George Montgomery Shay of Scottsdale, Arizona, a former resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, December 12, 2007. He was 90 years old. Born February 6, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, he spent his youth in the Chicago area. He attended high school in Highland Park, Illinois, graduating in 1934 with several scholarships; he then attended Amherst College in Massachusetts and graduated in the class of 1938. After college he worked for Sears Roebuck and in 1941-1945 served as an Intelligence officer in the US Navy. After the war he worked for Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana. In 1947 he joined the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where, for 30 years, he held various executive positions including V.P. of International Sales. He later became a partner in the commercial real estate firm of Frisch, Shay & Taylor in Milwaukee and in 1989, retired to his home in Scottsdale, AZ. Mr. Shay was an avid lover of languages, spoke three fluently and studied several others throughout his life. He enjoyed music, played the piano for many years, listened to classical music, opera and, in his later years, was a fan of the Lawrence Welk Show. Above all, he loved to travel, and he spent a good part of his life exploring the world. Beginning in Europe as a young boy with his mother, then in the Navy during WW II, and later, while employed by Schlitz, he continued to travel to the Far East, Middle East, Africa and Europe. He and his family lived in Barcelona, Spain for a number of years where he supervised the start-up and development of a brewery. There were also many wonderful leisurely trips which he enjoyed with family. He was a man of great character and humor, loved to hear others laugh, loved his family and was beloved, admired and an inspiration to all. Mr. Shay is survived by his wife Bette (Sanderson) Shay; his daughter, Linda S. Cardenas; stepdaughter, Nancy (Sanderson) LeGrand; stepson, Robert Sanderson; a brother, Keith Shay, 2 grandchildren and 10 step grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Kathryn W. Shay; a son, Keith M. Shay; his sister, Marjorie (Shay) de Peyster, and his stepdaughter, Susan (Sanderson) Read. A reception was held Monday, December 17th, 2007 at Classic Residence, Scottsdale, Arizona. A private Memorial gathering is being planned in Milwaukee. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 19, 2007