Lytle Leo George, devoted husband, loving father and loyal friend, was called to his heavenly reward, February 14, 2017, in Glen Carbon, IL.He was born June 25, 1920, in Sullivan, MO, to Lytle Jackson George and Ollie (Springer) George. He was a flight instructor for the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945. On February 22, 1946, he married Helen Jane Hussman in Sullivan. She preceded him in death, along with a sister, Oleta (George) Walker and a brother, Robert Dean George.He is survived by his daughter, Mary Susan (George) Featherstun and her husband James Michael of Glen Carbon; and a son, John David George, his wife, Beverly Kay George of Edwardsville; and granddaughter Sarah Elizabeth George-Waterfield and her husband Terry of Hillsborough, NC; a brother, James Springer George of Frisco, TX and nieces and nephews.
Leo was a member of the “Greatest Generation” having lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Growing up on the family farm along the Meramec River, he developed a love for the outdoors where he went on to spend his entire career, first as a conservation agent for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Milan, Mo and later as assistant superintendent of the Busch Wildlife Refuge at Weldon Springs, MO. At the refuge, he made numerous friends among field trail enthusiasts but none had a greater impact on his life than his friendship with John M. Olin, whose black Labrador, King Buck, was the national retriever champion in 1952 and 1953.
In 1961, Olin offered Leo the manager position at Nilo Farms, the preeminent private shooting preserve near Brighton, IL. Over the next three decades, Leo hosted thousands of guests, from captains of industry to government leaders, to celebrities from the sports and entertainment worlds. In 1974, he met the budding professional golfer, Tom Watson, and an enduring friendship was forged. Under Leo’s expert tutelage, Nilo guests refined their shooting skills on the skeet and trap fields where he would often display his mastery at hip-shooting. He was an avid gardener, fisherman and fan of Cardinal baseball.
Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto is in charge of arrangements. At Leo’s request, his remains were cremated. Visitation will be on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Bethalto, IL from 1 p.m. until time of memorial mass at 2 p.m. That same day, friends and family are invited to a celebration of Leo’s life from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sunset Hills Country Club, Edwardsville, IL. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church or Metro East Humane Society. Online condolences may be left at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com.