HERMITAGE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Samuel George Tota of Manassas, Virginia, died on Friday, May 14, 2021, due to complications of cancer.
Surviving him are his wife, Jacquelyn; his children, John-Michael (Nikki) and Jennifer McGivney (Jim); his siblings, Carolyn Smith (Ernest), David (Ruth) and Michael; two grandchildren, Joey and Danielle and many relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Arlene and brother, Joseph.
George was a 1966 graduate of Hickory High School in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.
He was a 1973 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
George’s life took him around the world. He served in Vietnam and he flew rescue helicopters in Iceland. His vacations with Jacquie fill a shelf of photo albums. If you asked where he was happiest, however, George wouldn’t hesitate: fishing with his brothers in Pennsylvania, tending his garden and most of all, being home with Jacquie. It was the simplest of moments that would compel him to exhale and say, “Life doesn’t get better than this.”
He met Jacquie when he was a cadet, shopping for a carton of cigarettes. The blonde cashier at the base exchange inspired a shift in strategy: He returned daily, shopping pack by pack, until getting the courage to ask her out. He needn’t have worried; she was already smitten. The couple dated through his Academy years—falling in love with Colorado, as well as each other—and married the day after graduation. They had two children and created a home filled with card games, family dinners, laughter and ice cream–lots of ice cream.
George spent much of his career as a systems engineer, while continuing his military service with the Air Force Reserve Command. After his retirement, he served as an advocate and devoted friend to homeless veterans.
George had a knack for growing vegetables, decorating a Christmas tree and telling a story. He loved a game, any game—golf, chess, Euchre, pool, baggo—and if you beat him (you rarely did), you could count on a rematch. His laugh would fill a room.
Private services will be held.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or, to honor George’s life, play a game, go fishing, plant a garden, scoop up some ice cream or simply savor a moment outdoors. Life doesn’t get better than that.
Arrangements handed by John Flynn Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
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A television tribute will air Sunday, May 23, at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV.