George was born in Seattle, graduated Ballard High School, and attended University of Washington. He was proud of his service in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and was a decorated B26 bomber pilot. He flew 63 bombing missions, earned 11 air medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, and the French Victory medal for flying in the invasion of Normandy.
After the war George served as an air traffic controller in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Orange County, and Boeing Field here in Seattle. On a whim to earn some extra money, George bought a race horse (lack of knowledge or experience didn’t stop him) and he was hooked for the rest of his life. He became a noted Thoroughbred horse owner, trainer and later a racing official. George’s successes included winning the Phoenix Gold Cup in 1961 with Destroy, the Longacres Mile in 1963 with Full Regalia, and the San Luis Rey Handicap with Inclusive in 1964, which resulted in a record payoff of $205 for a two dollar bet in a California stakes race. Spending 66 years in the horse business gave George a lot of stories, which he loved to share. His favorite horse was Destroy, a colt he raised. The “perfect” colt broke his shoulder and when the vets told George to put him down, he decided to take his chances and keep the colt. He named him Destroy and worked with him to the point that he could run although not in the stakes races he was meant for. Destroy was like a pet to George and ran the best he could – winning his 25th race at the age of 11 in 1965. George said his favorite prayer when he was flying was “God, don’t make me smart, make me lucky!” and it carried over to his horse racing career as well.
George is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judy, and stepson, David, several grandchildren and great grandchildren. A private family graveside service will be held in Quilcene where George spent his childhood summers.
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