George Vincent Fleck
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George Vincent Fleck
  • September 6, 1930 - March 2, 2017
  • Oneonta, New York

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George Vincent Fleck, 86, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

George was born September 6, 1930 in the Mill Basin area of Brooklyn. He was one of 12 children born to his parents Raymond and Dorothy (Canavan) Fleck. Like his older sister and brothers, George attended P.S. 236. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, a four-year high school program for boys interested in becoming priests. Following two years of college-level seminary studies at Cathedral Prep, George went to Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, Long Island, where he completed his college education and his training for the priesthood. He was ordained on June 2, 1956, served in parishes in the Brooklyn Diocese for 10 years, and taught English and Latin at the Minor Seminary. During this period, George earned his Masters degree from Columbia University. He also served in the Albany Diocese, where he taught at Cardinal McCloskey High School.

He left the priesthood in 1967 and married Angela Kenny. George and Angela made their home in Hillsdale, New Jersey, and adopted two children, David and Amelia. George was a Reading Specialist and English teacher, teaching for 25 years at Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, New Jersey. During summers, George was a self-employed house painter, until one summer when he had a near-fatal fall from a ladder. Following his recovery and physical therapy, he adopted a lifelong regimen of physical fitness. George and Angela spent summer vacations on Prince Edward Island, where her parents were born. After 19 years of marriage, Angela passed away in January of 1988.

In 1990, George married Jean Rieb, a fellow teacher at Northern Valley Regional HS. They lived in Midland Park, NJ until their retirement in 1995 when they moved to Fly Creek, New York. Besides their lovely 1860's farmhouse filled with books, George enjoyed his fully equipped wood working shop making many improvements to their home, especially more bookcases.

George volunteered at Bassett Hospital for many years, and spent many hours as a Hospice volunteer visiting patients in their homes. He always said that in his retirement he wanted to give time and care to others. Known and remembered by many people for his kindness and ready smile, he was often greeted by people when out and about Oneonta and Cooperstown.

George and Jean continued to spend four months every year at Lakeside on Prince Edward Island, Canada, sharing their cottage on the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence with family and friends. When there, George included kayaking and canoeing, bike riding and swimming as part of his fitness routine. Over the many years since the late fifties, when George first went to the Island, George and Angela and then Jean brought many of the nieces and nephews, siblings and friends to enjoy the beauty of the Island, the beach and the people. Nieces and nephews all fondly remember their uncle for his fun, laughter, stories and antics. Back home in New York, George and Jean are active parishioners at St. Mary's Church in Oneonta. George was a Eucharistic Minister and brought communion to one of the local adult care homes for several years before he stopped driving. He loved singing in the church choir and in the past years when he could no longer speak or read, would hum the tunes and joyfully sing out the alleluias.

After being diagnosed with dementia in 2008, George and Jean moved to one of the homes in the new community of The Plains at Parish Homestead. In recent months, Hospice has lovingly ministered to George as he did to others in earlier years. In addition, two caregivers Amanda Cimko-Wilson and Kim Casella made the last months so much easier for George and Jean with their care and support. George continued to be appreciative to all who ministered to him in the last months and always had a gracious smile for Paul Patterson, Joanne Johnston, Ken Dukes, and many others who visited and spent time with him.

George is survived by his wife Jean and daughter Amelia. Of the original twelve siblings, there remain, Barbara Hirschfield of Southbury, Connecticut, Raymond (Dorothy), of LaVerne, California, Richard (Evelyn) of Jacksonville, Florida, Kenneth, of Riviera Beach, Maryland, Dolores of Brooklyn, New York, Walter of Dunnellon, Florida, Leonard (Nancy) of Summit, New York and Judith Geery of Enfield, Connecticut. In addition, sisters-in-law, Joan Fleck of Kingston, New York, Delarue Fleck of Waterford, New York, Jeanette (Charles) Connelly of Brooklyn, New York and Joan Kenny of Stamford, Connecticut. George is also survived by many nieces and nephews and many more in the next generation.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Angela Kenny, his parents, Raymond and Dorothy, his brothers, Louis, Thomas and James, brothers-in-law William Hirschfield, Roger Geery, Fr. Albert Kenny, and Robert Kenny, and sisters-in-law Lois Fleck, June Fleck, Delarue Fleck, Dolores Fleck, and Frances Murphy.

Family and friends are invited to the wake and evening prayer from 5pm to 7pm at St. Mary's Church, 39 Walnut St. Oneonta, on the evening of March 8, 2017. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am on Thursday, March 9, 2017 by Fr. David Mickiewicz, pastor of St. Mary's Church. A reception will be held at the Parish Center following the Mass.

Interment will take place in the summer at St. Cuthbert's Church Cemetery, in St. Theresa, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

As it is Lent, no flowers will be permitted. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Renovation Fund or the Catskill Area Hospice.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website: www.grummonsfuneralhome.com

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home of Oneonta, NY.