Things and Thoughts: Dean Browell

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George R. Fotiades

GRAFTON - George R. Fotiades, 66, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Mary Immaculate Hospital after a short and courageous battle with cancer.
George was born in Astoria, N.Y., was raised in Perth Amboy, N.J., and was a York County resident since 1990. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. George was a great musician, historian, conversationalist and friend. He lived to love and he loved to live.

George was preceded in death by the love his life, Laura Baker Fotiades, with whom he traveled the world, visiting and diving in some of the most beautiful and dangerous places on Earth.

His work as a consultant for Stone and Webster Engineering brought him to the Newport News Shipyard where he worked in E-45 until early August. A beautiful man with a striking physique, he used his strengths to always champion for equality and tolerance.

He is survived by two cousins in New Jersey, John and Gene Dowches; his fiancEe, Marie Valencourt; his loving dog, Katie; and his close friends, Georgie Stavros and Tony and Nancy Merendino.

Thanks to all George's doctors and nurses during his illness with special thanks to the care givers at Home Helpers.

Memorial donations may be made to the Peninsula SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601, or the American Cancer Society, 11835 Canon Blvd. Suite A-102, Newport News, VA 23606.

A celebration of George's life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Harwood Mills, Shelter 2, 500 Oriana Road in Yorktown.

Arrangements by Amory Funeral Home, Grafton. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

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George was a tremendous personality... Or, as he himself would have said, "PHENOMENAL" (said with great breath and passion). He had nearly the prowess with words as he did with the notes from his guitar. He could weave both, and I was very fortunate to have known him during an impressionable period of my own life as a fine family friend. Many late afternoons turned to late nights of guitar playing, singing, talking and dreaming. He was incredibly open to being taught and the improvisation of both conversation and chord progression. I was also fortunate to be the recipient of many letters from George, whose handwriting was as beautiful as his prose. His love of Laura was legendary and we will miss them both dearly.

The Earth will have a hard time replacing such a fire and heart as George.

-Dean Browell and family

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