William "Bill" George, Sr.
William "Bill" George, Sr. age 83 of Little Rock died August 8, 2002. He was the retired Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. Employed by the Housing Authority in June, 1962 as Business Relocation Officer to implement the Central Little Rock Urban Renewal Project, the 10-year $25 million federal-city effort to revitalize the entire downtown. The successful project subsequently served as the catalyst for over $150 million of new development in downtown Little Rock in the 1960s. Later promotions to Operations Coordinator and Urban Renewal Officer led to appointment in March 1978 by the Board of Commissioners to Executive Director and Secretary to the board, until his retirement in July 1986.
A 23-year U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. George enlisted in 1937 and served continuously on active duty, including World War II and Korea until August I, 1960. He retired at the Pentagon as Chief Warrant Officer while serving as administrative officer on the staff of World War II hero, Admiral Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations. An officer on Staff of Commander Task Group 7.3 the U.S. Navy arm of the Atomic Energy Commission conducting tests of nuclear devices in the Eniwetok-Bikini atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, Mr. George was a participant in over 30 multi-megaton detonations during 1956 operation REDWING and 1958 operation HARDTACK. His awards for military service included the Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant and Combat Distinguishing Device; U.S. Navy Good Conduct Metal with 3 stars; European-African Campaign Metal with 3 bronze stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Metal with 4 bronze stars; China Service WWII Occupation Metal; American Defense Metal with "A" Clasp; World War II Victory Metal; World War II Occupation Metal; Korea Service Metal with 3 stars; Korea Presidential Unit Citation; United Nations Metal for Korea Service; Philippine Liberation Metal with 2 bronze stars; and Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Mr. George was a 25-year member of the State, Regional and National Association of Housing and Urban Development Officials. He was honored by the Association in 1986 by award of the Distinguished Service Plaque and in 1999 was inducted into the Arkansas Housing "Hall of Fame" sponsored by the Arkansas Chapter of S.W. N.A.H.R.D. A lifetime Episcopalian, he served 2 terms on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Parish and was appointed by the Bishop to serve as General Chairman for the 1987 Arkansas Diocesan Convention. He had served as a Cub Master, Assistant Scout Master of Troop 196 and as Neighborhood Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. He was a former chairman of the water safety committee, American Red Cross, Pulaski County Chapter and a volunteer and advisor for Red Cross to the John L. McClellan Memorial Veteran's Hospital, with over 2000 hours as a volunteer. Other associations and service organizations to which he belonged included Navy Mutual Aid Association; Retired Officers Association of Central Little Rock and Washington, D.C.; Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 68;Rotary Club 99 of downtown Little Rock and Veteran's of Foreign Wars, Kansas City Chapter. He received elementary education in the public schools of Dubuque, Iowa. After completing a 2-year college GED course at the University of Wisconsin he attended the Arkansas Law School and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Adolphine Fletcher Tatum George of Little Rock, two sons William D. "Dub" George, Jr. and wife Sophie of Topeka, Kansas, David George and wife Janice of Memphis, Tennessee, 4 grandchildren, one sister Kathryn Hall of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 2 brothers, James George of Torrance, California and Thomas George of Tacoma, Washington.
In lieu of flowers memorials should be made to Trinity Episcopal Parish or a favorite charity.