George Joseph Shia
July 16, 1929 – November 22, 2019
George Joseph Shia, 90, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on November 22, 2019, at home surrounded by his family.
He was born on July 16, 1929, in Wheeling, West Virginia, one of five children of S.A. Shia and Mary Joseph Shia. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. In 1955, he graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dentistry. After graduation, he served with the Northeast Air Command of the United States Air Force in Newfoundland and attained the rank of Captain. As a way to pass time during the cold Canadian winters, he began playing duplicate bridge with fellow servicemen.
He returned to Austin in 1957, practiced several years of general dentistry, and then enrolled in the graduate program in Orthodontics at Columbia University. Following the completion of this specialty training, he returned to Austin, and began an orthodontic practice in 1962. He continued to practice for the next 51 years. While practicing orthodontics full time, he began the Option II MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated in 1984.
George provided orthodontic treatment to thousands of children and adults ranging in age from four days to 82 years. Many of his patients had cleft palates and special needs. In 1966, he was awarded a United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Traineeship Grant at the Lancaster Cleft Palate Institute. Later, he became a founding member of the Central Texas Cleft Palate Team. For over 30 years, he wrote and lectured on the Broussard Two-Force Technique to various orthodontic societies throughout the United States and the world.
He received many professional honors during his life. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, and a Fellow of the International College of Dentistry. As a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, he served on the Council on Practice Administration and on the Council on Insurance for 14 years. George was a lifelong devout Catholic. He was installed into the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree. He was also a member of the Serra Club for many years. Later, the Pope honored and accepted him into the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. He was a member of this religious organization for over 45 years and attained the high rank of Knight Grand Cross. During his retirement, he enjoyed attending weekly Bible study classes with his wife at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church. He also resumed playing duplicate bridge on a competitive basis with fellow members of the Bridge Center of Austin.
George is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Claire Marie Gorra. They were blessed with eight children and 14 grandchildren: Monica Amparo and husband Ernesto (Elena); Gregory (deceased); Adrienne Draper and husband David (Leila, Isabelle, Juliette); Sylvia Jabour and husband David (Raphael, Gabrielle, David), Claudia Macora (Gregory, Madeleine, Luke), Jessica Scott and husband James (Claire Marie, James, Sophia, Abigail), Angela (deceased) and Ramona. He had four sisters whom he adored: Paula Hundley, Nettie Hage (deceased), Mildred Joseph, and Madelyn George. He also had numerous nephews, nieces, and extended family members whom he loved dearly.
Pallbearers will be David Draper, Dwight Galbi, David Jabour, Philip Joseph, Sammie Joseph, Jr., and James Scott. Honorary pallbearers are Ernesto Amparo, Anthony Ferris, John Ferris, Thomas George, Brooks Goldsmith, Doug Hirsh, Albert Klimas, Michael McNeil, Joseph Quander, and Larry Schrader.
Recitation of the Rosary followed by a visitation will be held on Monday, November 25, at 5:00 p.m. at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet Rd, Austin. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 26, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Louis followed by burial at Assumption Cemetery. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Louis King of France Catholic Church (George J. Shia Memorial Fund) or Hospice Austin.
- David Draper, Active Pallbearer
- Dwight Galbi, Active Pallbearer
- David Jabour, Active Pallbearer
- Philip Joseph, Active Pallbearer
- Sammie Joseph, Jr., Active Pallbearer
- James Scott, Active Pallbearer
- Ernesto Amparo, Honorary Pallbearer
- Anthony Ferris, Honorary Pallbearer
- John Ferris, Honorary Pallbearer
- Thomas George, Honorary Pallbearer
- Brooks Goldsmith, Honorary Pallbearer
- Doug Hirsh, Honorary Pallbearer
- Albert Klimas, Honorary Pallbearer
- Michael McNeil, Honorary Pallbearer
- Joseph Quander, Honorary Pallbearer
- Larry Schrader, Honorary Pallbearer
- Rosary and Visitation Monday, November 25, 2019
- Funeral Mass Tuesday, November 26, 2019
- Interment Tuesday, November 26, 2019
George Joseph Shia
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November 27, 2019
To the Family of Dr George Shia,
I met George in 1978, when I opened my orthodontic practice. He was one of my mentors. What an incredible resource he was for me. His candor, professionalism, knowledge,,wit , and humility we’re all traits that made him unique and made me respect him as an orthodontist and a man. He offered me an honest and insightful perspective as I prepared for my Board exams that eased the anxiety I felt.
One of my early encounters with George occurred at a social function about 18 months after I had opened my practice. Of course I was young and inexperienced. He asked, “How’s the practice going, Jeff?” I responded confidently, “Just great, have started ____ cases, and things going perfectly!” Then George asked , “And how long have you been practicing?” When I told him 18 months he had a slight smile on his face when he said “you are still in the honeymoon phase. You haven’t seen your relapses yet!” Not only do I vividly remember this advice from 40 years ago, it helped shape my personal orthodontic philosophy. I truly loved his perspective and wisdom. Will miss him. May you Rest In Peace, George, knowing how much you positively affected so many of us.
November 25, 2019
George Shia is my uncle on my mother's side. Uncle George was always generous with his sage advice, and I appreciated it greatly. My mother, Madelyn, told me many years ago that when discussing life's challenges and the reality of our mortality with her brother, George would say "Pray for a happy death". I'm sure that this request was granted to George by our Father in Heaven.
A while back, Uncle George told me that managing the difficulties in life is what really matters, and not to expect to have none.
Recently, while talking with my uncle after he fell ill, I asked him for some advice (to comfort me, actually, as I was sad that he was sick). Maintaining his ever optimistic attitude, he laughingly responded "Buy low and sell high!". His intelligence, sense of humor, and courage will always be an inspiration to me.
To my family in Austin, Texas, on behalf of all of your family here in Connecticut, including my mom Madelyn, myself, my brothers Steve, Gary, and Chris, and our wives and children, I want to express our deepest sympathy over your loss. You all are in our prayers. I know that George is well, is with God, with Jesus, and all who have gone home to Heaven before us.
November 25, 2019
One of those rare, sweet folk who gave of himself whenever and wherever needed and always considered the good for others before himself. His priorities were perfect: God, family, friends and self. Know, sweet Claire, that he gave so much to all of us, without any consideration for himself.
November 24, 2019
Dear Shia Family,
I enjoyed meeting George when he was playing duplicate bridge. Always a gentleman, George was courteous and we shared some smiles at the BCA.
Our paths had crossed earlier in our lives when I taught Sylvia math at McCallum High School. She was a joy to have in class and she,too, had a kind spirit. George was loved and he'll be missed.
Sandy Peterson Potts
November 24, 2019
I played many duplicate bridge games against George. I only played with him as a partner one time. He also was my orthodontist at age 32. I had never had pimples in my life, till 2 weeks after he put the braces on my teeth. Then I got 3 or 4 pimples around my mouth. When I asked him about it, he responded "your mouth thinks you're a teenager!" Great sense of humor and a dear friend! He will be so missed.
November 24, 2019
Gerorge was always a gentleman. It was a pleasure to know him. We had many good times together, like the time shown in the attached photo from 1969 when George and his family visited us in Thornwood New York. He was a handsome fellow, always smiling and always with a camera at the ready.
Melinda Deanna Evans
November 23, 2019
I spent 5 years working with this precious man. No boss could equal Dr. Shia. He took time to get to know his employees and made one feel like family. I think of him every year on his birthday, I expect I will continue celebrating his Heavenly Birthdays.