George Abikhaled passed away peacefully on Friday, December 20, 2013 in Austin, Texas, in the company of his family. He was born in Hammana, Lebanon on March 24, 1935 to Abdallah and Suraya Abikhaled. One of seven children, he was raised in Lebanon and graduated from College Antura.
George came to the United States in 1956 for college education and to chase the American dream. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1960. George met Kaye, the love of his life in 1964 and they married 6 months later. George became a citizen of the United States of America in 1966. He earned his law degree from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta in 1972. George enjoyed a productive career in engineering. He served as head structural/civil engineer for a wide variety of projects across the Southeastern U.S. such as heavy industrial plants, highway bridges, computation centers, and industrial parks. George became a senior construction engineer for the Arabian American Oil Company in 1974 and the family moved to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. There he supervised construction of petrochemical and other projects such as hospitals, housing and airports.
In 1981 George moved with his family to Austin to continue working on projects in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with architecture firm Page Southerland Page. In 1984 he became president of Tips Iron and Steel Company in Austin. In 1988 George's career shifted to The University of Texas System where he became senior project manager and then associate director for engineering and an avid Longhorn fan. He managed design and construction of several UT Athletics facilities including the remodeling and expansion of the Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the Moncrief Neuhaus Athletic Center, the Indoor Practice Facility ("the Bubble"), the Mike A. Meyers Stadium and Soccer Field, and the renovations of Disch-Falk Field and the Erwin Center, all of which has helped establish UT as one of the top athletic programs in the country. He also managed the construction of various UT projects statewide, including expansion of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as well as semi-conductor and medical research facilities. Even after retirement George continued to work with Flintco Construction Solutions in Austin as consultant in pre-construction and quality control services.
George was a caring husband and a dedicated father. He lived and led by example. Surviving George is his loving wife of 48 years, Kaye Voigt Abikhaled; son, Dr. John Andrew Abikhaled, and wife Dr. Shannon Abikhaled; daughter, Dr. Tania Marita Glenn; five grandchildren, Andrew, Benjamin, Elly, Joseph and Isabella; brothers, Fouad Boukhaled, Jamil Boukhaled; and sisters, Soumaya Nasr, Marie Baddour, and Amal Boudaou. His brother Joseph Abikhaled preceded him in death.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Austin.
George's family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to his physicians, Dr. Rob Izor, Dr. Carsten Kampe, Dr. Roxanna Rhodes, Dr. Herb Sing, Dr. Brant Victor, Dr. David Marquez, Dr. Carol Ziebert, and Dr. Anna Dvorak, and to the incredible nurses and staff at Seton Medical Center.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Dec. 22 to Dec. 23, 2013