George‚ 57‚ died on September 22‚ 2011‚ from a pulmonary embolism suffered after responding to a reported structure fire followed by an EMS call the day before. He joined Sandy Bottom Volunteer Fire and Rescue in 1988. Over the course of the next 23 years‚ he served as chief‚ assistant chief and‚ for the last several years prior to his death‚ president of the board of directors. He attained the rank of captain and was a certified EMT and a first responder for EMS calls. East Care‚ our regional helicopter rescue department‚ knew they were in good hands when they found out that George was in charge of creating the landing zone for them when called on to fly accident victims to area hospitals.
George was a mentor to all of the young men and women who showed an interest in joining the fire department. He was training instructor for the junior firemen and enjoyed spending time with all of the young people at the department. He was the ‘patriarch‚’ looked up to by his peers and counted on to provide wisdom and insight into all situations when asked. Several times over his career he was voted Fire Fighter of the Year and Officer of the Year by his fellow firemen. Probably the accomplishment he was most proud of at Sandy Bottom was overseeing the application process and construction of a new 15‚000 square foot state of the art facility for the fire department. It was dedicated and open for business a few weeks after his death.
George and Sandy were married on August 25‚ 1973. George owned and operated Auto and Muffler Center in Kinston‚ North Carolina‚ for 20 years‚ working in that industry for 35 years. His friends and customers dubbed him ‘One More Muffler George‚’ since he was always willing to stay late to put on one more muffler when asked.
His daughters‚ Jennifer‚ born in 1977‚ and Lindsay‚ born in 1984‚ were everything he could have asked for in children. He loved his girls more than life itself. He was so proud of each of them and the successful young women they both have become. Jennifer is a first grade teacher in our public school system‚ and Lindsay is a pharmacist with CVS. Jennifer married Daniel in 1999‚ and Lindsay married Brendan in 2009. Jennifer and Daniel have given us two precious grandchildren‚ Ethan and Anna George. Being ‘Papa’ to Ethan and Anna George was the ‘job’ he cherished most.
We mourn his passing every day but are determined to keep his memory alive for them. We love and miss you every day‚ Honey‚ Daddy‚ Papa.