STAVNITSKI, George J.
Age 88, of Hilton Head Island, SC, and Dayton, OH, passed away peacefully on October 9, 2022, in South Carolina. George was born in Bridgeport, CT, in 1934, the son of George E. and Mary Dominko Stavnitski. Their immigrant heritage of Slovenian, Slovakian, and German, influenced George's colorful childhood. The Dominko and Stavnitski family life centered around Holy Cross Catholic Parish in Bridgeport where George served faithfully as an altar boy for eight years. Also, as a child, he shined shoes at the family business, the Spruce Bar and Grill. George's parents were later the proprietors of the familiar Stav's Delicatessen on the Post Road in Fairfield, CT.
George excelled on Fairfield's Roger Ludlowe High School football team and earned a scholarship to Connecticut's Cheshire Academy where he was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Then, a scholarship followed to attend and play football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a center and linebacker, he even kicked off for the Tar Heels. George was co-captain of the 1956 squad and he was named pre-season All-American. Unfortunately, a devastating injury his senior season ended his career on the field just short of his childhood dream of playing for the New York Giants. After earning a Master's in Education at UNC, George married Betsy Allen, a Duke University nurse from Dayton, OH. They started their life together in North Carolina where George was a teacher and coach at High Point High School and Betsy a nurse at High Point Hospital.
George then enjoyed a 32-year career as a broker in the food business representing primarily Del Monte and RJR Nabisco, first in the Pacific Northwest, then in the Midwest in Ohio as a partner in the Connelly and Company Food Brokerage, later retiring as Vice President of the O. G. Sandbo Co. in 1994.
For nearly 30 years in his retirement, George pursued his passion for football, teaching, coaching, and mentoring young people. He participated actively as a volunteer at Dayton's Patterson Kennedy Elementary School. Also, during his retirement, George was a volunteer varsity assistant football coach for many seasons coaching at both the Oakwood High School football program in Ohio where he was also a substitute teacher, and for the Hilton Head High School football team when in South Carolina.
George was a devoted member of the Church of the Holy Angels in Dayton, and at Holy Family Catholic Church on Hilton Head. He was an avid golfer and loved playing with his friends at the Dayton Country Club and at the Sea Pines Country Club on Hilton Head. He enjoyed the camaraderie and service as a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Dayton, the Dayton Bicycle Club, Dayton 49'rs Club, and later with the Reilly's Tuesday lunch group on Hilton Head.
George was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Elizabeth (Betsy) Allen Stavnitski in 2015. Also preceded in death by sisters-in-law Nancy Allen Fahrmeier and Judith Stavnitski. He is survived by his daughter Anne Stavnitksi Allen of Portland, OR; son and daughter-in-law David and Julia Stavnitski of Seattle, WA; son and daughter-in-law Bob and Kathryn Kendell Stavnitski of Hilton Head; grandchildren Andrew and Katlynn Bailey, Christian Bailey, Meagan and Zach Graves, and Shannen and Zach Zoske; and great-granddaughter, Hazel Zoske. George is also survived by sister Barbara S. Donahue, brother Kenneth Stavnitski, and brother-in-law Raymond (Maryann) Fahrmeier, and their families, and twin step-grandsons Timothy and Thomas Hutchins.
The Stavnitski family would like to express gratitude to for the compassionate care given to George at Hilton Head's Broad Creek Care Center at Tidepointe a Vi Community, and for the kindness provided to the family by Hospice Care of the Low Country, and Ms. Barbara Smith a family friend and caregiver.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church, 24 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head, SC, 29928, on Saturday October 22, 2022, at 10:30 AM. Interment at Six Oaks Cemetery in Sea Pines on Hilton Head.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Oakwood Schools Educational Foundation-Coaches Development Fund, P.O. Box 351, Oakwood, Ohio 45409 or Memory Matters, 117 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 www.Keithfuneral.com.