Philip F. George, Sr. |
Phil George, Sr., devoted husband and father, died peacefully June 7, 2014, surrounded by those to which he dedicated his life his wife and family.
He was born in Akron in 1927 and lived his entire life on the West side, growing up on Oakdale Avenue and attending St. Vincent grade school and high school. His life-long love of sports began early on with the West Akron Hornets bantam football team, where he was a speedy halfback known by his teammates as the "Galloping Ghost".
As many young men in his class did, Phil interrupted his high school education at St. V to serve his country in World War II. He joined the Navy and was stationed in Hawaii for about two years, just missing being deployed to the Pacific as the war came to an end.
Returning home to Akron, he finished his education and made plans to go on to art school to be a cartoonist. But when his father, Virgil, died suddenly, Phil put his plans aside and went to work full-time with his mother and his brother, Joe, in the family business, a sprawling fishing camp known as Aurora Lake. Eventually, the business grew into a 1,200-acre family resort, with a 500-acre lake, that became known as "Aurora Lake Park - Ohio's Famous Camping, Swimming and Fishing Paradise". Record catches from the lake were often reported in the local sports pages.
Every summer, Phil arranged for a special day for orphan children to come to Aurora Lake Park for a day of fishing, swimming and fun with local celebrities usually players from the Cleveland Browns all at no cost.
In 1969, Phil negotiated the sale of the lake property to a developer, who adapted the site to build the community known to this day as Aurora Shores.
Phil then set his sights on the food business, which was a natural fit. He bought a small ice cream stand called "The Freez", located out on a desolate crossroads called Montrose. With the help of his four children, he expanded it to a thriving fast food restaurant. One of the most popular items on the Freez menu was its famous coney dogs, which drew hot dog aficionados from miles around.
After eleven successful years, Phil sold the restaurant and reestablished yet another family business, George Music Company, with his sons, Phil Jr. and Fred, in North Hill.
Semi-retirement barely slowed Phil down. He continued to enjoy the things he always did: Spending time with his family, going to his grandchildren's sporting events and recitals, and sharing over a really good cup of coffee the stories that come with a life well-lived. He especially enjoyed the great outdoors, including golf, fishing and family vacations to Florida and Stone Harbor, NJ. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the Optimist Club and a member of Portage Country Club.
Phil George, Sr. will always be remembered as a man with a loving heart, filled with humility, kindness and seemingly unending generosity; with a great sense of humor and a strength of character that served him well both in business and in life. To anyone who knew him, and those who loved him, he will always be the gold standard the king of our hearts.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tobay and Virgil George; and his siblings, Frederick, Joseph, Lucille and Julia. He is survived by his wife, Rosemarie; his daughters, Mary Anne (David) Frye, Kathleen (Charles) Renner Jr.; sons, Philip (Mary) George Jr. and Fred George; his grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Charles Renner III, Elizabeth Renner, Ashley George and Philip F. George III, and many, many nieces and nephews in Massillon, across Ohio and throughout the country.
The family wishes to send their love and eternal appreciation to Melinda, Debbie, Marianne and Elaine, the loving staff at AGMC VNS Hospice Care Center, and his "special angels", Yvonne and Tom Jesser and his "best buddy" Rhoda Allshouse.
Calling hours will be Tuesday, June 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Rd. in Fairlawn, 44333. Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, Wednesday, June 11, at 11 a.m., followed by entombment at Rose Hill Burial Park, where Firestone VFW Post 3383 will conduct military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Akron Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), St. Sebastian School or the AGMC VNS Hospice Care Center.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from June 9 to June 10, 2014