Mr. Bagatelas died Friday, July 27, 2012, at Trinity Rock Island. In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials may be made to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, where he had been a member, or to the East Moline Public Library.
George was born Jan. 24, 1926, in East Moline, son of William and Rebecca Gounis Bagatelas. He grew up with his sister, Dorothy, and his brother, Ted, above the family grocery store, where the two brothers first began to hone their sales skills at a young age. George graduated from United Township High School in 1944 before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, becoming a gunnery sergeant on B29s. While at Kirkland AFB, he witnessed the very first atomic bomb test, Trinity, near Alamagordo, N.M. Upon returning home he attended Augustana College while working at the family grocery before embarking upon a diverse career with his brother, Ted, that would entail retail stores, construction and land development.
In 1951, along with their brother-in-law, George Yokas, the Bagatelas brothers opened their first Sportsland store in downtown East Moline. The company expanded into Moline and Davenport over the years. The business consisted of both the athletic center, specializing in retail sporting goods and servicing school and college athletic departments in the Midwest, and The Family Fun Center selling boats, motorcycles and pool tables.
He married Daphne Karkazis on Nov. 3, 1957, in Chicago.
The brothers began their career in real estate with the development and purchase of various apartment projects in the area. The construction in 1968-69 of the 12-story Summit Ridge Condominiums on the bluff above downtown East Moline was just one of their ambitious undertakings. George was also one of the developers and founders of the Snowstar Ski Resort in Andalusia and was an active director. He ended his professional career with Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate in Bettendorf in February 2012.
George was very devoted to his extended family, his friends and to his Christian faith. He served for many years on the board of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church and, as president in 1981, was instrumental in leading the construction of a new church on Kennedy Drive in East Moline. He was a voracious reader and an avid Yankees, Cubs and Illini fan.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Daphne, in 1972 and sister, Dorothy Yokas, in 1970. He is survived by daughters, Rebecca Bagatelas, Washington, D.C., Valerie Bagatelas, Denver, Colo., and son, Dino Bagatelas, Albany, Calif.; brother, Theodore, and his wife, Karen Bagatelas, Moline; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to extend their sincerest gratitude to Dr. Costas Constantinou, Dr. Thomas Ade, nephew, Bill Bagatelas, and dear friends, Jim and Sue Gende, Anne and Bob Blummer, Keith Davies and Mari Illingworth.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.vanhoe.com.
Rock island, IL Details
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