Gregory Sylvester Sharko, born in Chicago, Illinois, March 12, 1937 passed away peacefully at his home in Paradise Valley surrounded by his family on March 30, 2023. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 47 years, Geraldine, parents George and Alice (Wolk) Sharko, his sister, Sr. Maurita Sharko, brothers Gerald and George. Survived by his brother Donald and sister Eleria St. Aubin.
Loving father of Greg (Karen), Gail (Bill) Littleton, Gary (Lupita), Glen (Lucy), and Gerard. Grandfather of 7 grandchildren: Kristin and Caroline Sharko, Hillary, Jillian (Trevor) Cochran, Billy Littleton Jr., Jacalyn and Julia Sharko and one great grandchild Georgia Geraldine Cochran
Greg attended St. Rita’s Catholic High School in Chicago and met Geri at a Valentine’s Dance and soon became high school sweethearts. After graduating from St. Rita, Greg earned a football scholarship at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. His hard work and perseverance on the grid iron earned him an induction to the St. Ambrose Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. After graduating from St. Ambrose Greg enlisted in the Marine Corp Reserve.
Greg lived a full and successful life. Greg and Geri married on September 2, 1961. Under the guidance and direction of his older brothers Greg also found his passion in the restaurant industry. In 1976, Greg, Geri and their 5 children decided it was time to get on their own and headed west to Arizona to start their own restaurant. Soon customers were asking Greg to cater their own special events and thus Sharko’s Catering was created. One of Greg’s most memorable events was meeting Pope John Paul II while catering to his entourage in 1987.
Greg’s first love was his family and his Catholic faith. It was so important to him to set an example to his children the value of strong work ethic and the power of prayer. He loved his work in the catering business, but always made quality time for his family. He had a great sense of humor and a fun wit about him. He loved to cook and experiment with new dishes/creations which everyone was eager to taste. He loved the Big Band music era and would dance with Geri every chance he had.
Visitation will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, Monday April 10, 2023 from 5 pm – 8 pm with rosary starting at 7 pm. A Funeral Mass will be on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 7655 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 85250. Burial will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street Phoenix, AZ.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Casa de Luz, 8222 S. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85044 or LHCgrouphospicepromisefoundation.com. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome
Big love, prayers and hugs from our family to everyone in the Sharko family, and to all extended family and loved ones.
What a blessing it has been to experience your father’s amazing hospitality, delicious foods always served, his big personality and all the love he had for his family, he was so proud of you all.
May God hold you all in the palm of his hands bringing you peace, comfort and direction during this time, and may the time spent together sharing special memories stay with you all forever.
What a beautiful tribute to an extraordinary man.
You are all loved,
Stearnes & Turner family.
Uncle Greg and Aunt Geri came to my rescue when I was a junior in college with no plans or cash for a spring break trip. “Come stay with us in Paradise Valley and bring your roommate,” which I did. Not only was that my first trip to Arizona, but it was my first plane ride! My 2nd trip on a plane was just 2 days later when my roommate and I took a small (!) tour plane (Grand Canyon Airlines) through the Grand Canyon itself for 2 hours. Afterward, Uncle Greg made sure we got to Chicago Cubs training games since my roommate was and is a diehard Cubs fans. We went shopping, sunning and bicycling, having Uncle Greg’s house as our home base. Uncle Greg made sure we had everything we needed for a fantastic time, including lots of food and dinners out. It was my best Spring Break ever. He was generous, kind and full of enthusiasm. My brother Steve this weekend said that “Everyone at 63rd Street loved Greg.” I loved him as an Uncle but I really liked him as a friend. I think of him every time I get on a plane. God bless my cousins for sharing him with all of us. What a great guy.
Eric and May Abraham
Mr. Sharko will always be near and dear to our hearts. We were blessed to get to know him over the last 24 years and see his example of being a hardworking and a caring person. May God bless his soul. He will be dearly missed. All our love to the Sharko family, you will be in our prayers.