George O. Matheny

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George O. Matheny was born at home on Jan. 9, 1930 in Warren, Ohio. Surrounded by all his Arizona family, he went home to be with Our Lord on Sept. 17, 2013.

George was the youngest child of George C. and Deliah Matheny, and was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and two brothers. He leaves behind his wife of almost 63 years, Marion; daughter, Karen (Balknap); sons, George A. and John; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson.

George moved from Ohio to Tucson in 1945, and he graduated from Tucson High School. He met the love of his life, Marion, in Jan., 1947 at the Rialto Theater in Tucson. They eloped to Lordsburg, New Mexico on Dec. 22, 1950. They shared a love affair that lasted 67 years.

George was actively employed until he was 72 years old. He served in the United States Air Force, first as Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas as an engine run up instructor and later in Okinawa during the Korean War where he, as a tech sergeant, taught aircraft mechanics. George went from Private to Tech Sergeant in three years.

George made his living as a mechanic and as a handyman extraordinaire, and was the owner of multiple businesses. He was a foreman for many years for Kennecott Copper Company in Kearny.

George and Marion started GDM Ambulance Service, which was the first ambulance service in the Tri-Community area. Their ambulance service predated the fire department and helicopter emergency services of today. They also opened up 3 Bears Restaurant in Oracle and, for many years, the family restaurant was the meeting place for many Oracle residents.

In addition to driving his great-grandchildren around on their paper routes for years, George was actively involved in Pinal County 4-H for many years, and served on its Board of Directors for several years. When he was younger, he was a member of the Lions Club. He was also a volunteer police officer in Kearny.

George loved baseball, especially the Diamondbacks. He loved and enjoyed life. He was gentle, kind and compassionate to everyone. George was truly the rock of the family. He never lost his smile and rarely complained; he just went on with the flow of life and made the best of every situation.

Services were held on Sat., Sept. 21, at the First Baptist Church in Oracle.

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