Palestine Magazine May 2019 - Page 9

legacy 40 years in the making F rank George Sr. has contributed generously to local causes for more than 30 years, serving on the board of directors for agencies that had the most impact on local youth. George, 87, served in the Palestine Rotary for many years and con- tributed to many causes, particularly youth and education, donating tens of thousands of dollars. Jeanette George said the family gave generously to many causes, but graciously says their family was one of many. The county’s Child Welfare Board was the family’s favorite cause. “We’d have a Christmas party at the Presbyterian church for about 150 children each year,” Jeanette said. The George family’s contribu- tions made it possible for each child in foster care to receive a Christ- mas gift. George also served, for many years, on the board of directors for the Palestine YMCA and Royal Bank. He served in various leadership positions for St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, contributing generously to its causes. After the George family — Frank and his brothers — donated a parcel of land to the Presbyterian church in honor of their mother, Janie George, the church, many years later, sold it to a local business for a considerable sum. When the University of Texas at Tyler planned to build an exten- sion campus in Palestine for its nursing school, Jeanette and Frank served on the board and contributed generously to the project. They were one of many families that made the construction of the campus possible, Jeanette said. George’s success in business served as the foundation for his phi- lanthropy. Among family-owned businesses in Palestine, the William George Company stands out for its longevity, service, and local impact. Run out of a humble warehouse on Granberry Street, the whole- saler supplies dozens of other local businesses with essentials needed for their daily operations — and has since 1932. From warehouses in Palestine, Lufkin, and Texarkana, the George family has established a legacy of service over its 80 years to clients as far as 250 miles outside of East Texas. Locals who eat at restaurants, stay at hotels and nursing homes, or eat in school cafeterias in Palestine — and many other towns in East Texas — benefit from their consistent, quality service. The 45,000 square-foot Palestine warehouse is operated by the third generation of the George family, Frank George, Jr., grandson of William George and son of Frank George, Sr. Jeffrey George in Texarkana and Randy George in Lufkin are the sons of Frank Sr.’s older brothers. The company grew from nothing but a devotion to hard work and dedication to customer service. William George immigrated from Lebanon, arriving in New Or- leans in 1930 — during the Great Depression. In 1932, he moved to Palestine, after hearing about the Kojack family, who had also immi- grated from Lebanon. continued on next page... APRIL 2019 9