My uncle George was certainly not just my uncle. Far and wide he was known by that moniker. "Tell 'em Uncle George sent you."
Blood relatives, friends - new and old, even my friends (some only having met him once) all called the man "Uncle George."
He was the patriarch of my immediate family.
Uncle George was a man of stories - wild, colorful, funny, and terrible stories - first hand accounts of youthful shenanigans and brutal WWII battles.
He was a man of foibles and tremendous courage, of human frailty and deep and abiding love.
He adored music - all kinds of music - I mean all kinds! including Country, the Rat Pack crooners (especially Dean Martin), and also Opera (told me about going to the Old Met with his dad, hearing Galli-Curci and Martinelli)
Uncle George was a Patriot's Patriot.
He never lost his passion for this life until he was ready to move on to the next one, which was last Friday, September 30, around 1:30 PM.
He'd lived a full life - there's no question about that - but it's always hard to say good-bye to those we love.
He was inspiring, infuriating - a tireless teaser, witty, intense, an uncannily instinctive healer, and a pretty darned smart guy too
I'm so proud to be his niece - to be part of his clan.
And I know I'm not alone when I say: "I love you and miss you, Uncle George!"
May your spirit be alight with transcendence