T. Dennis George
1938 - 2017
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T. Dennis George

T. Dennis George, 78, died July 27, 2017 near Issaquah where he lived after retiring from many years of law practice in Seattle. Dennis was born to patient parents Ted and Leone George on August 3, 1938 in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula iron mining town of Ironwood.

Following a highly social, but otherwise feckless performance in high school, Dennis was accepted as a "right to try student" by Northern Michigan University, Marquette, which had a policy of conditionally accepting Upper Peninsula youth who had yet to show promise. At Northern, Dennis experienced a dramatic awakening and, to use Upper Peninsula terminology, he buckled down.

Northern was a place of significant beginnings for Dennis. Primarily, it was at Northern that Dennis met good looking Carole Fossitt, who was to be his wife. At Northern, Dennis enjoyed being a solid student, serving in leadership roles in student government and establishing long term friendships. It was also there that Dennis developed the idea that two of the most difficult and satisfying things a young man could do were to be an Officer of Marines and a lawyer.

Carole and Dennis were married in an Upper Peninsula blizzard on February 18, 1961, and then made their way to Camp Pendleton where Dennis reported for his first assignment as an infantry officer with the Fleet Marine Force. Life in their Oceanside beach house was short-lived. Dennis shipped out to the Far East and Southeast Asia for a year and Carole went back to Northern to finish her degree. Upon return to civilian life, Dennis enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Law School, attending on a Carole scholarship, and finding that the study of law and serving as an editor of the Law Review were arduous pleasures.

Following graduation from law school, Dennis and Carole moved to Seattle where Dennis began practicing law with the Helsell Fetterman firm, a larger firm of the day, which was rich with talented and ethical lawyers who were good models for a developing lawyer. A decade later, Dennis and several adventurous colleagues decided to continue their practice of law with their own firm, George, Hull, Porter & Kohli. Dennis practiced in Seattle with these colleagues for another almost twenty-five years, representing clients mostly in business litigation and court room work, and engaging in federal bar association affairs, including a turn as bar association president.

This enjoyable work ended when Dennis accepted an invitation from a persuasive long time good friend and client to help him convert a small private biotechnology company to an ongoing public company in order to properly develop a worthwhile cancer therapy. This was an exciting four-year adventure that resulted in a hopeful promise for mankind, and great personal satisfaction for Dennis. During this period, Dennis conceived a collaboration for cancer research between his biotechnology company and his place of significant beginnings, Northern. This collaboration has a legacy at Northern that today includes an important brain cancer research project.

After biotechnology, Dennis turned to a combination of law practice and teaching, with Northern giving him his first opportunity as an Executive in Residence, teaching in Northern's School of Business. Other teaching assignments were at the UAE Academy in Abu Dhabi and in the University of Washington outreach program for international business professionals. After retiring from general law practice, Dennis turned to a modest schedule of consulting and arbitrating business-related cases.

As Dennis' professional work was developing, other, more important work was occurring. Sons Ted and Paul were born to Dennis and Carole who raised them following the "Three Bs" principle-keeping them "bushed, busy, and broke." This entailed years of hands-on involvement with the boys, including a heavy dose of competitive team sports, mostly soccer. As part of this activity, Dennis shared with Ted and Paul his own playing and socializing over many years with a fine group of men and role models, who were Dennis' teammates in the Madison Park Rainstorm Soccer Club. Dennis was very grateful for a good wife whom he could help to raise the boys to become men of good character and useful citizens.

Dennis and Carole last moved from their long-time home in Kirkland to the Timber Ridge at Talus retirement community in Issaquah where Dennis was active in community affairs, where he served a turn as president of the Resident Council, and where his life was enriched by many new and interesting friends.

Dennis' last thoughts included reflection on just how lucky he had been throughout his many years.

Dennis is survived by Carole, his wife of 56 years, son Ted (Kristi), son Paul (Carmen), grandson Caleb, sister Pat Neeley and special nephew Tom Taylor (Marilyn).

Please make remembrances to Northern Michigan University Foundation or a college scholarship fund.

A memorial celebration of Dennis's life will be held at 2:00pm, Sunday, August 6, 2017, at Timber Ridge at Talus, 100 Timber Ridge Way, Issaquah, WA 98027.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 2, 2017.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
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14 entries
July 27, 2018
I am truly sorry for the loss of your loved one. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to your entire family and friends. Please know that the God of all comfort has loving concern for you at this time, Psalms chapter 147 verse 3. I know you will miss your precious loved one every day, may God give you strength, peace and loving memories during this difficult time. Ann Smith
August 26, 2017
It was a privilege to meet Mr. and Mrs. George while my parents lived at Timber Ridge in Issaquah. My parents pre-deceased Mr. George. I will always remember his presence at Timber Ridge with respect, gratitude, and warmth.
Liz McCarthy Tidyman
August 6, 2017
Dear Carole and family. I am so sad to hear this news. Dennis was a dear friend, squash partner and counsel to me for 45 years or so. I'm in Coeur d Alene and unable to be with you today, but my thoughts and prayers are.
August 6, 2017



CELEBRATE comes to mind.celebrate a life well lived. In our minds, too short a life, but nonetheless, let's celebrate!

Celebrate a handsome young man who found his life's work after four years of college and a time in the Marine Corps.

Celebrate how proud our parents were with Dennis' achievements.

Celebrate good core values Dennis exhibited, which were instilled by our parents. We owe much to our parents, Ted and Leone George, who taught us by example of good stewardship, honesty, hard work, generosity toward others, kindness, service, and self sacrifice.

Celebrate a high level of intelligence that allowed Dennis to excel in the field of law.

Celebrate a quiet and modest aura despite many honors and achievements.

Celebrate a long and devoted marriage with his wife, Carole.

Celebrate both Dennis and Carole's ability to have earned a good living and how they shared it generously with others.

Celebrate two handsome sons who have chosen lovely wives and have many wonderful achievements of their own.

Celebrate a man who disliked the hospital setting,' yet one who devoted every waking hour to assist Carole in her recovery from a devastating stroke.

Celebrate Dennis and his life for every good thing he stands for and has shared with others.

My only regret is not having a closer relationship with him through the years. We did have a wonderful time celebrating Den's 75th birthday 3 years ago..a time of family coming together. Let's remember the good times and cherish them.

Now we bid him good-bye..a very difficult thing to do. Let each of us remember the values that Dennis stood for and apply them in our own lives.

His wife, children, and grandchildren have much to celebrate and remember, and to be proud of.

With a full and loving heart,
your sister, Pat
August 5, 2017
Dear Kristi and Ted, my deepest condolences to you and your family. Doreen
Doreen Pastorok
August 4, 2017
Dennis was two years ahead of me at NMU. We reconnected while serving as board members at NMU in later years. His dedication to his university was amazing. I always nominated him for an exceptional alumni award for the distances and expense he incurred as he traveled to meetings from Seattle, without ever missing one. May God bless your family during this time of sorrow. We have truly lost one of the good guys.
Michael Nelsen, Marquette/ Ft Myers
August 3, 2017
I met Dennis almost immediately after I graduated from court reporting school in the 80s. One of our clients hired my firm to work on a case that he and Dennis were involved in. It only lasted a few months, but I never forgot him. Thirty years later he moved into Timber Ridge where my father lived. When I saw him, I told him what an impression he made on me as a new court reporter. He was wise, ethical, kind, funny, intelligent, and had such a great smile.
I'll miss him. Rest In Peace, Dennis

Laurie Porter
August 3, 2017
Orr prayers and sympathy go out to dennis and the family. He was a classmate at northern Michigan and my efforts to have him meet my niece ,a columnist at the Seattle times , are now futile. So I invite any of you to drop in and say hi to Nicky Brodeur at the times.
Bill Brodeur
August 3, 2017
Not mentioned in the obituary - Dennis was modest: He was outside General Counsel for the Washington State Bar Association - then composed of about 30,000 members. That's when I first met him in the late 90's when we were both involved in leadership of the Washington State Bar Association. Also not mentioned during those years was a full page spread of Dennis and his small law firm of about 5 lawyers in Time Magazine. Dennis and his firm critiqued the unrealistic minimum of billable hours imposed on lawyers in some firms and the need for better work/life balance. What impact that feature article had on law firms is unknown but it is no secret in succeeding years the pendulum has swung more favorably towards more free time for non-lawyer and life giving pursuits., Dennis was a lawyer's lawyer and a class act. He was a generous, warm, sweet, caring human being and we're all better for having had the privilege of knowing him. Bless you Dennis!
Dick Manning
August 2, 2017
We go back a long way with Denny when he was a student at NMU. I followed him as president of Sigma Rho Epsilon Fraternity and Char served on the student council with him. Many fond memories. I prided myself as a pretty fair athlete but Den humbled me in both squash and pickleball. I never let him know I let him win at pickleball because it was on his home court in the backyard and I didn't want him to lose face with the neighbors. Seriously, he beat me fair and square. An outstanding life of always putting others ahead of himself and as a result mentoring many who will remember him always. RIP my friend.
Jim & Char Mansfield
August 2, 2017
How sad that the world just lost a man of great character, wit and charm. Dennis played a very important role in my (sometimes painful) development as an attorney and shared a big love of and appreciation for soccer long before it was popular to do so. My deepest condolences to his family and colleagues. He was a man people were proud to know.
Ann Durham
August 2, 2017
Carole, Ted and Paul, I am so sorry for your loss. I was lucky enough to be a part of the collaboration between Northern and Dendreon. Dennis had enlisted me to travel up to the UP to talk with the students and initiate the intern program; one of my favorite memories of working at Dndn. Dennis was a gentle soul and always good resource for advice. I will miss him dearly.
Karen Steffen
August 2, 2017

Sorry for your loss. I worked at Dendreon while Dennis was there. Dennis made a lasting impact on my personal life. His advocacy of a summer internship program with Northern Michigan University ultimately led to my future wife spending a summer in Seattle. We're celebrating our 11th anniversary this weekend, and we have Dennis to thank for making that possible.

David Bienvenue
August 2, 2017
Carole, Ted and Paul, I am very sorry for your loss. It was my pleasure to know Dennis both as a professional and as a friend. He will be missed.
Gloria Teves
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