SHARON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Joseph Anthony George of Sharon passed away peacefully Monday evening, August 31, 2020, in the Cleveland Clinic, surrounded by family. He was 83.
Mr. George was born October 12, 1936, in Sharon, a son of the late Albert and Zarife (Basile) George.
He attended the former Sacred Heart Parochial Grade School, Sharon and was a 1954 alumnus of Sharon High School. He was inducted into the inaugural Sharon High School Hall of Fame in 2012.
Joe graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and matriculated to Harvard Law School before entering the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
He married his first wife, Karen, in 1960 and together they had four children.
Joe began his career with Exxon Mobil Corporation before returning to the Shenango Valley in 1964 to take over the family business, Joy Cone Company. At that time the company, which was started by his father in 1918, was at its low point with only one remaining customer. Joe served as the President and CEO for the company for more than 50 years and retired in 2016 as Chairman of the Board from what is known today as the Joy Baking Group, headquartered in Hermitage.
Joe was a longtime active member of the Church of Notre Dame, Hermitage. He was dedicated to his community and served on several Shenango Valley boards, of which he was the Chair for many. A partial list includes: Finance Committee Chair for the Buhl Club, Chair of The Sanctuary-Home for Troubled Youth, the Annual Fund Drive Chair for the United Way, Chair of Penn Northwest Development Corp and a member of the Board of Trustees at Thiel College. Joe was also recognized for his service and work in the community on many occasions. He was a Buhl Day Honoree, the recipient of the F.H. Buhl Club Henry and Catherine Evans Service Award, the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year, the Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award, the French Creek Council Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award and Sharon Rotary Person of the Year Award.
Joe is survived by his wife, Ruthanne Beighley, whom he married May 7, 1988; four children, Shane J.W. George of Sharon, Sharon L. George of Mercer, David F. George and his wife, Mary Beth, of Sharon and Aaron M. George and his wife, Dora, of Huntington Beach, California; two stepdaughters, Jessie R. Hull and her husband, Jeffrey, of Jamestown, Pennsylvania and Tracey O’Toole and her husband, Patrick, of Cranberry Township, Butler County and eight grandchildren, Emma C. George, Hannah V. George, Lily G. George, Gabriela Z. George, Jacob A. George, Caitlin J. Hull, Courtney E. Hull and Patrick O’Toole. He also leaves a sister, Mary White and her husband, Joseph; two brothers, Michael A. George and Frederick A. George and his wife, Ena, all of Hermitage and several beloved nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents and first wife, Joe was preceded in death by a grandson, Christopher Hull.
The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to one of the following: The Buhl Club, 28 Pine Street, Sharon, PA 16146; Buhl Park, 715 Hazen Road, Hermitage, PA 16148 or Sha’nini George Foundation, c/o Sharon George, 122 Line Road, Mercer, PA 16137.
Due to current health concerns, a private Mass of Christian burial will be held in the Church of Notre Dame, Hermitage, with the Very Rev. Richard J. Allen, E.V., pastor, as celebrant.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be held at a later date.
Entombment will be in St. Rose Cemetery Mausoleum, Hermitage, with military honors rendered by the West Middlesex VFW, Wheatland American Legion and Farrell VFW Honor Guard.
Arrangements are being handled by the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
A television tribute will air Thursday, September 3 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.
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