George Douglas Detrick, age 81 passed away peacefully June 20, 2017 due to complications of esophageal cancer. He was born November 9, 1935 in New Brunswick, New Jersey to George “Dewey” and Lola Detrick. It’s been said that his first words were a knock-knock joke, but there is no proof to support this rumor.
Frustrated by his need to tell jokes, his parents sent him to live in a series of foster homes across New Jersey and New York, where he undoubtedly, put everyone at ease with his quick wit and charm. After graduation, he attended college, played hockey and spent his summers working on Lake George, NY. The call for adventure was strong and he joined the Army in 1958 where he was based in Germany.
Long weekends with Parisian girls, wine and motorcycles are part of the stories he would recount, which ultimately led to a fabulous tale of a crash on a 1960 Triumph on a country road in France and a finger on his right hand that would never fully extend for the rest of his life; causing his future children much confusion as they never knew exactly where he was pointing. Shortly after his Parisian escapades, he met the love of his life Joan Hill, and while she was engaged at the time, he did not find that a deterrent.
He somehow convinced her to marry him in 1960 and they spent the next 6 years living outside of New York City as newlyweds, skiing in New England, vacationing in the Caribbean and working hard.
In 1966 their first daughter, Pamela was born and Jennifer soon followed in 1968. The two little girls believed their dad hung the moon for them every night and they were introduced to some of his alter egos including, “Elmo” who loved giraffes and would only drink from glasses sporting the long necked animals, and “Nippin Whale” who would chase them anywhere they were to nip at them and make them giggle. Thanks to George, their childhoods were filled with camping trips in the Coleman Pop-Up, a 1974 VW Bus named Tyrone, and countless embarrassments that only a father like him can bestow upon his daughters.
While everyone will remember George’s sense of humor and his ability to make just about anyone laugh, it would negligent not to mention his deep faith and love of God. He and Joan found a home at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Monroe, NY for many years before finding similar homes at Spirit of Joy in Matthews, NC and eventually Calvary Church, in Charlotte, NC. It was at church that he found his most true friends that have lasted his lifetime, and his faith that led him through some difficult times including the unexpected loss of his daughter Jennifer in 2009 and his wife Joan in 2012 to pancreatic cancer.
George loved many things, but most of all, his family that he leaves behind. He adored his daughter Pam Seagle, and her husband Todd of Wilmington, NC, but more than anything there were his grandchildren. Lately he took great pride in sharing stories of his grandson Cameron’s travels around the world, and specifically driving across Africa. And his eyes always lit up at the mention of his granddaughter, Kelsey who lives in Nashville, TN and he loved more than anything in the world. They all know that life will not be the same without him.
George’s life will be honored on July 11th, 2017 at 11:00 am; Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC.
Gifts may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice. https://lcfhospicefoundation3233.thankyou4caring.org/
We are pretty certain that George made it to the gates of heaven and began his eternal life just as it’s rumored he kicked it off here on earth with a smile and joke.
Arrangements are in the care of Coastal Cremations.
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