Ignation "Diggers" George 90, died peacefully at 3:00 a.m. on Friday July 15, 2022 at the University Hospital in Cleveland of pneumonia. He was born in Niles, Ohio on September 17, 1931 the son of Stiles and Mary George (Kitsos). He was a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Warren.
He was a 1949 graduate of Niles McKinley High School. After graduation he worked at General Electric - Niles Glass for over 44 years as a maintenance man. In 1952, he was drafted by the United States Army and served in the Korean Conflict. Diggers saw action on the frontline in Korea.
He married Sandra Sikora of Youngstown on May 21, 1967 in Warren, Ohio. They were married for 25 years before Sandra's untimely death on December 14, 1992 from cancer. Together they raised their son, Ricky.
Diggers spent his entire life in Niles, Ohio. His mother and father came to America from Cyprus. So, as a young boy he learned that family and culture were very important. Along with his two brothers and sister, he also learned about sports. He often would tell stories of how his brothers and he would play baseball or football with their neighborhood friends. Sports was a big part of his life. He would tell his son about the great Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto of the New York Yankees. He also told stories of how his papou from Cyprus would visit the family and how they would go to the various Greek stores on Pine Street in Warren.
Before getting married Diggers liked to go out for a "shot-and- a-beer" or a high ball. When the fall arrived Saturday night was set for Niles Red Dragon football during their heydays. He was an active member of the Niles Frontliners.
Diggers liked to watch sports, garden, take care of his dog, read the newspaper, and gamble a few dollars on sporting events. He loved the Michigan Wolverines and New York Yankees. He liked to always keep busy and was never afraid to work. Into his mid-80s the neighbors would often catch him on the roof of the house cleaning the gutters. Ultimately they would tell his son and the two would end up arguing about him being safe.
But most of all, he served as a role model and inspiration to his son, Ricky. He instilled the Greek Orthodox faith into Ricky as he was growing up. They attended St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church as a family.
After his wife Sandra's death, Diggers never had an interest in dating other women as Sandra was the love of his life. He and Ricky became closer. Diggers and Ricky attended various sporting events. They attended 3 or 4 Michigan football games in Ann Arbor, Michigan each year and always tried to catch the Yankees when they came to Cleveland. Diggers was most happy sitting in his La-Z-Boy watching a sporting event with his son.
In 2018 he suffered a stroke in which the doctors stated that he would not recover from. He fooled them all as he led a good life in his last years. The stroke made the father and son bond even stronger as his son took care of him. Diggers was a simple man who had a good heart. He taught his son to "be honest" and "do your best when doing a job." Diggers was "old school" and often said he had old European country values which also included talking very loud. During his last days he told his son "don't cry for me" but ultimately his son will cry a lot for him because he lost not only a father, but his best friend ever.
Diggers was preceded in death by his parents Stiles and Mary George; and his wife Sandra (Sikora). He leaves a son Ricky with whom he lived; two brothers George (Shirley deceased) George of Youngstown, Charlie (Genny) George of Indianapolis and one sister Helen (Tom deceased) Michalos of Warren. He leaves many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews who he all loved. He also leaves great neighbors such as Susan Pack, the Profatos and the Fritzs who he had known for many decades. He also leaves his beloved dog Jeter.
Family and friends may pay their respects to Diggers Tuesday July 19, 2022 from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, with a service at 11:00 a.m. at the Church with Fr. Constantine Valantasis officiating. Burial will be in Niles City Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the caretakers who helped care for Diggers over the last four years; Jill Brewer, Sabrina Gardner and Melinda Chapin. The family would also like to thank all the doctors and nurses at Trumbull Regional Medical Center who helped take care of him over the years. And a special thank you to Patriot Home Healthcare especially his physical therapists Aaron and Matt and nurse Kelly.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that all contributions be made to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 429 High Street, Warren, Ohio 44481.
Arrangements by Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home 126 West Park Avenue, Niles, Ohio 44446 330-652-4311.
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