Saturday, April 12, 2008
In Memoriam: James “Jim” Edward Georges, 76
Aerospace Engineer, Youth Sports Coach
Georges, James “Jim” Edward, an aerospace engineer and youth sports coach, passed away on April 11, 2008 following a long illness. He was 76.
Born February 11, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, Jim initially studied Physical Education at Texas Western College (now University of Texas, El Paso) because of his love of coaching youth sports. To pay for his education, he worked as a coach at the El Paso YMCA. But Jim also had a passion for science, leading him to switch his major to Physics, in which he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1953.
Jim soon obtained a position with Sperry Gyroscope Company (later, Sperry Rand) as an electronics engineer, and relocated to its Great Neck, NY location where he met his future wife of nearly 54 years, Gwendolyn Frances (Wicks) Georges. They were married on May 16, 1954 in Mineola, New York. Six months later, Jim was drafted and served as an engineer in the U.S. Army at its Chemical Biological Center in Edgewood, Maryland, aiding in the development of products to speed detection of deadly chemical and biological agents after the Korean War.
Following his return to the civilian workforce, he worked as an engineer with American Bosch Armor Corporation, which transferred him to its China Lake Test Range in California’s Mojave Desert in 1957. In 1959, he was hired as an aerospace engineer, by North American Aviation (Autonetics division, later Rockwell International), where he worked on the Minuteman Missle project, among other programs, for 36 years until his retirement in 1995 as an engineering manager at their headquarters in Anaheim, CA.
Throughout his life, Jim maintained his interest in youth sports. In Mission Viejo, he was well-known and respected as a coach for many sports including softball, baseball and basketball. He was a fierce competitor and one of the first youth sports coaches to use computers to analyze opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Some of his Bobby Sox, Little League and Youth Basketball League teams won pennants; all of his teams learned to understand the importance of hard work, pride, dedication, and, most of all, good sportsmanship. As a fan, Jim was an avid supporter of the USC football team, attending home games for nearly 40 years. He was also a phenomenal bridge player, who, with Gwen, played with the same bridge group for over 30 years.
In addition, Jim enjoyed horticulture, painting, and the outdoors. During the course of his life, he and his family traveled to nearly every state in the country—making an adventurous summer trip to Alaska before the Alaskan Highway was paved, and an extensive camping trip from California to New York and back during the nation’s bicentennial.
His love of science continued outside of the workplace as well. He nurtured scientific interests in his children, from chemistry to geology to physics. Above all, he and his family shared a deep interest in space exploration. On summer nights he taught his children to identify constellations, then expanded their home space laboratory by building (from scratch) a six-inch reflective telescope to better study the planets and stars.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Gwen, their five children, Wendi, Patti, Kathi, Jim and Jason, and eight grandchildren, Jacob, Ariel, Abbey, Olivia, Aleksander, Daniela, Sophie and Clara, as well as his brother, Gerald Georges of El Paso. A funeral mass will be held within the month at St. Killian Catholic Church, 26872 Estanciero Drive in Mission Viejo, followed by interment and rite of commital at El Toro Memorial Park.
In Jim’s memory, contributions may be made to Hospice Care of California, 23521 Paseo de Valencia, Suite 108, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (www.hospicecareofca.org).
Posted by Three Rooms Press at 10:31 PM