George J. Bickner Jr.
March 5, 1917 - July 4, 2013
George J. Bickner Jr., 96, of Modesto passed away Thursday July 4th at Doctors Hospital after a brief illness. George slipped away quietly and peacefully surrounded by his family. George was born in Oklahoma City, OK to Clara and George Bickner; he was the second of three sons. At age 5, his father moved the family to Lurton, AK where he spent his growing up years. After graduating from Deer High School in 1935, he met the love of his life, Juanita, during a dance in downtown Lurton. They were married in 1937 and two years later celebrated the birth of their only child, Jim. In 1942, driving a 1940 Ford, they moved to Oakland, CA and in 1978 moved to Modesto to be near family.
While living in Oakland, George participated in the war efforts as a welder helping to build the ships our nation used in WWII. George worked for the phone company (Ma Bell) for over three decades before retiring from AT&T in February 1979.
George loved to fish, garden and take pictures. He was a boxer in his youth, an avid and published photographer and could fix anything. George loved spending time on his houseboat on Lake Don Pedro. Even recently George enjoyed using his computer to keep up with current events, play an occasional game of solitaire and to stay in touch with his many friends and family on his Facebook page. Even at his 96 yrs. he looked forward to early morning walks with his beloved dog, Lily.
George was an AT&T lifetime member of telecom pioneers; served as Don Pedro Houseboat Owners' Association secretary for many years and was a member of the New Covenant Church.
George was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Juanita Bickner; parents, Clara and George Bickner; brothers Clarence Bickner, and Frank R. Bickner (a pilot lost in WWII).
Among those left to cherish his memory are his son Jim Bickner and wife Betty Bickner, grandson Mark Bickner and wife, Celinda Bickner, and his great-grandson Zackary Bickner all of Modesto, CA as well as many cherished friends and family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Franklin and Downs Funeral Homes. Services will be held 10:00am Thursday July 11th at Franklin and Downs McHenry Chapel, 1050 McHenry Avenue Modesto, 95350; interment to follow later at Turlock Memorial Park, 425 North Soderquist Road. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in George's name to Alzheimer's Foundation or to Community Hospice.
Published in the Modesto Bee from July 9 to July 10, 2013