Venizelos, George R. (Dick)
Our Dad passed away on June 11th, 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances from a recent fall at his home. Dad was born in Lancaster, Pa and graduated from Reading Senior High School in 1949. He then attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree with a major in Political Science and a minor in journalism in 1953.
While attending Syracuse University he met his future bride, Helen Fluker , our mother, and married her in 1952. She predeceased our Dad in 1994. After graduating Syracuse University he joined the Army and served from 1953-1955 as a military policeman at Fort MacPherson, Ga. He started his professional career as editor of the weekly Deposit (NY) Courier and monthly Courier Magazine in 1955. He resigned in 1957 to attend Columbia Graduate School of Journalism where he received his M.S. in 1958 and was given the Robert E. Sherwood Memorial Award. Dad joined the Binghamton Press in 1958 where he started as a reporter. As reporter, he worked in all the newspaper's bureaus and covered all beats including police, courts, politics, education and city, county and town governments, and did many investigative stories. In 1965 he became assistant city editor and in 1967 city editor. By 1971 Dad became managing editor and then in 1977 Editor of the Press & Sun - Bullentin. 1979 he was named Ombudsman and later became promotion and marketing director, retiring in 1989. During that time our Dad was a founder, along with Paul VanSavage and Rob Salamida of the Spiedi Fest in 1983. Dad enjoyed traveling, reading, gardening, family trips to Cape Cod as well as winters spent in Melbourne, Florida for the past 20 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was a member of many boards, including United Way, Roberson Museum and Science Center, Family & Children's Society, the Hospice at Lourdes Hospital, Junior League Advisory Board, Transitional Opportunities Corp. He also served as an elder and deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Binghamton, and president of the Board of Trustees.
In addition he taught journalism as an adjunct at Binghamton University as well as volunteering with our Mom as an usher at the same University.
Dad also gave of his time working as an election inspector for Vestal. Our Dad was a busy man, but never too busy to make time for us and the activities we were involved in. After retirement Dad spent the winter months in Florida, where he enjoyed the beach and warm weather and teaching his grandchildren how to play poker. His passion for any Syracuse sports, especially SU basketball, the NY Mets, Tioga Downs betting on the horses, teaching his grandchildren how to bet on horses at Saratoga Racetrack and being a contender while playing mini-golf was what he enjoyed the most. Dad was constantly staying current with the latest technology trends which included texting and keeping up with his grandchildren's Facebook postings.
We say goodbye to a father who was generous, never wanting to impose on anyone, an avid seeker of information (as can be seen by the constant scribbling of notes), and most importantly a role model for our family. Dad is survived by his son, Robert (Deborah) Venizelos, Georgia and their children, Rebekah, Richard, and Stephanie. Son James Venizelos who resides in New Hampshire, and his "Favorite daughter", Sandra (James) Wolpert of Endicott, NY and their children Scott Osman and Lindsay Osman. Our Dad has a special Aunt who also survives him, Mary Diem of Gap, Pa as well as other extended family members.
On June 22, 2014 from 12-2 we will be holding calling hours at Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott NY 13760. Interment will be held at convenience of family. As per Dads wishes please consider donations to United Way of Broome County in his memory.
Allen Memorial Home
511 E. Main St. Endicott, NY 13760
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from June 14 to June 16, 2014