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September 21, 2012
George Constantine Best, born the son of George and Mary (Brynarsky) Besesparis on Aug. 21, 1921, in Shenandoah, he grew up at his family's home on Arch Street in Frackville.
He graduated from Frackville High School in 1939 and was salutatorian of his class. Following graduation, he was employed first as a mechanic and then as a welder at the Philadelphia Shipyard.
On Oct. 8, 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served at various locations stateside. Toward the end of the war, he was transferred into the infantry as a corporal in preparation for the invasion of Japan. As his battalion was set to sail from Seattle, Wash., to Okinawa, the war in the Pacific ended.
Following his service to his country, he took advantage of the GI bill and attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering. Following graduation, he was employed briefly at Reading Pipe before joining Western Electric in Allentown, where he worked for 35 years as an industrial engineer, retiring in 1985.
During his tenure at Western Electric, he was highly regarded. In addition to his work responsibilities, he indulged in his love of story and joke-telling by emceeing many Western Electric retirement events.
He was also a member of Emmaus Masonic Lodge 792.
In 1948, he married his high school sweetheart, Grace E. Bevan. They lived in State College, Reading and Allentown before eventually settling in Emmaus in 1961. They raised three children, Sandy, Bruce and Gary, and were happily married for 55 years until Grace's death in 2004.
George's passions included hunting, fishing and golf. He was a trout fishing enthusiast and spent many peaceful, happy hours on the Little Lehigh, rod in his hand and fish in his creel. During summer retreats to Ocean City, N.J., he enjoyed surf casting for flounder, kingfish and an occasional sea robin. He loved his frequent rounds of golf at Shepherd Hills Golf Course in Wescosville. He took great pride in the bragging rights of beating both of his sons on that course. George always put family and friends first and had a genuine interest in their lives. He was always quick with a joke or a card trick and will be remembered for his love of life and overflowing humor.
He was preceded in death, in addition to his parents and wife, by his brother, Ted Besesparis; a sister, Regina Huffman; a daughter-in-law, Patricia A. Best.
Surviving are his sisters, Mary Ellen Kralick, Minersville, and Eleanor Hewitt, Navato, Calif.; his children, Sandy Baran and her husband, Anthony, Fountain Springs, Bruce Best and his wife, Becky, Houston, Texas, and Gary Best and his wife, Barbara, Haymarket, Va.; six grandchildren, Bridget Baran and her husband, Hiro Fujiyama, Philadelphia, Matthew Baran and his wife, Kelly, Pottsville, Lauren Sjurseth and her husband, Travis, Houston, Texas, Garrett Best, Houston, Texas, Alex Best, State College, and Eric Best, New York, N.Y.; two great-grandchildren: Lily and Elias Baran, Pottsville; two stepgrandchilden, Joshua and Molly, Houston, Texas.
Services will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Hospice of Central Pennsylvania, 1320 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Sign the guest book, leave personal condolences and for further information, please visit www.thomasmsullivanfuneralhome.com. Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, Frackville, is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Republican & Herald on Sept. 23, 2012