George Brownlee Boone, 96, of Asheville, died September 2, 2018 at Deerfield Retirement Community, Asheville.
Born in Watseka, IL, he was the husband of Shirley (Talbot) Boone of Asheville, and the son of the late George Ingels and Katherine Sinclair (Brownlee) Boone. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Alma Anne (Cousins) Boone on December 30, 2007.
During George’s sophomore year at The University of Virginia, he and some of his very closest friends enlisted in The Army Air Corp, (now The US Air Force), immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. George bravely served his country as an Officer while piloting a B-24 bomber - known as The Liberator. The B-24 Liberator was an extremely difficult plane to fly - the pilot navigating through flak-filled skies, in frigid high altitude temperatures, up to 8 hour round trips. On a key mission flying over German occupied Romania, 1st Lieutenant Boone’s plane was shot down on April 15, 1944. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war for over a year by the Nazis during WWII. George was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart, 3 bronze stars and an Air Medal.
After the war, George entered business with his father on Long Island, New York. He eventually settled in the small, north shore Village of Nissequogue where he helped raise a family that would total 7. George and his father pioneered the emerging and rapidly growing Air Conditioning and Refrigeration industry as manufacturer sales representatives. Upon his father’s early and untimely passing, George was suddenly forced to take over the business. Over the next 40 years he steered the small regional northeast firm into a national sales and distribution company with over 40 employees.
George was an avid golfer and until recently was a member of Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville. He played the majority of his golf as a member of numerous golf clubs; however, The National Golf Links of America on Long Island, NY was his most favorite. He was an NGLA member for well over 30 years. During those years while playing countless rounds at The National, George taught his sons the traditions, benefits, and joys of this life-long game.
In addition to his wife Shirley, he is survived by 7 children: Catherine (Timothy) McNeese of Baltimore, MD; David (Diane) Boone of Pittsburgh, PA; Thomas Boone of Houston, TX; Jonathan (Michele) Boone of Asheville, NC; James (Courtney) Boone of Newport News, VA; Anne (Phillip) Pilewski of Mystic, CT; and Douglas (Sheila) Morrell of Long Valley, NJ; 15 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the wonderful staff at Deerfield as well as to Dr. Clay Ballantine of Blue Ridge Premier Medicine for all of their care, support and kindness during George’s years in Asheville.
A Memorial service will be held on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 10:00 am in the Health Care Chapel at Deerfield Retirement Community, Haden Hall. Burial with full military honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA at a later date.
Groce Funeral Home, Lake Julian, is assisting the family.