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George Spero Chacona


George Spero Chacona, long-time resident of Ithaca, New York, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, May 1, 2006. George was born in Goritsa, Greece on February 1, 1945, and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. He spent much of his life living on South Hill and attended Ithaca City Public Schools. George also attended State University Colleges in New Paltz and Cortland, New York.From a very young age, George was drawn to music. He was deeply touched by melody and lyrics, and lived his life through the messages conveyed in music. Although he never played an instrument and could hardly carry a tune, he found many other ways to utilize song as his great communicator of love and life.George began his lengthy career in the music industry as manager of the local band, Boffalongo. In the late 1960's, George moved to New York City. While working for a sound company, he would often run the sound board for many well known artists including Richie Havens, the Chambers Brothers, Humbel Pie, Van Morrison, and Santana, in the legendary venue, the Filmore East. Later George took a position at Walter Kane and Son, one of the country's largest print music publishers and distributors. In 1977, George moved back to Ithaca with his wife and son. Upon his return, he established a successful music distribution company with his long-time friend, Robert Makitten. VIP Music Distributors, Inc. located in Syracuse, New York, sold sheet music to stores throughout the United States and Canada. During the same period George rekindled his relationship with high school friend Bernie Milton, and went on to produce a number of Bernie's recordings. In recent years, George collaborated on Bernie's long running weekly radio show, "Looking Back" on WICB.Although George's love for music was the catalyst for his successful career, his joy and fulfillment in life was helping people. Working with various support groups, he offered his time, energy, and encouragement to others. George would often open his home to ensure that others would have a safe and comfortable place to stay. When someone was feeling down, he always knew the right thing to say or do to make them feel important, valued, and loved. Quoting a very close friend, "He saw the best in me before I could see it in myself."George is survived by his loving wife, Laura, devoted son, Nickolas, sister, Maria Shirmer, his loving caregiver and adopted son Carlos Lugo, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.Friends may call at Bangs Funeral Home Thursday evening, May 4, 2006 from 5 to 7 p.m. with Trasagion services to be held at 6:30 p.m. Funeral services are Friday, May 5, 2006 at 11 a.m. at St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church with Rev. Stephen Lilly officiating. Memorial donations may be offered to Gadabout Transportation Services, the Finger Lakes Independent Center, or St. Catherine's Greek Orthodox Church, all located in Ithaca, New York.
Published in Ithaca Journal on May 3, 2006
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