George R. Gelles, 77, of Gettysburg, PA – a much beloved husband, father and friend — passed away peacefully early Thursday evening, Oct. 10, 2019, surrounded by his family, after suffering a cardiac event on Monday, Oct. 7. He was a pillar in the many communities he touched and served.
Born Feb. 12, 1942 in Johnstown, George was the youngest son of the late Mildred Laco and Charles Gelles. He was the husband of Terri Gelles (DuBreucq), also of Johnstown. Together they shared 54 joyful years of marriage.
In addition to his wife, George is survived by his three children: Greg, Christine and her fiancé Frank Sheppard and Amy Corr and her husband Michael; his grandchildren: Kayleigh (Christine), Nichole, Josh and Kaity (Gregory), Seanna, Jude and Fiona (Amy); and three great-grandchildren: Paityn, Madalyn and Grayson as well as numerous nieces and nephews. In addition, he loved and counted as family Frankie, Michael and Mark Sheppard, Mike Lovejoy, Nick Smarrelli, Juli Taylor, Kim Leggett, as well as many others.
George is survived by his eldest brother, Charles and preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers John and Donald Gelles.
He attended Mount St. Mary’s University and was a very proud member and President of the Class of 1964. He also enjoyed a long career at the Mount, where he served many professional roles, including assistant dean of students, dean of students and director of auxiliary affairs. Even after his retirement, his service continued in various elected positions with the National Alumni Council and the President’s Council.
George was a long-time member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Gettysburg, where he served as a sacristan and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, as well as Chair of the Finance Committee.
Most recently, George worked as an on-site coordinator for student travel with World Strides. He has served on many governing and advisory boards, including St. John’s Catholic Prep (Frederick, Md.), Elm Street Neighborhood Council (Gettysburg), United Way, MD Special Olympics, and Manos Unidas Hispanic American Center. He also worked with Habitat for Humanity and was an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus. He also served the US National Guard.
George has always been known as someone who brought smiles and happiness to everyone he met. He will be so dearly missed by all whose lives he touched, including his innumerable friends and colleagues. His faith and charity and kindness will be remembered by them all.
Viewings will be held on Monday, Oct. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Monahan Funeral Home, 125 Carlisle St. Gettysburg; and on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 25 West High St., Gettysburg. The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Immediately after, George will be buried at his “Mountain Home” in the Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery at the National Shrine Grotto in Emmitsburg, MD, where the Blessed Mother will continue to watch over him. The family welcomes everyone there, and after his interment will receive all of his many friends at a Celebration of his life at MSt. Mary’s. During the reception, all are invited to share their stories of how George touched their lives. The family will be comforted by your memories.
Online condolences may be made at monahanfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to St. Francis, 465 Table Rock Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325; or Mount St. Mary’s University, Office of Advancement,16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, MD 21727, or on-line at www.msmary.edu/give. Please indicate the “George Gelles Scholarship”, which will carry his tradition of community service forward in perpetuity.