Riyad “Dado” George Kazan, age 76, passed away on April 9, 2024.  He was a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado since 1978.  He was born on January 20, 1948, to George and May (Khoury) Kazan in Zouk Michael (Beirut), Lebanon.  On August 28, 1978, he married Sylvia (Griggs) in Greeley, Colorado at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Riyad was renowned for his humorous antics, including spot-on impersonations, playful teasing, and jokes that could make even the most stoic individuals crack a smile or burst into laughter.  Riyad thrived on connecting with new individuals, immersing himself in diverse cultures, and honing his linguistic abilities through conversations with everyone he encountered.  This passion led to his mastery of languages, spanning a global spectrum. 

The three pillars most dear to Riyad were his faith in Jesus Christ, his family, and patriotism.  Riyad had a deep connection to Saint Charbel Makhlouf, a Lebanese Maronite monk and priest.  Riyad’s life exemplifies the strength of enduring faith and the remarkable influence of living in steadfast dedication to God’s guidance, mirroring the spiritual journey of Saint Charbel. 

Riyad dedicated many years to education, teaching French and Arabic to service members at Fort Carson, Colorado, in addition to instructing in interior design.  Later, he worked at the first Home Depot in Colorado Springs in the Design Center for over ten years.  In 2005, Riyad landed his dream job at the Department of Justice as a linguist, a role through which he connected with coworkers who often became lifelong friends, a camaraderie that lasted beyond his retirement in 2020. 

Retirement didn’t slow Riyad down; if anything, it deepened his engagement with his cherished family, grandchildren, and worldwide network of friends.  Riyad is celebrated for keeping in touch, frequently brightening the day with a humorous joke or a heartfelt message through a phone call or text.  He treasured every moment, often by accompanying his grandson to karate lessons and his granddaughters to piano and ballet classes.  His passion didn’t stop there; his creativity flowed into woodworking, creating everything from whimsical treehouses to elegant dining tables, and into the kitchen, where he cooked with love, making everything from fluffy pancakes to traditional Lebanese dishes.  His favorite rivalry involved playing backgammon with his brother, Sami, always accompanied by good-natured teasing as he tried to secure a win.

Riyad’s zest for life was evident in his love for cinema, his joy in dancing with his wife, and his delight in serenading his family with songs from his childhood; often crooning like Dean Martin, Tino Rossi, and Farid Al Atrash.  He was often seen sporting a fedora and ascot, yet he never stepped out without his Department of Justice pin and Miraculous Medal, elements that defined his signature style.  Riyad’s boundless love was offered freely to everyone, making him beloved by family and friends alike.  Even amidst health challenges, his sense of humor, positive outlook, and generosity remained unwavering.

Riyad is survived by his loving wife, Sylvia Kazan; his children: Melanie Clague (son-in-law Andrew Clague), Jennifer El Rai (son-in-law Samir El Rai), and son Peter Kazan; his five grandchildren; his siblings: Maha (Kazan) Badaoui, Rafic (wife Patricia) Kazan, and Sami (wife Maguy) Kazan.  

A visitation will be held from 4:00 – 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 E. Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.  A rosary service will be held at 9:30am on April 18, 2024, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church located at 5354 US-85, Colorado Springs, CO 80911.  A funeral service will be held at 10:00am on April 18, 2024, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church with entombment at Shrine of Remembrance, Gate of Heaven Mausoleum.  A reception will follow the entombment at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church.  Memorials in Riyad’s name may be made to St. Jude, http://fundraising.stjude.org/goto/KazanMemorialFund-StJude

“You exist in this world to give and to serve.” St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1899)

Send Flowers

This Obituary Has 17 Condolences

  1. I worked with Riyad for 4 years and we stayed in touch during our respective retirements. He was a great man and friend. I always enjoyed his sense of humor and sitting down for coffee at La Baquette downtown. His memory will live on through Sylvia and his wonderful children. I pray that you all will be comforted by the love of Christ during this difficult time.

  2. بارك الله في روحك أخي
    Thank you for your friendship and mentorship over the years. I will miss you dearly.

  3. May his memory be eternal.

  4. Janet and I are extremely saddened by Riyad’s passing. He was a very good man. It’s hard to use the past tense here. He always went out of his way to make me and probably all of us, feel special, when the reality is that it was Riyad who is special. The same is true for his wife Sylvia. I wish I had told him that.

  5. You are missed my friend, see you again when my time comes.

  6. May his memory be eternal, I knew Riyad back in the early 70’s. I moved to Arizona since. We finally got reconnected couple months ago. After all these years he was full of humor and I was touched when he described me as a loving friend.

  7. Sometimes you read an individual’s obituary and you wish you had known them better because they were even more amazing than you ever knew. Janet and I are extremely saddened by Riyad’s passing. He was a very good man. He always went out of his way to make Janet and I, probably all of us, feel special, when the reality is that it is Riyad who is special. The same is true for his wife Sylvia. I wish I had told him that.

  8. It is the LORD who goes before him; He will be with him; He will not fail him or forsake him ;do not fear or dismayed
    Eternal life give to him

  9. Knowing Riyad was a blessing in my life. He was not just a friend, but proof that this world still had character and enchantment. Thank you, Riyad, for the warmth, loyalty, and zest for life which you shared with me for the past decades. Thank you for always reaching out despite the distance between us. Thank you for the memories and laughter. I will miss you, your voice, and your smile. But I know you are working on more stories and recipes to share when we meet again. Rest in peace, my friend.
    Sylvia and family, I offer you my condolences. May God be with you, bless you, and comfort you. Riyad loved you all so much and was proud of each and every thing you did. I know he will keep watching over you and praying for you. He may have left this earth, but will never leave our hearts.

  10. Riyad “Dado” and I lived on the same street in Beirut and we were and have been best friends since childhood. We saw each other almost everyday and grew up together having had, according to Dado, the happiest childhood during the best times of Lebanon. Dado was the nicest and funniest friend you will ever know and had a heart of gold because, having been friends for almost 65 years, we never had even a minor disagreement which is unbelievable. May the Lord take care of him, bless him and give Sylvia and the family strength to help deal with this untimely loss.

  11. I will sure miss Riyad on this Earth and am very sorry I can’t make it to the service. He was such a kind, loyal, and patriotic human being. He enchanted those around him with incredible stories of his past as well as his knowledge of other countries and cultures. He was easy to work with because he was always willing for the mission at work. He demonstrated love for his family and friends every day. He will be missed by many.

  12. There are no words to describe how saddened we are by the huge loss of our friend, Riyad. He was a wonderful man and the best neighbor.
    He was always willing to help and lend a hand when it was needed. We only lived across the street from the Kazan’s for 2.5 years but that was enough time to solidify our deep friendship.
    We will always remember his delicious meals, nights at the dining room table, singing, giving heart and love of his family.
    May you rest in peace, dear friend, and know that you will be missed and remembered by many.
    Our heart felt sympathy to sweet Sylvia, Melly, Jenny, Peter and the rest of the family.
    We love you ALL.
    God watch over you and place his healing hands upon you,
    Carla & Paul

  13. I have always considered Riyad “Dado” as an older brother, which i looked up to and who often placed me under his wings when I was a young teenager after the untimely death of my father. He often told me of his great upcoming ambitions to travel the world and leave his mark on the USA where he found his lovely wife and set new roots for his family. He inspired me with his eternal positive outlook on life and always brought sunshine into people’s hearts. He will be sorely missed, and we would like to convey our most sincere condolences to his family and ours whom i know are suffering, but I also know that he is in a better and brighter place, sincerely Ayoub & Danuta Farah

  14. He was the kindest man I knew. He always made everyone feel special. My family will miss him.

  15. I’m so grateful to know Riyad as a colleague and a friend. His presence, kindness and sense of humor brought joy and laughter into our lives. He was easy to work and very knowledgeable. May his soul rest in peace.

  16. Riyad was a great friend , we work together for a few years at Home Depot and have maintained contact over all the years ever since. My condolences to his family and friends near and far . He will be remembered and missed

    1. Thank you Kurt ! My dad often spoke very positive about you and valued your friendship.

Leave Your Condolences

Close Menu