George C. Hernandez Sr., age 95, passed away July 12, 2020 at Avondale Estates of Elgin. He was born September 14, 1924 in Orange County, Texas to Leon and Epifania Hernandez, the fifth of eight children.
George’s father was employed by Union Pacific Railroad, and in 1928, the family moved to Illinois so Leon could work at the LaFox Railroad Section, near Geneva, IL.
George attended Geneva schools until transferring to Elgin schools after Leon was sent to Elgin in the early 1940s.
In 1943, during his senior year at Elgin High School, George was one of the young men who chose to take time off from high school to serve in the military during World War II.
George served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946, and was stationed in New Guinea and Manila. He earned the rank of Technician Fifth Grade and was awarded three overseas service bars, the Asiatic Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.
Upon his return, George re-entered school, graduating from Elgin High School as a member of the Class of 1946. He went on to study at Bradley University until 1949, when he married Sally Rodriguez, a young lady he had met at a dance sponsored by the Club Guadalupano at St. Joseph’s Church.
George was employed at the Elgin Watch Factory and later with Burgess Norton in Geneva, IL, until he contracted an illness connected to his military service.
In 1955, after George had recuperated, together with Sally he opened a small grocery store at the corner of State and Ball St. Although they had sufficient help from dear friends Rita and Bob Camacho, the store remained open for approximately one year.
George then went to work at Chicago Rawhide, where he remained a faithful employee until his retirement.
Loved ones will remember George as patient, understanding, and a mentor. In his free time, he enjoyed sports, music and playing in a mariachi band.
George was preceded in death by his wife, Sally; his parents, Leon and Epifania; his brothers John and Joseph; and his sisters, Dolores, Juanita, Mary, Raymunda, and Natividad.
George is survived by his children, George C. Hernandez, Jr., Michael Hernandez, and Elizabeth “Bette” Hernandez; and grandchildren Laura, Nicolas and Rachael.
Visitation will be 5:00p.m – 9:00p.m. Monday July 20, 2020 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120. Visitation will continue 10:00a.m. until time of service at 10:30a.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at St. Laurence Catholic Church, 225 Jewett St., Elgin IL 60123, Fr. Robert Camacho officiating. Interment with military honors to follow at Mount Hope Catholic Cemetery, 1001 Villa St., Elgin IL 60120.
Mourners are encouraged to review the funeral home COVID-19 public health policies ahead of time. Face masks are required to enter the facility.
Say not in grief “he is no more,” but live in thankfulness that “he was.”
For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadison.com.