NEW LENOX, IL — Greg Zibricky’s family would say he rarely met a stranger who wouldn’t soon become his friend. The New Lenox man was warm and outgoing, kind and chatty. A man of boundless energy, he made the effort to know many, and was embraced across different communities and social circles.
He was celebrating with friends at Frankfort Fall Fest on Sept. 2 when he suddenly fell ill. Paramedics were called, but Greg Zibricky would die later that day at Silver Cross Hospital. A cause of death has yet to be determined. He was 58 years old.
His sudden death has crushed those who knew him.
Among them, the crew at his local Starbucks, where Greg enjoyed spending time. He knew the staff by name, and they knew him. They grew a rapport over casual interactions across the counter and around the shop.
“I’m a pretty social person, I’m extremely friendly,” joked his younger brother Brian Zibricky. “But I could go to Starbucks for five years and probably not get to know anybody.”
Greg, however, was a constant, smiling face in the café where he’d visit with his friends and clients. That was just one of his familiar places, however. He would bop between events at CD&Me in Frankfort, golf at The Sanctuary in New Lenox, and spend time with family enjoying the outdoors.
“He had a zest for life,” his mother Rozanne Zibricky told Patch. “He had so much going on, he could never sit in one place too long.”
His work as a certified financial planner kept him connected with current clients and reaching out to possible new ones.
“I would always joke and tell him, you know everyone in New Lenox, and I know no one,” Brian Zibricky said. “He was always on the move, he would not want to be sedentary too long. Always wanted to talk to people, engage with people—even people he didn’t really know. Very open, energetic.”
Greg’s death is among the most recent in a series of shattering blows to the Zibricky family over the past several years, the most significant to Greg being the death of his wife Dawn, 55, in 2019. Greg faltered under the weight of his grief, Brian said, but sought solace in his love for music, family time, social outings, White Sox games—and helping people.
Greg found fulfillment in serving others, his brother said. Greg and Dawn shared sons Benjamin and Aaron, now 26 and 29 respectively. Aaron is autistic, and Greg’s experience raising someone with unique challenges compelled him to work with the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association. He spent time on the association’s foundation, working to provide adaptive recreation services for individuals with disabilities across the association’s service area.
“He was all about helping people,” Brian said. “We both loathed people who would take advantage of the disadvantaged.
“Underserved communities, minority communities — anybody who needed a leg up — he would always watch out for those people and do what he could to help them.”