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Turner Funeral Home and Florida Hills Memorial Gardens

14360 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL

OBITUARY

George H Best

September 5, 1924June 26, 2020

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

7 July

Visitation

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Turner Funeral Homes Spring Hill Chapel

14360 Spring Hill Drive
Spring Hill, FL 34609

8 July

Graveside Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sunset Memory Gardens

11005 N, US-301
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Memories

George H Best

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Ernest Taylor

July 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

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Biography

When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits George H Best who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. 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.

       His parents were Ira and Alva Best. George was raised in Sarasota, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida and Tampa, Florida. Even as a youngster, George learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, George was able to put his natural abilities to work. He was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, he liked to organize and direct. George was raised with 1. He had 1 older sister Florence aka Billie. George had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For George, this was a natural order of life, one he gladly embraced.

      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's memorable achievements included.

      In school, George was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and often put in extra study time when he felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, George was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. George’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” He graduated from Winter Haven High School and H B Plant High School in 1941. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers.

      George’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. He would tackle an assignment and work through it before moving onto the next project. George’s orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that not only helped him stay on track but often put him ahead of schedule. When George saw the need or benefit, he would willingly take on the extra assignment or even attend extra classes in order to learn more and become a better student. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from University of Tampa in 1947. English Literature and Economics.

      George was 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,. Later in life, he became friends with the Dirty Dozen group at . Golf Club.

      An objective and conscientious individual, George reveled in the security of his family. On April 3, 1946 George exchanged wedding vows with Carrleen Ruth Crews at the At the home of Maurice and Beulah Crews of Auburndale, Florida. One of George’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends.

      George 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 4, four girls, Sue, Nancy, Julie, and Beverly. They were also blessed with 9, 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 was an Army Veteran. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. He was in the Infantry from 1943 to 1946 and was stationed in Camp Crowder, Missouri. WWII. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of First Sergeant.

      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.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, George used his scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that he made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. George had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. 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 pekeapoo. 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. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. George remained in Tampa, Florida during his retirement. In retirement, he found new pleasure in playing golf, 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.