George, Donald F.
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Donald F. George, 89, De Pere, left this world but not our hearts on Friday, October 18 2013 at the Jack and Engrid Meng Residence of Unity Hospice in De Pere. He was born September 20, 1924 in De Pere, son of the late George and Maude (Saty) George.
Don served his country with honor in the Seabees division of The United States Navy during WWII. After his discharge from the service he fathered and together, lovingly raised four children from his marriage to La Verne (Van Straten) George. Don worked for WPS until his move to Detroit to become co-owner of D&G Auto Parts. After more than 10 years in Detroit, he thought it best to move his family back to Wisconsin where he became a successful 6 year owner/operator of the Century Bowling Lanes in De Pere. Don had followed in his father's footsteps when it came to bowling as their names were no strangers on the pages of the Green Bay Press Gazette. In 1972 George's Auto Parts in De Pere was born and that trophy of success lead to the opening of the Green Bay store. Both were built from the ground up with the help of his three sons as the other owner/operators. Don retired in 1986.
Despite his vision handicap, our dad was one of the best poker players in Wisconsin. He won many tournaments in the area and Las Vegas. For many years he was known as "Mr. Green Bay" in Vegas. He was a highly respected player by the dealers and his poker peers. Hey poker buddies.....at least now you have a much better chance to win!
Dad has defended and respected our decisions, shared in our accomplishments and was our backbone for moral support. He taught us the value of friendships as a selfless compassionate man and was always concerned for everyone's happiness. Dad confirmed the healthy importance of loving and being loved. Loving unconditionally as Our Lord and Savior does, was a natural part of his life. He was an extraordinary role model. Well.....most of the time!
Dad shared his love for music with us often, whether it be whistling a tune in the car when we were kids to see who could name it first, playing piano requests or filling our hearts with the sound from his violin strings. He instilled this love for music in our hearts that still continues to be passed on today. At 16 years old, he was a member of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. He also was a self taught pianist. He shared this talented gift by playing at nursing homes, as long as there wasn't a Packer game on at the time! He loved watching the Green and Gold, especially if he could watch it with a family member.
Strong bonds were formed and he has given us many extremely valuable memories to sustain us until we meet again. As The Lord has promised to believers who have accepted Christ into their hearts .....a life eternal. Our dad is legally blind no more and walking the streets of gold!
We are honored to have had this man as our father and grandfather to our kids and we appreciate how he taught us how to love from the heart. His legacy will continue!
We will see him again, but until then, sadness lingers knowing our daily phone call from him will be no more. The voice we long to hear.......he is greatly missed by his loving companion and best friend of almost 30 years, Shirley A. Schmidt; children: Donnie (Scarlett) George, Karen George-Titulaer, Terry (Peggy) George, Steve George; Tom Titulaer, who was like a son to him; grandchildren: Matthew (Val) George, Katie (Andy) Hess, Becky George and fiancé, Matthew Warner, Nick George, Brian (Andrea) Titulaer, Lorrie (Scott) Morgan, Tara Titulaer, Penny (Ellery) Beich, Christina (Jeremy) Renz, Michelle (Fred) Naumann, Tia (Oliver) Ridgeway, Tyler George and fiancée, Stephanie, Tahnie Dorn; 21 great-grandchildren; sister, Carol De Groot; sister-in-law, Joyce George, poker buddies, and many friends.
In addition to his parents, Donald was preceded in death by his brother, Gordon George; step-father, Wesley Krueger; daughter-in-law, Jo Ann George; step-sisters and brothers: William (Della) Krueger, Fred (Dorothy) Krueger, Mabel Krueger, Harriet (Austin) Hendrickson, Fern (Bob) Peirquet, Robert (Florence) Krueger, Marjorie (Raymond) Coenen, Carol (Harold) Mann, and Vernon (Eva) Krueger.
Family and friends may call Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N. Webster Ave., De Pere, where there will be a time of reflection at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until the hour of Mass at 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 130 St. Matthew St., Allouez, with Fr. Philip Dinh-Van-Thiep officiating. Full military honors will follow the Mass. Online condolences may be expressed at www.cotterfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial funds will be directed to Unity Hospice (non-profit organization) and the Eye Institute for the Blind.
We, as the family are in awe over the compassionate and professional care our dad received while a guest at the Jack and Engrid Meng Residence of Unity Hospice in De Pere. Our respected thank you to the terrific staff.
Cotter Funeral Home
860 North Webster Avenue De Pere, WI 54115
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Oct. 19 to Oct. 20, 2013