Anglin, George Marshall
MADISON - George Anglin – a renaissance man - a talented musician, restorer of antique cars and furniture, builder/restorer of houses, passionate athlete, proud father, military retiree, foodie, and accomplished traveler - passed away at home on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020.
George could repair or restore anything, from a TV remote, to an antique car, to a fine piece of furniture, or even a craftsman bungalow. He loved everything old and appreciated craftsmen who took pride in their work.
This passion for craft started with George's father, Marshall (who predeceased George), who had a small construction company in the early days of Tucson. Back then George was so good that family and neighbors were constantly asking for help with various tasks. George would gladly do the work for free, with one exception: anyone who insisted on helping would have to pay George $30 per hour for distracting him from a task that could easily be done alone.
George saw personalities in the things he worked on, so certain woods were stubborn, forgiving or loving, and an unfinished Marmon was understated or seductive, crying out to be restored. He relished these personal qualities in his projects, and they gave him all the company he needed while working.
But George also loved to share moments with his friends, family and even strangers, especially around music. His passion for music started with his mother, Margaret (who predeceased him), who sparked the interest in George that would sustain him throughout his life. He played in the Tucson symphony and in numerous jazz bands in Arizona, California and beyond. He loved classical music or hot jazz from 1900-1930 and ultimately developed a collection of 10,000 78-RPM records. George would listen to these records for hours and invited anyone interested to join. While he could pick out any note that was flat or misplaced, others were enthralled simply to get a window into George's unique tastes.
George leaves behind his spouse, Jim Gallegos, and their two 14-year-old children, Adrien and Django, with whom George left a deep appreciation for the music on all those old records, and for all the old things he loved and collected, from vintage cars to rare stamps to Navajo rugs and pottery. He left a treasure trove of yet-undiscovered items, which George stored away in their home in a manner he learned while he was in the U.S. Navy.
For all the solitude George found in music and craft, he loved talking and spending time with family, friends from different parts of his life, neighbors, and strangers. He was always in the moment and made a gift of his attention, making sure others knew their stories were heard and remembered. George had a way of making people feel special after spending just a few minutes with him.
He loved to visit with his brother, Ed, who survives George along with his sister-in-law, Linda, and they shared the joy of telling funny and sometimes embarrassing family stories. He loved spending time with his nephews, George, Paul and Steve. They shared a long history of summers together, tractor pulls, auctions, and county fairs.
George also had a special friendship with his spouse's mother, Yvette (who predeceased George). Together they had a passion for rare bourbon even before it was in vogue, and sipped it while talking and listening to the old 78s playing in the background. In Yvette's declining days George was there to take care of her, endlessly willing to help her with any demand or need, no matter how unreasonable.
George was also very close to his sister-in-law, Marie McCord; brother-in-law, Anthony Gallegos; and brother-in-law, Aquino Gallegos. With Aquino, George left some refinished wood furniture that had a "sense of humor" and was "thirsty for good times."
George took pride in his military service during Vietnam where he learned his organizational skills living in cramped quarters aboard an aircraft carrier. People were amazed at how efficiently George could pack for his next family trip, and the precise way he folded clothes.
And yet, George was not especially passionate about fashion. His biggest regret was when Bike stopped making his favorite coach's short - his go-to apparel item. You could always find George in his coach's shorts from years ago, whether he was in the desert heat of Tucson or Greece, or in the cold, mountain temperatures of Colorado. His t-shirts were years old, but no one noticed because of the twinkle in his deep blue eyes and his infectious smile.
He was not one for technology, but he loved and cherished the "letters" people sent to him over email. His joy for restoring old cars continued even when on-board computers made it harder to perform repairs. George's first car ever was a used 1938 Dodge, which he last drove in the summer of 2019.
Traveling with George was always an adventure. While others would simply be taking in the sight of the Acropolis or the columns, George was figuring out how the pillars were joined to the floor and ceiling, or in Seville, Spain, how the heavy doors were attached to the 800-year-old walls in the old Jewish quarter.
Whether learning canning recipes from Yvette, beer brewing techniques, or special recipes for unique dishes, George never stopped learning and his passion was endless. Best of all, he loved sharing his creations with others. He left many with recipes for beef jerky and unique cocktails. Sharing was a way George found to connect with people. He loved real people, real conversations, and non-pretentious events. The only thing that frustrated George was people who did not take pride in who they are, or what they do. But George found the good in all people, and helped others see that too.
George loved looking at the stars and planets, and every year when the winter solstice arrived, George was happy because it meant longer days. So it is not lost on his family that he died on the very day of the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, 2020, during a rare astronomical event where Saturn and Jupiter passed closer to each other than they had in nearly 400 years, and where the alignment of the two planets appeared in the night sky for the first time in nearly 800 years.
Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him an elaborate funeral, as they did with a surprise 75th birthday party, George's family will hold a small celebration of life in Peoria, Ill., and in Madison, Wis., in the summer of 2021, when stories can be told and hugs can be shared.
In George's memory donations may be made to the George M. Anglin Fund (www.madisongives.org/anglinmemorial) which funds will be distributed to those in need to help them achieve an education and the requisite skills for a fruitful life. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive