His Life

The chapters of his life

As a young boy, George was shuttled between different family members on the eastern seaboard after his parents divorced.  Stricken by polio, he walked with a limp, but that did not stop him from playing baseball, swimming in the brick hole, participating in Golden Gloves boxing, and creating mischief with his older brother Gene and friends.

As a teenager, he matured quickly and began working at a Peoples Drug Store in Washington, DC.   He also learned to shoot pool and became pretty proficient at it.  While working at the drug store, he met his future wife who worked at a nearby store in the same chain.  At the age of 18, they married.

George and Agnes Marie had 5 children together.  While she raised the family, he worked hard at the store, rising to become a well regarded manager in the chain, turning around stores that were failing and helping to make them profitable.   He began playing guitar, enjoyed a regular beer (Black Label), and smoked Camel cigarettes.  While in his 40's, an accident at work caused him to go on permanent disability, a big change for a man who never missed a day of work for being sick and often even worked during his vacations.

During his disability years, he soon adjusted to life on crutches and in a wheel chair or motorized cart.   He let his hair and beard grow out, and took a fancy to looking like Santa Claus.  Invariably when he would go out in public, children would approach him and ask if he was Santa Claus.   He would give them a smile and a wink, play Jingle Bells on his harmonica, and then give them a treat, small toy or harmonica with their parents' permission.

Late in 2017, he had a stroke which delivered him to the final chapter of his life.   The prognosis at the hospital was not promising, but he outlived all expectations.   Bedridden after his stroke, he was still able to reach out to the family who loved him to offer final goodbyes and guidance.  Finally, about 16 months after his stroke, during a peaceful night's sleep, he passed, perhaps at the very moment his devoted wife of 66 years reached out to check on him and hold his hand..

He left a legacy of humor, music, strong work ethic and family behind him.