George Henry Luce was born on April 25, 1936, to George Alton Luce and Olga Deurreschmidt of Riverhead, N.Y. George was the first child of Alton and Olga and soon had a little sister, Joan. As World War II approached, George’s mother and father split up.
Olga remarried and moved with her new husband and the children to Venezuela. When George was 14 he returned to the States to continue his high school education at Trinity Pawling, where he was elected head prefect. George graduated in 1955 and went on to Northwestern University.
After his first semester at Northwestern, George enlisted in the Navy and served in Japan in a seaplane squadron as an electronics operator.
In 1962 George and his first wife had a baby boy, George H. Luce Jr. (aka Tiger). After having served almost five years, George was honorably discharged from the Navy. George began working as a mechanic on outboard motors in the back of G.A. Luce Hardware on Main Street in Riverhead and also joined the East End Outboard Racing Club. George and first his wife split after a few years, but Tiger remained in Riverhead with George.
George met Naudain Larsen, a young woman from City Island in the Bronx, and they were married in May of 1966. George moved with his son, Tiger, to City Island to begin a life with Naudain and her daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth. In July of 1968 George and Naudain had another son, Lawrence. The Luce family lived on City Island until 1982, when George, Naudain and Larry moved to Hampton Bays.
Back on Long Island, George continued to work in the marine business and was active in the Riverhead Lions Club and the Association of Marine Industries. In June of 1990 George’s wife, Naudain, died of cancer.
At age 63 George decided to retire and relax, so he moved to Montana to work on a cattle ranch. George developed many close friends in the town of Chinook, Montana, but as he aged he missed his family on Long Island.
In 2013 George was diagnosed with lung cancer. He beat it. In 2017 George suffered a stomach problem and was treated for colon cancer; he beat it. In 2018 George had back pains and was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
During this decade of his life, George worked for Hampton Bays School District as a part-time maintenance mechanic. Ever the philanthropist, George started an annual $750 scholarship, in memory of Naudain, for a graduating senior of Hampton Bays High School. Having survived three different types of cancer, and COVID, George Luce, the man with the nickname “Old Iron Balls,” died on Dec. 13, 2021, at the age of 85.
George is survived by his two sons, George Jr. and Larry; his stepdaughter, Elizabeth; and his six grandchildren, Leanne, James, Robert (USMC), Phillip, Olivia and Matthew; and many family and friends who have known and loved him along the way.
A full life lived, and his work done, may George rest in peace.
Visiting time with George’s family will be held Monday, Dec. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., with a memorial service beginning at 8, at Scott Rothwell Funeral Home in Hampton Bays.
This is a paid notice.