George T. Sotirakis

Obituary
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EAST PITTSFORD - George T. Sotirakis, 55, of East Pittsford, died at his home on Saturday, February 13, 2010, following almost an eight-year heroic battle with cancer.

He was born May 17, 1954, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the only child of the late John and Argiro Sotirakis of Woodbridge, N.J.

In 1974, George and several high school friends came to Vermont for a winter of skiing in Killington. It was here that he met the love of his life, Jan Merrill of Pittsfield. They later married on September 26, 1981, at Grace Congregational Church in Rutland.

George spent several years doing property management and general construction before becoming self employed. George was "Jack of All Trades and Master of All." As the result of his visionary ingenuity, he was able to repair and create anything with even the barest of resources. His inventive visions were coupled with Dr. John Wheeler when they patented an ergonomic medication administration device.

George was a passionate hunter. He only missed the opening of two hunting seasons due to hospitalization resulting from complications from his cancer. One week after being discharged from having surgery, he shot a deer with his muzzle loader. This past year, he was successful in shooting a turkey, a deer with his cross-bow and a deer with his muzzleloader on December 12th.

George became a member of the Chittenden Volunteer Fire Department in 1985. As his health deteriorated, the membership voted him as a life member to the department in May 2008. In January 2010, he was presented with a statute in his honor in commemoration of the naming of The George Sotirakis Meeting Room. In this room, a plaque will be permanently on display in recognition of his years of dedication.

He was also a charter member of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club Vermont Chapter 3. He was the first member to complete their "Grand Tour" receiving recognition for his accomplishments. This past summer, he repeated the completion of several Red Knights' tour challenges. His passion for riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle was one of his greatest thrills.

George will always be remembered for his true love of life, adventure and friends, as well as his genuine sense of humor and his heart felt generosity towards others.

George leaves his best friend and wife of 28 years, Jan. He leaves his cousin, Taki and his wife Voula Ganiaris of NYC. Takis was George's oldest cousin and his confidant. He also leaves his mother- and father-in-law, Eunice and the late Raymond Merrill of Pittsfield; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Denny and Ginny Merrill of Colorado; sister-in-law Diane of Pittsfield; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Randy and Laura Merrill of New Jersey and their children, Jessica and Justin, who were like their own children to both George and Jan. In addition, he leaves his very dear nephew, Josh and his wife Michelle Merrill and their daughters, Hannah and Olivia, who George adored. He also leaves many extended family members and numerous friends which played such a significant role in his life.

Memorial contributions in George's honor will graciously be accepted by the Chittenden Volunteer Fire Department, in care of Fire Chief Scott Poljacik, 260 Chittenden Road, Chittenden, VT 05737; or to The Red Knights Motorcycle Club Vermont Chapter 3, in care of Don Moore, PO Box 1403, Station A, Rutland, VT 05701. These funds will be used to support their memberships' friends and family in need. Jan would like to thank both of these organizations for all of their help, support and contributions during this difficult time.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland. A celebration of George's life will be scheduled for sometime in March. No immediate services will be held.

View the guest book at www.rutlandherald.com/ obits.

Published in Rutland Herald on Feb. 16, 2010
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