DETROIT (WWJ) – A private memorial service will be held next week for Greektown Detroit developer Ted Gatzaros, who died Thursday at age 68 following a battle with cancer.

Gatzaros had been a fixture in the area for more than 30 years. His company has a hand in many well-known businesses, including the Atheneum Hotel, Fishbone’s and Greektown Casino.

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In statement, family members said that his efforts to restore and protect Detroit landmarks, and return them to viability and beauty was unmatched.

They also noted that Gatzaros gave back to numerous civic and charitable associations, and was much more than a businessman.

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“A remarkable cook and unmatched host, he had culinary talents to rival any of the great chefs. From risottos to lamb, accompanied by his favorite wines, the Gatzaros home, a beautiful reclaimed and restored lakeshore antiquity, has welcomed many friends over the years, from the gardener, the neighbors, colleagues, political aspirants (who sought his advice), as well as leaders of business, and even a President of the United Sates

Like his advice, his honest, and often irreverent and cynical sense of humor will be recounted for years to come. Often Ted could be found fishing along his home’s break-wall, or devouring books on economics and politics, or listening to classical and Greek music. He was nourished by the Friday lunches and Saturday breakfasts with his cadre of close friends. A person who loved to sing, he even picked up a childhood musical instrument, the accordion form time to time.

His grandchildren, one a young adult, and two little ones, were the object of his unconditional affection and love. His success as an entrepreneur and civic leader is only exceeded by his devotion to his friends and exceptional family. He will be deeply missed by all.”

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In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to University Liggett School in honor of the “Ted Gatzaros Memorial Fund.”  Please send donations to University Liggett School at 1045  Cook Road, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan 48236.