George V. Pugnea passed away on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at his home and surrounded by his family and friends. He was 88 years old. George served in the Navy during World War II as an aerial gunner in SB2C dive bombers. His transition to Arizona in the late '40s from Sharon, PA, was the result of his recovery at Prescott Veteran's Hospital after his plane was downed in the North Atlantic. He earned a degree in business from Arizona State University and he earned a law degree from the University of Arizona. He was a contractor in Tucson for more than thirty-nine years. He met the love of his life, Eleanor Hermann (Pugnea) on the campus of Arizona State University and they were married 59 years. George loved his family, his friends and his work and he relished long talks over a cup of hot coffee. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, telling tall tales and training bird dogs. He was a life member of the Tucson Trap and Skeet club and a Mason in the Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56. In later years he enjoyed attending reunions with the men and women who trained at the Deland Naval Air Station in the 1940s. He was especially happy to contribute historical artifacts and memorabilia to the Deland Naval Air Station Museum. He and Eleanor attended the dedication ceremony for the museum in November, 1995. George is survived by his devoted wife, Eleanor Pugnea; his children, Dr. Val Pugnea and Norma, Tucson and Marleen Pugnea Bailie and Dan, Crestwood, KY; grandsons, Dillon and Jake Pugnea, Ian and Aaron Bailie, Martin and Michelle McCollum; great-grandson, Brock Herald; brothers, Alex Pugnea, Cleveland, OH and Paul Pugnea and his wife, Anne, North Royalton, OH and many cousins, nieces and nephews. George was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Valero and Marina Petric Pugnea and his sister, Eugenia Gansca. A celebration of George's life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at the Masonic Lodge, 3590 N. Country Club Road. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to
. Arrangements by HUDGEL'S SWAN FUNERAL HOME.
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Published in the Arizona Daily Star on July 21, 2013