Basil Hadjis, 62, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. Visitation: 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids. Funeral service: 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, at St. George Orthodox Church, Cedar Rapids. Burial: Linwood Cemetery.
Basil was born Feb. 6,
1955, to Bessie and Stavros Hadjis in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Washington High School and went on to pursue his passion in culinary arts, which took him to Chicago and the Hilton Hotel Group. Though he was invited to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Basil chose to return to Cedar Rapids to be with his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Lynn Pooley Hadjis. On his 21st birthday, he fulfilled a dream and opened the Vernon Inn, "The Greek Place," with his brothers, Demetrios and Alex Hadjis. Thanks to its warm atmosphere and secret family recipes, it became known as a local institution for over three decades. Basil went on to open Sweet Basil's Pizza Pie and Basil's Foods and, in recent years, shared his culinary passion as a retail chef at Hy-Vee.
While cooking and fine wines were his forte, entertaining family and friends kept him young at heart. He found his greatest joy as husband to soulmate Lynn for 41 years, father to children, Katie (Kevin) Gorman, Amie (David) Schumacher and Theo (Stephanie) Hadjis, and "Papou" to grandchildren, Graham, Harrison and Elia Schumacher and Magnus Hadjis. The time he spent with these little ones was full of goofy tricks and hugs, snacks and lots of laughs. He cherished his brothers, Demetrios and Alex Hadjis; his godmother, Angie Panagos, and their families, and will be remembered for his infectious personality, extraordinary kindness, warm heart and singular gift of hospitality.
While his life was cut short, Basil's legacy will live on. His family asks that you remember him in celebration, with an "Opa!"
In lieu of flowers, the family is creating a scholarship fund in Basil's honor at the Kirkwood Community College Culinary Arts Program and St. John's Greek Orthodox Church.
Please share a memory of Basil at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.