Heaven has gained another "HERO."
George was born Jan. 8, 1924, in Hotchkiss, Colo., to George and Florine Roop; he passed away peacefully at Ashley Gardens in Mount Vernon, Wash., on March 1, 2016, after a long battle with Alzheimer's.
George lived and attended school in Colorado. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy where he was honorably discharged in 1946.
George joined the Spokane Valley Fire Department in May 1952 and retired as Fire Captain in March 1970. He continued to stay a big part of the Washington State Firefighters Association after retirement and was the last surviving 41.18 only member.
Papa didn't remember many things toward the end of his life, but the few he did was being a firefighter, a Boy Scout leader and a cowboy in Colorado; he could share stories about each like they were yesterday.
George in 1971 married Patsy Barnes and they moved to Haugan, Mont., along with their blended family of six children. They were happily married for 40 years until Patsy passed in May 2011. In that time, they had many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Some of my fonder memories of my Papa, growing up, were spending them in the outdoors. He was an avid outdoorsman. Some of his favorite things were fishing, hunting, picking huckleberries, camping, and just enjoying drives to look at wildlife and take pictures. He loved to travel between Alaska and New Mexico and all the stops in between.
Papa was a kind man; he would have given his shirt off his back to help anyone. He taught me how to be a hard worker, have love in my heart and to help those in need. His smile will be remembered by many.
We will honor Papa's wishes of not wanting a formal service after his death and to spread his ashes in the places that he loved. Each spot we will go we will remember the fond memories and the time we shared with him.
The family would like to thank the Spokane Valley Fire Department for being there for him, also Mountain Glen and Ashley Gardens' staff for taking great care of Papa over the last few years.
Donations can be made in honor of George to your local Boy Scout troop.
Please share your thoughts and sign the online guest register at www.hawthornefh.com.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, Wash.
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