George J. Valentine

Born: Sun., Jul. 8, 1923
Died: Sun., Mar. 2, 2008

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George J. Valentine, 84, of Ashland died Sunday afternoon, March 2, 2008, after a lifetime of contributions to the Ashland community. George is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret "Peggy" Valentine, his daughter Ellen (Brian) Donnelly of Towaco, NJ, his son Kevin J. (Suellen) Valentine of Ashland, his daughter Kit (Mark) Gallaway of Ashland, and his son Terry (Nancy) Valentine of Medina. George had ten grandchildren; (Caitlin Donnelly, Chandra (Adam) Clinger, Alex Valentine, Samuel J. Valentine, Hannah Valentine, Kelly (Steve) Durig, Megan Gallaway, Greg Gallaway, Oscar Valentine and Joe Valentine and two great-grandchildren; Caleb Clinger and Olivea Durig. He is survived by his brothers, William of Peachtree, GA, and Robert of Ashland.

George was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on July 8, 1923, and graduated from Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School in 1941 where he earned two letters in basketball, three letters in track and one letter in soccer. During World War II, he was in the United States Army Air Force in the European Theater, piloting his Yellowtail P-51 in the Spittin' Kitten squadron. Following his distinguished military career, he enrolled in Muskingum College and lettered all four years in basketball and track. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and later earned a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

George was hired by Ashland High School in 1949 as a teacher and coach and worked in the Ashland City School System until 1967. He taught history, social studies and government and coached track and field, football, basketball, cross country and golf. He served as Athletic Director from 1954 to 1967. While he was the AHS head basketball coach (1954-1961), his 1960 team set the best offensive record in AHS history. As a golf coach his team won consecutive conference championships during all four years as well as nine district or regional championships. George helped found the Cardinal Conference Athletic League and was the first president of the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association.

He left AHS to join the National Golf Foundation in Chicago as the Director of Marketing and Research, and later returned to Ashland as Associate Director of Admissions at Ashland (College) University, where he coached golf and cross-country for five years. His college golf teams included an individual national champion, two All-Americans, and four NCAA Division III championships. His 1972 team finished eighth in the nation. In 1978 George was hired as Head Golf Professional at Brookside Golf Course and was a popular group and individual golf instructor. He started Brookside's Junior Golf Program and developed many fine golfers, a number of whom played for him as he again coached the AHS golf team from 1977-1985. As an active member of the National Golf Foundation Education Division, he conducted golf clinics for the foundation for many years, and he taught at Duke University's summer golf program for twenty-six years. He has published numerous articles for the Coaches Clinic, the Ohio High School Athlete, and the National Golf Foundation's Coach's Guide.


In 1983, George qualified for membership in the PGA of America. He was inducted into the Ohio State High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame, the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of an Honorary Alumnus Award at Ashland University. George remained active in the sports community following his retirement at the age of 80 by writing a golf column for the Ashland Times-Gazette, teaching private golf lessons, conducting golf classes at the Ashland Y, and providing radio commentary for the AHS basketball games as recently as February 28. Last summer, he celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Courthouse Golf League at Brookside Golf Course.

George was an active member of St. Edward's Church and numerous community groups, including the steering committee for the fundraising drive for the Community Stadium. In the last several years, he demonstrated his continuing interest in history by speaking to schools and community groups about his experiences as a fighter pilot during World War II.

A funeral mass will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 7, 2008 at St. Edward's Catholic Church with the Reverend James Cassidy presiding. Burial will be at Ashland Cemetery.

Friends may visit with the family from 2 - 4 p.m. or 6 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at the Heyl Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The George J. Valentine Memorial Scholarship Fund established for graduating Ashland High School students. Donations should be sent to 2520 Foxwood Drive, Ashland, OH 44805

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Condolence Booklet

Nancy Wasen
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
Dear Peggy, Ellen, Kit, Kevin and Terry:
George was one of the constants in my life since I can remember and I have the fondest of thoughts of him. He was a great man and there need to be more like him in this world.
I am proud to say that I knew him my whole life.
I am so sorry for your loss
with love
Nancy

Shane Queer
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008

Ken & Cindy Eckenroth
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
We want to send our condolences and we are sorry for what you are going through. Ken and I will certainly miss George and our conversations about Golf and Duke.

Carrie Lundy
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008

Richard Steury
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
The world has lost a true gentleman and a great ambassador to all sports. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. Let us try to emulate his standards. My condolences go out to his family.

Ed Ibarguen
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
George Valentine was one of the kindest, most positive individuals I've ever had the pleasure to call friend. His heart was the size of Texas and his energy was boundless. His impact on hundreds of young junior golfers at the Rod Myers Junior Golf Camp at Duke University was tremendous and will long be remembered. Our entire golf staff was saddened to hear the news of his passing but will take solace in knowing he is in a better place. God Bless George Valentine and his family from his many friends at the Duke University Golf Club, Ed Ibarguen, PGA

Nancy Myers
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008

Jeanie Schmid
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
Peggy and Family,

Ron and I were so sorry to hear of George's passing. He was a very special friend to our family and we will never forget him. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Ron & Jeanie Schmid

Ken and Joanne Eisel
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
Our deepest sympathies to the family of George Valentine.

My wife(Joanne Brown)and I were 1960 graduates of Ashland High School.

Nancy Myers
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
Dearest Peg,Terry and Nancy,Ellen,Kevin and Kit,
George was such a special person in Rod's and my life for so many years of Golf School, High School and PGA connections and most importantly as a dear friend who lived and conveyed "beauty" outwardly and within....always the optimist and champion of family and any lives he touched. You all are fortunate to have the threads of his legacy carried on in your lives. My heart reaches out to you as you may struggle to incorporate his enthusiasm for life into your own. George's life was a life well lived....a celebration of what God has asked us be....you have been blessed as have I/we(Rod too)....With fondest love, Nancy

Roland Stewart (class 1952)
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
My condolences to the Valentine family. George was coach for my years in track and football at Ashland High School. George was one of the good ones you never forget! His positive attitude was an inspiration to all the players he coached. "Gentleman" George will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched. Prayers and good thoughts to the family.

Bob Moses
   Posted Tue March 04, 2008
To George's Family & Friends,

George was my very 1st coach. As a 12 year old, impressions made can have a life-long effect. George's "can do" philosophy was not only inspirational at the time, it had a lasting positive effect on me which unquestionably contributed to my achievements and the positive attitude I have passed on to my children. George was a "people person" who really made a difference. I last saw George July '07 -- positive as ever.

Deepest sympathies to the family.

Bob Moses

Ron, Chris, Ryan & Afton Daugherty
   Posted Wed March 05, 2008
To the entire Valentine family...George was such a great man in all aspects. He will be greatly missed by so many. Our thoughts, love, prayers and support go out to you at this time!

Gary Bonney
   Posted Wed March 05, 2008
Terry and Families
Look in the dictionary under RESPECT Your DADS picture is there
I will always remember our last real time together when he was my guest in Orlando at PGA show
Gary Bonney
Terry also a note from Rod Dice to you and Mom nothing but great memories a real kids HERO

Louie Mundorff
   Posted Wed March 05, 2008
I had George as a teacher in high school in the middle 50s. I was a airplane nut.We talked a couple times
about the P51 Mustang.He will be missed.

Jerry Miller
   Posted Wed March 05, 2008
I had the pleasure to serve with George, on the Annual Boy Scout Golf Pro/Am Comittee, for serveral years; with some fond memories.
He helped many kids, in many ways.... just a great guy!

jennifer hawk
   Posted Wed March 05, 2008
Dear Valentine Family- George was such an amazing man. I always marveled at his bottomless cup of energy! I have such fond memories of him (and the whole Valentine clan) from my days at Brookside. You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this trying time. As much as he will be missed, I am certain that he is having a marvelous time walking a round of 18 in heaven!! As Always,
Jennifer Hawk

Dan McAllister
   Posted Thu March 06, 2008
I am so saddened by Coaches passing. I was on his high school teams from 65 to 67 and made two trips to the State Championships. He was a true gentleman and human being and instilled this in our whole team.
From Ron Ransom, Dave Vanosdall, Tom Castor and Myself our deepest sympathies go to the family and the World for a great loss.

Mike Mistovich
   Posted Thu March 06, 2008
Boy. This was tough news to hear. Coach V was so vibrant a personality, I guess I thought he'd live forever. Of course, he always will -- there are so many wonderful memories I have of George. (And I know I'm not the only one!) He was a part of my life from the day I was born. And what a truly colorful character -- how can we forget him as the star of TV-2's "Hoop Scoop" and "Courtside", where he served as analyst... he was a perfect fit. George was and is an Ashland institution, and a great teacher of life lessons that I still value today. I'm proud to call him "friend".

Jon Nicodemus
   Posted Fri March 07, 2008
I shall remember George Valentine as teacher, coach, father, and friend. He began his nurturing of me when I was in the 7th grade, opening many doors for me and keeping an eye on my behavior. He was the first male teacher I had in school, the first to waken me to the meaning of being serious about education. I idolized him. He was my coach in track in 1955. He was always there when I needed him throughout my years at Ashland High. And he remained a good friend, exchanging letters with me over the years.

Until I came to see the wonderful displays this Thursday, I did not appreciate the full richness of George's life. What a beautiful display of family gatherings and what a beautiful family picture. What beautiful individuals. I shall miss his great humor and his famous smile. But I am happy to know his life was richly lived and full of the richness of his giving to so many over a long period of time. It is wonderful to know that he will be long remembered and celebrated. George exemplifies the very meaning of teaching and learning--taking a genuine and permanent interest in his students, his athletes, and his many "sons" and "daughters." Having been touched by this man, I feel very lucky. I suspect we all do. I send my condolences to his wonderful wife, Peggy, his children and grandchildren, and his many friends and associates.

--Jon Nicodemus

John and Sue Olive
   Posted Sat March 08, 2008

Jim Diamond
   Posted Sun March 23, 2008
George was my health teacher in the late 1950s. Many people are more familiar with him than I am, but none understand better than I do that he was an extremely kind, courteous, and helpful human being. I do not think that any greater tribute can be paid to a person.

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