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Turner Funeral Home and Florida Hills Memorial Gardens

14360 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL

AVIS DE DÉCÈS

George H Best

5 septembre 192426 juin 2020
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On Friday, June 26, 2020, at 95 years of age, George H Best went home to be with the Lord. George was born on September 5, 1924 in Sarasota to Ira and Alva (Fortner) Best. He spent most of his childhood in Winter Haven, moving to Tampa in 1938. He was a graduate of H B Plant High School in 1943 and was immediately drafted into the Army. After basic training in Macon, Ga., he was stationed in Camp Crowder Missouri, quickly moving up the ranks to First Sergeant. He met his wife, Carrleen Crews Best, in Auburndale, FL while on leave. After being discharged from the Army in March 1946, they were married April 13, 1946, and they remained married until her death in 2016. George was a graduate of the University of Tampa. After graduating from college he worked in sales for Tampa Paper Company and then Kellogg’s. He ultimately landed in sales in the automobile business and that’s where he found his niche. He subsequently opened his own business in South Tampa in 1979 until his retirement in 2005. He was a member of Bayshore Baptist Church and served in many capacities most importantly as a Deacon. He loved the Florida Gators, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Tampa Bay Rays. He was known for his love of the Lord and respected for his strong opinions. George was preceded in death by his wife, Carrleen, and his daughter Nancy Turner. He is survived by 3 daughters, Sue (Keith Figman), Julie (Albert Lauro) and Beverly (Tom Saban), 9 grandchildren Sherri Carnes (Sue), Angela Maitland (Nancy), Amy Lauro, Jacquelyn Doherty , and Albert, Jr. (Julie), and Christopher, Louis, Sarah, and Lorraine Saban (Beverly). He has 11 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. The family will have a private ceremony at Turner Funeral Home in Spring Hill. In lieu of flowers please send donations to HPH Hospice 3010 W Azeele Street, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33609, online at https://lifepathhospice.chaptershealth.org/HPHGeneralDonation or Bayshore Baptist Church, 3111 Morrison Ave., Tampa, Florida 33609, online at https://pushpay.com/g/bayshorebaptistchurch?src=hpp.

Services

  • Visitation

    mardi, 7 juillet , 2020

  • Graveside Service

    mercredi, 8 juillet , 2020

Souvenirs

George H Best

have a memory or condolence to add?

ENVOYEZ CONDOLEANCES
Ernest Taylor

juillet 4, 2020

So sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories from our family outings to the beach in Tampa when we were all so young. I was so smitten with my cute second cousins. He was someone my dad always talked fondly of. I really was lucky to get to see and be with your parents when they came to New Orleans. I have and will cherish the memory of that visit. Thinking of all of you in this time of loss. Sincerely, Ernie

DE LA FAMILLE

Ira H Best

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Alva F Best

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What a cute little boy!

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Momma, Sister, and Me

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My favorite pet

DE LA FAMILLE

Ira H Best

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Alva F Best

DE LA FAMILLE

What a cute little boy!

DE LA FAMILLE

Momma, Sister, and Me

DE LA FAMILLE
DE LA FAMILLE
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My favorite pet

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Biographie

George H. Best, Dad, Granddad, and Great Granddad, born September 5, 1924, in Sarasota, Florida. Sarasota County was created in 1921, created by the State of Florida from Hillsborough and Manatee Counties. The 1920 census shows Manatee County with a population of 18,712 and the State of Florida with a population of 968,470. So many changes occurred during his almost 97 years with the Florida population increasing to an estimated 21,477,737. Just think! There were no commercial air carriers, very few cars on the road, and very little available in the way of medical care. To have seen the innovations in medicine, air travel, space travel, and technology is amazing. What an incredible 96 years.

Being Florida born is very unique, especially in 1924. As Dad grew older and having heard and shared a great many family stories, he became very interested in genealogy and was able to trace his ancestry in the United States back to 1747 with family moving to Florida in 1845. What great stories he could tell of Indians harassing his great grandmother, of eating cabbage swamp with his Uncle Buster in Belle Glade, Florida, to unending fishing in beautiful lakes, in the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Okeechobee, the Kissimmee River, and creeks and ponds in an unpopulated world.

Dad was raised in small towns, Sarasota, Winter Haven, Port St. Joe, and eventually moved to Tampa, Florida when he was approximately 14. He was surrounded by an extended and very close family. His parents were Ira H Best and Alva Fortner Best, know to the grandkids as Alva and Pa. He had an older sister, Florence Best, otherwise known as Billie. She was nicknamed this as Pa was expecting to have a boy named William, but had a daughter, therefore the nickname. Dad's grandmother Florence Pike Falkenstein, also known as "Mother" was a woman ahead of her time. Her first husband Dan Fortner died in 1904 leaving her with 2 daughters. The story goes that with no financial support for herself and her children, she contacted a family friend, Robert Savage, in Kissimmee, Florida. He hired her as the kitchen manager at his hotel. She sold her furniture and was able to gather together enough capital to buy train tickets from Bartow, Florida to Kissimmee, Florida for her 2 children, herself, her sister Mary and brother Cap'n. They arrived late in the evening and spent the night in a park, but the next morning "Mother" went to work at the hotel. Seven months after the death of Dan Fortner and with many objections from Mr. Savage's children and grandchildren, Florence and Robert Savage were married. They had 1 child, Olivene. Florence was 27 and Robert Savage 68. One of the better stories about Florence is that she didn't like the home she and Robert Savage owned and wanted Mr. Savage to build her a new house. However, Mr. Savage refused. Mysteriously the house burnt to the ground and Florence had a new house built. She also had the first automobile in Osceola County. Mr. Savage died in 1914 and Florence moved to Miami Beach and then Winter Haven. In Winter Haven she opened the first beauty salon in the town, Mi Ladies Beauty Shop. This shop was able to support 4 families during the Depression years. Florence "Mother" made deep impressions on Dad. He had many happy memories of extended family gatherings as her house in Inwood, Florida. Her brothers, sisters, cousins, etc., all visited and shared wonderful stories of their lives. He especially remembered her reading the Bible story of King David to her over and over and she tried to teach her values of "cleanliness was next to Godliness", and "if you don't have anything good to say about someone don't say anything." From Dad's writings: "Such pleasant memories. I loved this woman that was mama to some. She was Sister to some. To some she was Aunt Florence. Mother to me." t's no wonder Dad was so independent.

In 1939, Dad's father, Ira H Best was offered a position in Tampa, Florida. As Tampa was beginning to grow, his skills as a master carpenter were in demand. They first moved to the Hyde Park area in Tampa and eventually to what is known now as South Tampa. Dad attended Henry B. Plant High school, and graduated in 1943. He remembers the streets around the school being dirt paved. Now they are busy commercial highways. Dad was the first of 4 generations of graduates from this prestigious public high school and followed their football team until his death. He was and always will be a "Plant Panther."

After graduating from high school the next step was the military as World War II was ongoing. In the military, the values he learned at home and his intelligence identified him as a natural leader. He was inducted into the Army in ______ 1943 and was stationed at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia for boot camp. After boot camp he joined the Signal Corp and was stationed in Camp Crowder Missouri for the duration of the war. As his self discipline, dedication, and tough mindedness developed during this time period he was quickly promoted to First Sergeant. He brought organization and a strong sense of duty to his tasks and through excellent communication skills was recognized as a natural leader. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, George was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with George knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

Dad was discharged from the Army in March 1946. On April 13, 1946 Dad exchanged wedding vows with Carrleen Ruth Crews at the home of Maurice and Beulah Crews of Auburndale, Florida. He was with a group of friends at a soda shop in Auburndale when he first saw Carrleen. He wanted to know who she was as he would like to date her. One of his friends set up a double date for that evening. The friend was to date Carrleen and Dad was to date another young woman. By the end of the night the dates had switched and Dad was with Carrleen. That was the beginning of a 3-year courtship while he was still in the Army. According to Carrleen, she returned many of his letters at first, but George was persistent and eventually they began writing to each other and became engaged.

Dad's practical work ethic carried over into his college years. His logical mind permitted him to work hard without succumbing to the usual distractions of college life. Dad's orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that helped him stay on track. Dad also worked during his college years and began a family, having 2 children by the time he graduated. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Economics the University of Tampa in 1949. He also played intramural basketball.

            George's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, George enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. George took part in baseball, marbles, football, fishing, bike riding, and all kinds of mischief. George grew up in small communities where people looked out for each other. He once told a story of being about 10 and riding his bike, along with some other boys, to a lake several miles from home where they fished and camped out. This type of upbringing helped him to become independent and able to manage well on his own.

     

      George was always sociable and approachable. Because he was always so straightforward in how he approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. He enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When George was a member of a group, his interaction worked to keep the others grounded. He wasn’t afraid to confront his friends and, when necessary, he challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to George came to expect his high standards of performance. While growing up, some of his best friends were Jimmy Moran, Jim Gibson, and Orvis Porter. Later in life, he became friends with a dozen couples at Rocky Point Golf Club. They named themselves "The Dirty Dozen."

      

      Dad enjoyed was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. George would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. George was blessed with four girls, Sue, Nancy, Julie, and Beverly. They were also blessed with 9 grandchildren, Sherri, Angela, Amy, Jacquelyn, Albert, Jr, Christopher, Louis, Sarah, Lorraine.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, George was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, George was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, George upheld his standards. His primary occupation was automobile sales. George was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      
      George approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were fishing and golf. George was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Playing by the rules was a natural thing for George to do in life and that carried over to his enjoyment of sports. In his college years, George continued to stay active by playing intramural basketball. Recreational sports included fishing and golf. He also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, baseball, and golf.

      Being generous with his time and energy, George liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. Throughout his later years, George was an active member of Bayshore Baptist Church serving in many capacities.

      Faith was important to George. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a member of Bayshore Baptist Church for 30 years. During that time, he was a Deacon. George's stewardship also included participation on various church committees.
Favorite vacations included a tour of Great Britain and an Alaskan Cruise.

      George was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of George’s favorites was Winnie, a peekapoo. They were best friends for 13 years. His family was rounded out by his former dog Rusty, several cats, a raccoon, and a rabbit.

      When George’s retirement finally arrived in 2005, he was well prepared. During his retirement George remained in Tampa, Florida until Carrleen's physical incapacities required them to move to their daughter Julie's home. In retirement, he found new pleasure in studying the Bible, staying active in church, and spending time with family. In many ways, George loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

      George passed away on June 26, 2020 at Hospice in Spring Hill, Florida. George suffered with heart disease and COPD for several years. He is survived by his children, Sue, Julie and Beverly; his grandchildren Sherri, Angela, Amy, Jacquelyn, Albert Jr., Christopher, Louis, Sarah, Lorraine. Services were held at Turner Funeral Home. George was laid to rest in Sunset Memory Gardens in Thonotosassa, Florida.

      All who knew him would agree that George was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. George H Best did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.