George J. Farha, MD, died January 7, 2014. He was born in Lebanon, the seventh of eight children. The importance of family was instilled early in life. In 1950, Dr. George came to America to attend college and medical school, where he and his brother Jim joined their sister Violette in West Virginia. By 1986, five of the eight siblings had settled in Wichita, resulting in a large, extended family that remains close to this day.
After attending Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. George moved to Wichita for his surgical residency, where he met Brenda Farha. They married on July 23, 1960 and had four daughters. Their 53-year marriage was a model of love, dedication, commitment and partnership.
As a surgeon, service to others was the foundation of his practice. He always said, "Patients don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Dr. George had a hand in many aspects of medicine. In 1963, with his brother Jim, he co-founded Wichita Surgical Group, now Wichita Surgical Specialists. He was the first chair of the surgical residency program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita. He emphasized to all the importance of putting patients first, respect of others, and integrity as a physician. His philosophy of putting patients first had quite an impact. In 1986, KU School of Medicine, Wichita, established the George J. Farha Library, and in 1999 he was honored with the George J. Farha Surgical Chair. After 10 years as a member of the Board Authority for KU Medical Center in Kansas City, 9 years as chairman, the hospital created the George J. Farha Patients First Fund to tend to the needs of patient care.
A member of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral, Dr. George loved God, the Church and his fellow parishioners. His deep devotion to the Church was expressed in multiple ways, locally, nationally and internationally. He served as vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America for over 10 years. He was an early board member of International Orthodox Christian Charities. His abiding love for his homeland inspired him to become involved with St. George Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon. Dr. George was honored and remembered by many of the organizations he served.
Dr. George always said, "Wichita has been very good to us." He loved the city he called home and always strove to repay the generosity Wichita showed him and his family. He was involved in various community organizations and was a big supporter of Wichita State University and its athletics. Oh how he loved Wichita!
As an immigrant, Dr. George was fortunate to have many people help him along the way. He never forgot people's kindness and continued to pay it forward throughout his life.
Dr. George is preceded in death by his parents Jamil and Wadia, brother Fayez and sisters Nazik, Nuzmiah, Suad and Violette. He is survived by his wife Brenda, daughters Gayle Malone (Doug) and Joan Farha (David) of Wichita, Laura Farha of Beirut, Lebanon and Julie Farha of Scottsdale, Arizona; grandchildren Jamil and Michael Malone, Anna, Grace and Lily Farha, Georgina Farha, and special family friend Randa Harik; sister Georgette Hourani, brother Dr. S. Jim Farha and numerous beloved nieces, nephews and friends.
A special thank you to the wonderful angels who took care of him during his last years: Shonyell, Dionte, Benson, Katie and LaKeisha.
Every Christmas Eve with his family around him, Dr. George would make the toast "It's a great life!" May this sentiment live on in our hearts.
Services to be held at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral as follows:
Trisagion 7:00 pm, Friday, January 10th. Funeral 10:00 am, Saturday, January 11th. Burial will follow at Kensington Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, 7515 E. 13th St, Wichita, KS 67206.
Share online condolences at www.CozineMemorial.com. Services by Broadway Mortuary.