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Georges N. Marie-Victoire

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Photo Georges N. Marie-Victoire December 24, 1920-August 12, 2008 Georges was born in Constantine, Algeria, the third child of Robert and Jeanne Marie-Victoire. He is survived by Ollie, his wife of 62 years; daughter, Jeanine; son-in-law, Robert Landsinger; and grandchildren, Mitchell, Natalie and Christopher of San Francisco; sisters, Gisele Chickosky of Petaluma and Suzanne Poggi of Ajaccio, Corsica; brother, Jacques of Courcouronnes, France; and numerous nieces and nephews in the United States and France. Georges was inducted into I'Armee de I'Air Francaise (French Air Force) in 1939 at the onset of WWII, as one of the "Classe Quarante". He served as a bomber pilot with the Free French forces in Algeria until 1943 when President Roosevelt invited several crews of French fliers to the United States to learn to fly U.S. Lend-Lease airplanes. Georges was stationed in Denver, CO, where he met his wife at a "the dansant" for the visiting French pilots. He subsequently returned to Europe and flew many missions over enemy targets in Germany, attaining the rank of first lieutenant and being wounded in action. For his wartime service to France, Georges was awarded the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise, and the Medaille d'Honneur de la Ville de Caen. After the war, Georges returned to Denver where he married Ollie in June 1946. They immediately relocated to San Francisco where Georges was employed by the City of Paris as manager of its famous Normandy Lane. He graduated from USF with a degree in business administration and accounting, and then joined his good friend Henri van der Voort in business, becoming sales manager at Bercut-Vandervoort for 16 years. He then founded his own company, Victoire Imports Inc., where he remained until retirement in 1982. Georges was always willing to help others who faced some of the same challenges that he had, in emigrating to another country and learning new ways and a new language. Over the years, Georges was president of the French Colony of San Francisco (two years); president of the Alliance Francaise (three years); and a member of numerous other French benevolent organizations: the Basque Club, the Ligue Henri IV, the Lafayette Club; the Anciens Combattants (French War Veterans); and the Livre Bleu. In 1958, President De Gaulle awarded Georges the Ordre de I'Etoile Noire for his work leading the French community in San Francisco. A well-known bon vivant with a lifelong interest in good food and wine, Georges was consul general of the Confrerie des Vignerons de St. Vincent Macon for the United States; founder of the Academy of Wine Tasters; master knight of the Knights of the Vine; and longstanding member of the Cercle de I'Union (French Club) and the Vintners Club. His family, friends and new acquaintances were always welcome at the many meals which he would produce as "Maitre Cuisinier". During his retirement, Georges spent 23 years as a business advisor for the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), receiving the Platinum Leadership Award for meritorious service. He was always willing to provide help and advice to those trying to get a start in the food and wine industry. A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday, August 18, at 10 a.m. at Notre Dame des Victoires Church, 566 Bush St., San Francisco. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made to the American Lung Association, 115 Talbot Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (www.lungusa.org).
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 14 to Aug. 17, 2008
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