James L. Zari, 96, of Berwyn, died on March 31, 2018. A former employee of Wednesday Journal Inc., which publishes the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, he was the husband of the late Helen Zari (nee Gish) and the father of Deborah Zari.
According to his daughter, Deb, who is a Brookfield resident, “Jim Zari was a tough man with a big heart. He never backed down from anyone, ever. He would do anything to help anyone.
“A couple of years ago, his 93-year-old, next-door neighbor had a flat tire, but couldn’t change it because of his age. So my 95-year-old father changed it for him.
“In his late teens, he belonged to a motorcycle gang in Chicago until one of his friends was killed in a wreck. He never rode again.
“He owned the Cicero Liquor House in the late ’40s/early ’50s. Bartended in the late ’50s/early ’60s at a well-known jazz club on Pershing Road in Stickney called The Red Arrow Tavern and later at The Deer Lodge in Berwyn until the owner sold it to the FitzGeralds.
“As the oldest resident on the 2900 block of Maple Avenue in Berwyn, he was referred to as ‘King of the Block.’ He was as tough in dying as he was in living.”
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 5 from 10 a.m. until the time of funeral service, 11 a.m., at Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services Ltd., 2921 S. Harlem Ave. in Berwyn. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Leonard Church, 3318 Clarence Ave., Berwyn, 60402.