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Obituary for George Viele
George James Viele was born August 25, 1951 to Melvin and Helen Viele in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. As a young child, he and his family, including his older brother Roger, moved to Hollywood, Florida where he grew up near the beach. He enjoyed scuba diving to collect fish for his aquarium, swimming on the high school team and at the beach, skateboarding on his homemade board, shooting pool, playing pinball, and getting into a bit of trouble. George was brilliant with numbers and was awarded a full scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he studied Civil Engineering and enjoyed playing pickup basketball and rugby. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he got his Master’s Degree in Engineering at the University of Florida. When the Gators and the Commodores played each other in college football, George always rooted for the Dores; he liked to root for the underdog. After graduating from the University of Florida, George lived and worked in Texas for a few years where he still has many friends and where he met his bride, Sandy. He moved back to the Sunshine State with Sandy in the late 80s, working as a commercial real estate broker and developer. George and Sandy were married on Valentine’s Day in 1989. They welcomed their daughter Jourdan in 1990. George was an adventurer. He hiked the Appalachian Trail, hitch hiked from Nashville to South Florida, went on several hunting and diving trips in Mexico, explored South East Asia during his month-long honeymoon with Sandy, ate rocky mountain oysters and rattlesnake, attended Woodstock, took several cross-country motorcycle trips to Sturgis and one month-long trip from Florida to California and back with close friends, snow skied without taking lessons (in hindsight he recommended taking lessons), got bitten on the finger by a wild monkey in Bali, road tripped through Costa Rica with his family, and visited his daughter Jourdan while she was living abroad in Spain. He and his girls took many trips to camp, hike, and watch the autumn foliage change in Georgia and the Carolinas, first in a pop-up camper and later in an old RV affectionately named “Big Bertha”. They also made it a point to regularly hit lobster mini season in the Florida Keys, always caught their limit of “bugs”, and made it back to Oviedo just in time for Jourdan to start school in the fall. George enjoyed being involved with the local community and helping people. He was a Freemason, a Rotarian, a tribe leader for a father daughter YMCA group, and served as a city councilman in Oviedo, Florida where he lived for over 30 years in his home on Long Lake. He gave sound advice and encouraged others. He also cared for animals, adopted many dogs and cats throughout his life, always stopped to aid turtles in road crossing endeavors, hand fed a huge frog that inhabited the backyard pond, raised and released a couple dozen ducklings, and once rescued a pelican who was hopelessly tangled in fishing line. George had a great sense of humor, was an avid reader, and enjoyed western movies. He loved golfing with his friends, fishing in Sebastian Inlet, and shrimping at all times of the night. A recent proud moment for George was golfing even par at one of his regular courses. George was not big on cooking and enjoyed his wife’s food immensely, however, he made the world’s greatest chili on cold days and the best stuffing for Thanksgiving, a family recipe passed down from his mother. George was an impressive handyman, building decks, fences, tree houses, bat boxes, wood duck boxes that unexpectedly became bee boxes, and outdoor showers. He could fix almost anything that broke, including his maroon, Mongoose bicycle, which he owned for over 40 years. On sight he could name the majority of birds regularly seen in Florida and was still perfecting a way to protect his backyard bird feeders from squirrels. George was a man of faith who prayed eloquently and spoke with God often. George passed away peacefully in his home on April 25, 2021 after a long battle with Leukemia. He was a few months shy of his 70th birthday. He left this world surrounded by his loving wife, daughter, brother, and sister-in-law, Ari. It was a stormy Sunday morning but almost immediately after his passing the sun came out. His family takes this as a sign he entered heaven and is at peace. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, his daughter, Jourdan, his brother, Roger, his mother-in-law Sally, his sisters-in-law, Ari, Karen, and Sydney, his brothers-in-law, Kevin and Dale, his nieces, Madison and Zoe, and many, many friends. He will also be missed by his dog, Rueger, and his cat, Keith, who slept at his feet every night. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations of blood to help others in the way George was helped during his illness or donations to fund Leukemia research so that one day no one will have to suffer as George did.
Please join us for a Celebration of Life Brunch in honor of George’s incredible life. The event will be held on Saturday, June 12 between 11 AM and 1 PM in our home. Food and libations will be served, and we look forward to sharing and hearing favorite memories and stories about George.