Our beloved husband and father, George Diab, died peacefully at his home in Wilmington on Friday, June 26, 2015, at the age of 91.
George was born on March 4, 1924, in Moundsville, West Virginia, the son of the late George and Minnie Diab.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kitty; three children, Barbara (Lee) Robert and Stephen (Margaret); five grandchildren, Walker, Jackson, Jacob, Sarah and Lindsay; and two sisters, Jean Dopkiss (Frank) and Nancy Diab.
He was preceded in death by two children, Philip (1954) and Mary Jo (1972); and by five siblings, Freda, Ellabee, Fred, Bill and Phil.
George lived an extraordinary life filled with gratitude and deep devotion to his country, community, family and profession. During WWII, he served our country in the European Theatre of Operations with the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions as a medical paratrooper.
Honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1946, he returned home from Germany to obtain a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University in 1949 and later attended Harvard Business School Broadcast Management program in the summer of 1967. From 1949 to 1962, George became the news and sports director and later the vice president/general manager of WTRF in Wheeling, West Virginia. During that period, George married his sweetheart, Kitty, in 1953 and they remained faithfully married and never parted for 62 wonderful years.
In 1971, George and Kitty starting calling Wilmington home when Lyell Clay hired George as the new president of Clay Broadcasting and vice president/owner of Clay Communications Inc., taking over the reins of four television stations, including WWAY-TV3.
George served the Wilmington civic and professional community for more than 40 years, assuming various volunteer roles as vice chair of the New Hanover County Hospital Board of Trustees, as a member of the Board of Directors of both the Opera House and Brigade Boys and Girls Club and numerous positions with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where the “George Diab Sports Medicine Center” is currently named in his honor.
In 1984, he was elected as the president of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, serving that same year as moderator of the Hunt/Helms Senatorial debates.
Lifetime honors included induction into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, West Virginia Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame.
A funeral service will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary, followed by burial at Oleander Memorial Gardens. The family will then receive friends at 11:30 a.m. at Cape Fear Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either Tileston Social Outreach, c/o Basilica Shrine at St. Mary, 412 Ann St.,Wilmington, NC 28401 or UNCW George & Kitty Diab Scholarship Fund, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road,Wilmington, NC 28403
Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.
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