Some of those who worked with and for him described him as a brilliant engineer, a demanding boss, a doer, and a sometimes mystifying communicator. “In meetings, we’d all listen to George and we’d have to go back to the office afterwards to figure out what the heck he said,” recalled Bob Withington. “His communication skills weren’t as good as his aeronautical thinking, but we could usually figure it out.”
Like many aerodynamicists, his recreational passion was sailing. He loved watching the wind in the sails and analyzing the behavior of the waves in the water. Having a constant fascination with all things mechanical, he enjoyed building or fixing things, including making his own replacement parts when some household object broke down and building models of his sailboat with improved keels. He also had a lifelong interest in classical music and was a great supporter of the arts, including being on the boards of the Seattle Opera, ACT Theater, and Cornish College of the Arts.
When he passed away on October 24, 2004, he was survived by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Joe Sutter remembered George with this statement: “He was a real technical powerhouse. His name should be on the wall at the Smithsonian. He’s really an aviation pioneer.”