you'd used a scope on your rifle and told me how far away you'd hit it from, and we talked about how far I could hit a man' sized target with my M-16 using my sling.

I know we can never bring the past back, but I wish my children, Demetri and Sophie, could somehow grow up the way I didwith you, Pluto, Uncle Nick and all of his kids, Yiayia, Nounou, all of our extended friends and family. I remember all the holidays we spent together at Yiayia's and at Uncle Pluto's place when Jim Watt used to come over and show us slide shows from Europe and Sistine Chapel.

I want my kids to have what I hadthe best family in the world.

I am still counting on a miracle and seeing you visit us here soon so you can have some time to play with Sophie and Demetri and see our house.

I love you Uncle Chris, I am so happy I come from the Vamvakias family, and I so happy I grew up with you and all of our family.

your nephew,
Jeff

Roberte Vamvakias

January 21, 2018

Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2017
FAREWELL TO CHRISTOPHER


My dear cousin Chris,

The first time we met, in September 2009 in Cape Elizabeth, we walked along the shore, so beautifull place for a first meeting, and we talked.

Three years after, we discovered the Grand Canyon, together with Barbara and Michèle : amazing, isn'it? We talked.

In 2013, I spent nearly 2 months in Texas, at this occasion, you asked me if I wanted to take pictures of the pictures of the family : I learnt a lot of my father's family, thank you Chris. And we talked!

In 2014, Family Vamvakias Reunion. We tried to talk ...

September 2017 : one week with you, Barbara, PZ and Tina, Jim, Nicole and Damon, Greg and Jeana, Kay and Gary; so much love and mood, humor and laughs, emotions... We took time to talk!!!

And now Chris, one says you have to leave? And if you leave, with who I will talk and debate about politic, it's terrible???

One of the French President de la Republique said, a while before his death : " I believe in the strengh of the mind, I will not leave you". I am sure it will be the same with you.

Chris, you are not my cousin, you are the brother I have never had : I will miss you.

Bon voyage, Christopher, take care of you in the sky and take care of your wife, you daughter, the family and friends.

I love you, Chris.

Roberte

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