Tuesday, February 7, 2023
11:00 AM EST
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
1 (616) 453-6346
Visitation from 10 AM until the start of the service
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
A devoted husband, father (6), grandfather (19), and great grandfather (35), Al George, lived his life in service to others and his faith community. Equipped with wisdom and a strong work ethic, he provided for his family as a salesman and business owner throughout his successful career. Most of all, he was a faithful man with a servant’s heart who honored Jesus and loved his family. Al will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many special friends and loved ones.
His story began in 1925. So many exciting changes were on the horizon. The first motel, The Motorist’s Hotel, opened in California, Sears Robuck opened its first store in Chicago, and The Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting. The automotive and radio industry were thriving and there was a stable economy. Herbert Alfred George was welcomed home to Benjamin Franklin and Ellen (Neilsen) George on August 9th in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. Born the third of four children, his birth brought much joy and happiness to his loving family.
Al lived an active childhood. He attended Puffer School (a one-room school) and spent time after school in the Sea Scouts, a Boy Scout-type group that focused on water. Living near Lake Michigan, he fell in love with spending time on the water. His first job was working on a celery farm in the summers, earning just ten cents an hour for ten hours a day, six days a week! As a teen, he had many successes running track and high jump for Muskegon Heights High School where he graduated in 1943.
Al was excited to enlist in the United States Navy. His color blindness landed him with the Sea Bees, a Naval Construction Battalion until the end of WW II. Once discharged, he came home and went to work for his father at B.F. George Moving and Storage. Eventually, he took over the company. Al remained in the reserves until the Korean Conflict and left the business behind to serve in the Pacific. A highlight of his years in the military was witnessing the testing of the hydrogen bomb while on the USS Sproston.
His life changed for the better the day he met his bride, Ruth Tenny. He was out on his boat with his younger brother when he spotted her on the shoreline near the Maranatha Bible Resort in Norton Shores where she worked as a waitress. He asked her if she wanted a ride, and she gladly accepted the offer. They spent the afternoon cruising Lake Michigan and began dating. Al and Ruth were a perfect match and joined in marriage in June of 1948 at South Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan. The happy newlyweds settled in a tiny home behind his parent’s home in Muskegon Heights. Together they were blessed with six wonderful children; Pam, Mark, Barb, Janet, Gail, and Greg.
As a father, he instilled in his children the significance of life skills and values. He and Ruth raised them in the church and ensured they completed their Sunday School lessons by Saturday night. They attended church as a family three times a week at the First Evangelical Covenant Church where Al was at times Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, or board member. Each time Al was involved with community associations such as the Santa Claus Girls gift delivery and YMCA Service Club’s White Elephant Sale, he took the kids along. He modeled for them a life of treating everyone with respect and providing for those in need. A hard worker, he worked briefly in Muskegon but later worked at Elston Richards (Allied Van Lines agent) in Grand Rapids. He started in sales and worked his way up to Vice President. In 1981 he, along with business partner Bill Frost co-founding Kent Moving and Storage and just two years later co- founded Kent Record Management. His summers were always full of work with the bustling of the business making it hard for him to take any vacation time. However, he and Ruth always made sure that the kids went to Portage Lake Bible camp every summer. With little resources, the kids grew to understand that treasures were memories not things, they valued quality time spent with one another. These simple values of faith, hard work, and modesty were the legacies he gave to his children.
Once he sold the business in 1997, Al spent time sailing and golfing while continuing to work with the YMCA Service Club and Santa Claus Girls. He even tried his hand at skiing in his 80s after shelving it for about 60 years! Before Ruth passed away from breast cancer in 1999, she gave him her blessing to marry. Knowing that she would be a great companion in his retirement years, Al married Rosalie in 2001. He and Rosalie spent nineteen wonderful years together in their little RV traveling throughout the country and taking international trips. They also enjoyed sailing on Portage Lake and playing golf with friends. Sadly, Rosalie passed in 2021. For the past two years, Al remained independent. He lived a simple life only requesting that his daily coffee be made with the precise amount of cream and sugar. Generous, kind-hearted, and committed to his family, Al will surely be missed. He leaves behind many treasured memories for his family to enjoy forever. May they always remember his warm and nurturing ways as well as his wonderful guidance to comfort them in the years to come.