George Michael Dragonetti

WAYNE – George died peacefully in the early morning of Jan. 19, 2021 in the VA Center in Augusta. George was well known and loved by many and lived a rich and rewarding life. He was the son of George Dragonetti and Vera (Strahlendorf) Dragonetti, born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 1, 1934. He spent his early years in Freeport, N.Y. graduating from Freeport High School in 1952. He played and lettered in football and basketball. He attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. where he also played basketball, lacrosse and was a member of the ROTC program, graduating with a degree in Business Administration.Following graduation, he spent two years as a 2nd lieutenant in the Nike program at El Paso, Texas and Plainfield, Conn. and was chosen by his commanding officer as the “Outstanding Lieutenant” for his leadership, example and devotion to duty. He attained the rank of captain.He married his high school sweetheart, Elsie Kathryn Eggers, on Sept. 10, 1955 and they had four adoring children. After active duty, he was appointed as the Assistant Director of Placement at his alma mater, Hofstra University and six months later was made the Director of Placement and received his master’s degree in Social Science at Hofstra as he continued to serve in the Army Reserve for eight years.In 1964 George took a job as the personnel director at Allied Corporation and was responsible for all phases of employment, training and welfare of their flagship store in Jamaica, N.Y. In 1966 he was asked to be the Director of Placement and Personnel at CW Post College of Long Island University. In 1967, President Sherman Masten recruited George to become the Dean of Students of the new County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph, N.J. He was a key figure in the ground breaking of the institution and after a year of construction he began hiring his administration and was responsible for admissions, student affairs and athletics and initiated the college’s basketball program.During his tenure, he was named by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a member of the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics and was a member of the Morris-Sussex Districts Legal Ethics Committee. On May 1, 1982, George’s 48th birthday, he was selected by the Morris County Bar Association as the recipient of its Annual Law Day Citizen Award, a rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under the law.In his hometown of Mendham, N.J. he was a member of Grace Lutheran Church where he was an usher and a member of the trustees. He was appointed to serve on the conservation committee and the planning board for the Borough of Mendham. While living in Mendham he won many doubles tennis tournaments. Prior to his retirement from CCM, the Student Center Auditorium was named after him for his dedication to students. After 26 years as vice president of CCM, he and his wife retired to Wayne on Pocasset Lake. They spent their time volunteering and traveling. At the time of his death he was a trustee of the Wayne Community Church and a member of the Ladd Recreation Board for many years.George and Elsie travelled to Germany, England, Italy, Ireland, Canary Islands, Canada, Mexico, Greece, Bermuda and France. While in France he was asked to help fold the American Flag at the National Cemetery in Normandy, an honor he was proud of. They spent the last 12 winters in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.George was an avid golfer and member of Turner Highlands Golf Club since its inception. He enjoyed fishing and driving his Pontoon Boat on Pocasset Lake most late afternoons for happy hour. He made hundreds of jars of blackberry, raspberry and grape jam, many from neighbors’ donations of fruit. He baked chocolate chip cookies for his grandchildren away at college and sent them in plastic-lined tennis cans. He read at least a book a week and enjoyed playing Bridge. He made wooden bowls, Adirondack chairs, and could fix just about anything. He supported “Music at Colby” and the Kennebec Land Trust where he was a committee member for many years. He and Elsie were recipients of the Town of Wayne’s Helen Healy Hicks Award in 2008 for their volunteer services to the community. His hands and mind were never idle.Education has always been an important aspect of life with the Dragonettis. The children are graduates of CCM, Indiana University, Syracuse, Delaware and Penn State. His grandchildren are graduates of Kents Hill Preparatory, the Lawrenceville School, Blair Academy, Alabama University, Champlain, George Washington, Bryant, St. Michaels, Brandeis, Boston College, William and Mary, and CU Boulder. In November 2019 George was inducted into the Inaugural CCM Athletic “Hall of Fame.” In September 2020 he and Elsie were acknowledged on the Today Show for their 65th wedding anniversary. George was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.The family would like to acknowledge his doctors – Dr. William Lee, Dr. Andrew Corsello, the Heart Failure Clinic, Scarborough, and the superior staff at the VA Hospital in ICU, Medical floor and Hospice Center.George was predeceased by his parents, George and Vera Dragonetti; sister and brother-in-law Muriel and Frank Pitcher; and sister-in-law Edna Howard.He is survived by the love of his life, Elsie; and his four cherished children, Doreen (Charles) Tyburski of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. and Wayne, Pamela Hedden (partner Mark Mentz) of Monroe, George (Christine) Dragonetti of Brookline, Mass. and Wayne, and Matthew (Jennifer) Dragonetti of Bermuda and Wayne; and 11 grandchildren, Erin (Anthony) Kennedy, Adam (Jennifer) Tyburski, Matthew (Kellie) Tyburski, Larry (Kat) Hedden, Anna (Joseph) Russell, Frank Hedden, George Dragonetti, Luke Dragonetti, Kathryn Dragonetti, Caroline Dragonetti, John Dragonetti and Hope Dragonetti; and seven great-grandchildren who will always love their beloved “Poppy” – Charlie, Henry, Noah, Joey, Sage, Brodee and Landon with two more on the way. George is also survived by many nieces and nephews. George led an inspiring life with unconditional love for family, friends and community. There will be a family funeral service at Roberts Funeral Home on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. For those who would like to attend George’s service remotely the livestream address is https://my.gather.app/remember/george-dragonetti. A Celebration of Life will be held this summer at the Wayne Community Church, date and time to be announced. Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop where condolences to the family may be shared on the obituary page of the website at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made toWayne Community Church,P.O. Box 300,Wayne, ME 04284.

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