George Frank Baldassarre, 94, of Watkins Glen, NY, passed away on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, of natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus. George was born in Altoona, PA, on June 18, 1925, the son of the late Dominick and Elvira (Tinaro) Baldassarre.
George graduated from Altoona High School in 1943. After graduating, he proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1943 to 1946. After his time in the Navy, he relocated to Watkins Glen, NY, where he and a friend opened Jim and George Frozen Custard.
George loved living in Watkins Glen where, in 1979, he married the love of his life, Norma Macri. During his many years in Watkins Glen, he was a well-known bartender at the Elk’s Club, the M&M Club, and the How-Gay Tavern, where he learned to make his famous Manhattan. However, he found his greatest professional satisfaction and reward during his 22 years at the Glen National Bank where he rose to be Assistant Vice President until his retirement in 1984. He was later elected and served two years as Schuyler County Treasurer.
George was also a very active community member, well loved by all who came into contact with him, and truly devoted to serving others. His many contributions to public life include volunteering at the United Way for over 40 years (from 1965 to 2007), serving as executive secretary in the later years, serving as a former member of the Rotary Club, and as treasurer of the Watkins Glen Housing Authority. In 2002, he received the United Way’s Marie Bailey Outstanding Volunteer Award, and in 2004, was the recipient of the Rotary Club’s prestigious Paul Harris Award for his outstanding contribution to the community.
George was a happy man who lived his life to the fullest enjoying his many passions over the years. He was an avid golfer (having the opportunity to play in the LPGA in 1980), bowler, and gardener, loved taking trips with Norma, was an extremely devoted Yankees fan, and loved spending time with his family who were truly enriched by his presence in their lives.
But most of all, George was a good man, a kind man, a generous man, a man who was beloved by all who knew him. With his sweet demeanor and gentle personality, he was simply adored by his children and grandchildren, one of whom said recently that he was “impossible not to love.”
George is predeceased by his loving wife, Norma Baldassarre; parents, Dominick and Elvira Baldassarre; sister, Adeline; brothers, Daniel and Rudolph; and step-son, Paul Macri. He is survived by his daughters, Roann (Tim) Dermady of Watertown, NY, and Joan Bartosz (and partner Ron DiNitto) of Inman, SC; son, Frank (Jeanne) Baldassarre of Spokane, WA; step-daughter, Lora (Klaas) Schilder of Clinton, NY; step-son, John (Darlene) Macri of Horseheads, NY; step daughter-in-law, Joan Macri of Auburn, ME; 13 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.
The family has planned a private burial and plans to hold a celebration of George’s life at a later date.
In appreciation of his love of reading, please consider a memorial donation in his memory to the Friends of Watkins Library (FOWL), c/o Watkins Glen Public Library, 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, NY 14891. You may express condolences to the family online in George’s memory at www.RoyceChedzoy.com.