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George G. WalthiusJuly 20, 1927 ~ April 13, 2017 (age 89)
George G. Walthius, 89, Bradenton, passed away April 13, 2017.
He was born July 20, 1927 in Chicago, IL to the late George and Ethel (Olson) Walthius. His formative years were all spent in Chicago, grade and high school.
George joined the U.S. Navy Reserve on his 17th birthday in 1944 and was then placed on the Navy’s inactive list until he finished high school. At that time he was immediately activated in June of 1945 and sent to Great Lakes, IL for boot camp. While scheduled to go to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan, upon the end of the war George was stationed at the Lambert Field Naval Air Base in St. Louis, MO until August of 1946. He was then transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserves Inactive list until August of 1954.
After his active duty service he graduated from the University of Illinois in June of 1950. While at the university, George was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau social fraternity and the Alpha Delta Sigma, National Advertising Fraternity.
That summer of 1950, George married his college sweetheart, Phyllis Coakley and they settled in Oak Park, IL. Later years were all spent in Hinsdale, IL except for five years in Birmingham, MI.
He first joined the Armour and Company in the Dial soap division and participated in the national roll out of what became America’s leading bar soap. After four years he moved on to Pepperidge Farm Bakeries in Downers Grove, IL as their Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for three years. George then got an offer from one of Chicago’s largest advertising agencies and then so joined McCann Erickson, Chicago; then over to Bloomfield Hills, MI to join MacManus, John & Adams, and then finished his career in the “ad business” back in Chicago with J. Walter Thompson as a Vice-President. His clients are too numerous to mention.
At the age of 45 George “retired” from the agency business to enter the radio broadcasting field as Vice President of the Radio Advertising Bureau for the Chicago office. He retired from R.A.B. in 1990 as Senior Vice President.
He and Phyllis immediately moved full time to their condo in Bradenton, FL where he lived until his death. He lost his precious Phyllis to Alzheimer’s disease on April 14, 2009 after 59 years of happy marriage…60 years as good friends.
Though “retired” George kept more active than ever volunteering, with Phyllis , for 13 years as ushers at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, FL, 20 years with TideWell Hospice until 2004, when he took a medical leave of absence (both he and Phyllis had cancer) and then in 2010 rejoined TideWell Hospice.
He also was a volunteer in the Skilled Care wing of Freedom Village, a local nursing home, working in the Activities Department. Along the line, he volunteered for several years with the American Littoral Society, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, various church offices, as well as Condo offices.
George was born and raised a Baptist, but became an Episcopalian upon marrying Phyllis. In later years he moved toward the Anglo Catholic theology.
He was predeceased in addition to his parents and wife, by his son, Scott in October of 2012. George is survived by his loving daughter. Debra Holsten of Bradenton, seven precious grandchildren; Lindsey, Whitney and Mackenzie Holsten, Matthew Walthius, Jennifer, Kimberly, Elizabeth Heinemann, five darling great-grandchildren, a brother, Randall of Cleveland, OH, daughter-in-law, Diane Walthius of Downers Grove, IL, and many extended family members and friends.
A graveside memorial service will be held at a later date at the Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook, IL where he will join Phyllis…together forever.
The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to TideWell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL. 34238 in his memory.
Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238