Held in love, George Harold Houseworth's amazing life ended with grace and dignity at his home in Hendersonville, NC on July 12th, 2020 from complications of metastatic cancer.
George was born on February 21, 1923, in New York City, the oldest child of John Houseworth and Madeline Elsa Kautzmann. After the family relocated from The Bronx, George attended and graduated public school no.156 in Queens, Brooklyn Technical High School, and the Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University in Manhattan. Directly following convocation, George was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and received ongoing training in radar, sonar, LORAN, countermeasures, IFF and secure communications at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Assigned to the Electronics Field Service Group, Office of Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, DC, George served on vessels ranging from submarines to aircraft carriers across the globe, primarily in the Pacific Theatre.
Upon return from the war, he met the love of his life, Doris Josephine Incorvaia, at the Sperry Gyroscope Co. in Lake Success, NY where both worked. George and Doris married and raised three children in Levittown, NY & Jericho, NY. Subsequently, George earned his masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. A long and distinguished career in the Naval Reserves at the Naval Training Device Center in Sands Point, NY followed, during which time he advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
In the course of his tenure at the Device Center, George partnered with a colleague during off-hours in their respective basements to establish the Autodyne Engineering and Manufacturing Company. Eventually, they resigned their Naval Reserve commissions and advanced Autodyne into a full-time multi-faceted corporation headquartered in Bethpage, NY.
Several decades later, despite initial hesitance about leaving their cherished coastal community, George and Doris adventured to western NC to enjoy the active lifestyle that mountain living affords. And active, indeed was George – making music, cooking spuds for thousands, golfing, puzzling, hiking, even chopping down the proverbial cherry tree . . . oh – and did we mention travel? Sightseeing was one of their favorite pastimes. Excursions with the family? So much the better!
George was a soft-spoken and unassuming gentleman, ever-curious about how the world works, at ease alone, but never happier than when making a new acquaintance or hanging with his supportive, funloving, spiritually-enriching array of friends. While strong of opinion, he was not one to impose it upon others. Anyone that made the effort to know George benefited from his love of life, desire to help, and thrill in bringing a smile to others. One would not be far off base to describe his core essence as that of a tinkerer, a jack of all trades, a modern day Mr. Science. In that regard, George was master of his domain – capable of building, designing, and repairing all things be they straightforward or technically challenging.
Given his impressive lifespan (no doubt engendered in part through his passion for gardening and walking), two additional aspects of his later life bear mention. For one, combining his zeal for reading and understanding the spirit, he became an advanced student of the Bible. And well beyond the age at which many lock into a way of being, George continued to evolve and grow as an individual, softening hard stances and opening to new ways of viewing the world - always toward a more encompassing, caring approach toward others. That he so successfully shaped his life to serve the greater good, despite the tumultuous times in which he was raised, clearly places him in good standing amongst “the greatest generation.”
George is survived by two children, Stephen and Deborah, both of whom were blessed to be actively involved in his journey. He is also survived by one adored grandson and his favorite son-in-law Salvatore Barba. He was predeceased by Doris, his sister Madeline Ruth, an unnamed daughter, and his beloved son James Leonard.
Plans for a public memorial service are on hold until concerns about SARS-CoV-2 are satisfactorily addressed. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation [ www.JDRF.org ], the Cancer Research Institute [ www.cancerresearch.org/ ], the American Heart Association [ www.heart.org/ ], or the charity of your choice.
Finally, here's hoping you take to heart his oft-uttered advice: “enjoy life!”
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