George had fond memories of growing up on the family ranch in Gridley, California where his ancestors arrived in1870. They were among the earliest families to settle and farm in the area. He took great pride in his heritage, researching and documenting the history of family and the town that was founded by his great grandfather, George W. Gridley. After George left his hometown in 1953 to chart his own life’s history, he continued to maintain close ties with friends and family still living there. His annual trips to Gridley for Memorial Day activities were very important to him. George will make this final trip on May 24 where he will be interred in the Korean War section of the MemorialWall.
George was born on January 5, 1935 and passed away December 11, 2017.
George was proceeded in death by parents, Samuel Gridley,Delbert and Bertha Manes,Sister Gail, and former wife and mother of his children, JanaMcKee.
George is survived by sister, Darlyne Brokaw, beloved wife, Denise Verbeck, and their combined children, Cathy Bast, Mark(Diane), Michael (Karen), Scott, Keri, Marci Garcia (James), and Sharon Biesenthal (Brent). George also leaves behind ten grandchildren, 13 great grands, and many nieces and nephews.
George served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1974 and retired as SMSgt, Superintendent of 22nd Avionics He had combat tours of duty to Guam,Okinawa,and Utapao. He felt honored to serve on the training squadron that was chosen to conduct test flights on the First of the B52s at Edwards AFB and then train all flight crews and support personnel on them. He was honored with many medals and certificates during his career. While serving in the Air Force, George married his first wife, Jana, and they raised six children together. He also earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees inEducation.
George began teaching for Sacramento City School District in 1974 where he taught a variety of classes including Special Education, history, and electronics. He also was a high school guidance counselor. He met and married Denise, a fellow teacher while they were both active in SCTA.
In1983,George became a full time instructor of electronics at American River College. He pursued course work that led to his Educational Doctorate Degree from University of San Francisco. He obtained State industrial and Technology funding for the college and became the Dean and Director of that project. He retired from public education career in1997. He worked part time at military bases where he was an instructor for military personnel pursuing their own college degrees as he had done years before.
George continued working part time with National University’s student teachers and in other educational capacities until 2015.
He was involved in several professional and community organizations, filling leadership roles and being the photo journalist for many. He was Executive Director for California Industrial and Technology Education Association (CITEA). George was active in Industrial and Technology Education and received its highest citation, the Distinguished Service Award. School to work educational programs were very important and he put in much time with VICA, an industrial club for youth, taking care of conventions, the money, leadership training, and organizing events. He was also active in his industrial arts fraternity, EPT. George was a life time and active member at VFW Posts #5731, Gridley, and VFW 6158 and American Legion 383 Fair Oaks. He visited disabled Vets on a weekly basis making sure their needs were being met and taking action if they weren’t. He was presented a Congressional Award for his efforts while in the hospital.
George loved traveling. He often took his young family on trips.Later, he and Denise took several trips to Europe. But most of their travels were in their motor home, spending three or four months every summer crossing the US, visiting friends and family along the way. They took different routes each time to fulfill George’s goals of having his picture in front of all 50 State capitols, the National Capitol,and visiting all Presidential Libraries. Over the winter holidays, they spent time at favorite camp sites on the West Coast. Among his favorite trips were an 8 week RV caravan in Canada & Alaska and a Panama Canal cruise.
Where ever they went, George wrote and sent out daily epistles and photos of their travel experiences. These often included details like RV repairs and ice cream treats.
George’s chosen path in life was rich and varied. To those who walked beside him on some part of the way, he will be remembered for his great sense of humor, as a caring father and family member, devoted spouse, friend, consummate educator, prolific writer, photographer, counselor, mentor, and much more. He was goal oriented and proud of, but humble about, his accomplishments. His was a path well taken.
George will be interned at the Gridley Cemetery on May 24, 2018 at 1 p.m.
There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 26 from 1:30 to 5 at the VFW Post #6158 at 8990 Kruitof Way, Fair Oaks, 95628.
George loved chocolate chip cookies! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remembrances in his name may be made to: Gridley Museum, 601 Kentucky Street, Gridley, 95948; Salvation Army; Los Rios Foundation (ARC); the VFW or American Legion.
To sign George’s guest book please go to www.reichertsfuneral.com