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George Wright Findlay


1945 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
George Wright Findlay Obituary
George Wright Findlay

AGE: 70 • Dover

Col. George W. Findlay, USAF Retired, age 70, died on March 18, 2016 surrounded by the love and prayers of his family. A devoted husband and fun-loving, huge-hearted father and grandfather, George is survived by his wife Lucy Ford Findlay, with whom he just celebrated 48 years of marriage, his daughter Lisa Merrill and her husband Grant of West Chester, PA, his son Christopher Findlay of Charleston, SC, and his four grandchildren Lucy and William Merrill and Preston and Logan Findlay for whom he was the supreme tickle monster, playmate, cheerleader, listener, and loving lap. George is also survived by his brother Steve Findlay and Grace Whitman of Maryland, sister Didi and Bill Paty of West Palm Beach, Florida, four Ford brothers-in-law and their wives, Rip and Carol, Bill and Judy, Thom and Diane, John and Sylvia, as well as fifteen beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Debbie.

George was born on June 26, 1945, son of Joy and Donald Findlay. He grew up in Palm Beach, Florida, a lover of sun, sand, water-skiing, and body-surfing. There, he also began his lifelong love of tennis and ignited his dream of becoming a pilot. After graduating from Wake Forest University in 1968 with a BA in Psychology, George entered the Air Force pilot training program to fulfill his dream of flying. During his 26 year career in the Air Force, George flew over 4500 hours, the majority of which were in C-5's out of Dover AFB. He also developed his love of teaching and accrued over 1300 instructor hours. The highlight of his career was serving as Operations Officer and then Commander of the 9th Military Airlift Squadron at Dover. George later served as the Director of Command and Control at 21st Air Force in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He retired in 1994 and launched the JR ROTC program at Caesar Rodney High School in Dover. He inspired cadets there for six years and then continued to share his gift for teaching at Flight Safety International in New Castle, DE training corporate pilots on the Hawker and Global Express private jets. There, he trained crews from all over the world for fourteen years and received the Best of the Best Flight Safety Award in 2013.He truly loved his job and being in the world of aviation. George was a gentle and humble leader, though he had so many reasons to stand proud. His love for his family and friends shone forth in his ever-present smile and laughter. Oh how he loved to make people laugh with his silly puns and jokes! His joyful spirit lit up a room. He loved to vacation with loved ones, enjoying anything from simple times at the Delaware beaches to far flung adventures overseas. Many wonderful family memories were also shared over the years in Palm Beach, FL and Rocky Point, NC.

A memorial service in George's honor will be held Friday, April 1, at 3pm at The Presbyterian Church of Dover, 54 S. State Street, Dover, DE 19904. The interment of ashes will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, and in honor of George's passions and legacies, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Col. George W. Findlay Scholarship Fund (to be awarded annually to a Delaware cadet) c/o MOAA, PO Box 122, Dover, DE 19903-0122 or the Corporate Angel Network (providing free flights for cancer patients to specialized treatments), Westchester County Airport, One Loop Rd, White Plains, NY 10604. Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.
Published in The News Journal on Mar. 23, 2016
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