George McElhaney

Obituary of George M. McElhaney

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George M. McElhaney, age 91, passed away quietly in his sleep on June 19th, 2024, in Yardley, PA, after a brief decline. George was born in Burgettstown, PA, on October 24th, 1932. He was the son of Dorothy (Luttrell) and Harold McElhaney. He graduated from Burgettstown Union High School in 1950. He continued to be a Blue Devil supporter through his funding of the James Lee McElhaney athletic scholarship. Soon after graduation, he married the love of his life, Phyllis Gray, and upon graduating from Waynesburg College in 1954, they continued on what would be a seventy-year adventure together. Dad always said his life was based on serendipity including meeting his love in the hallways at junior high in 8th grade. It was best reflected while working at Koppers Company in Pittsburgh and raising his hand early in his career to volunteer to go to Venezuela to help the local government develop and manage a new pig iron mill. Arriving home to his wife and three children, they promptly went to the local library to look up the country of Venezuela in the Atlas because he didn't even know where it was. That part of their adventure lasted six years and by the time they arrived back in the US in 1967 they had five children. Dad continued his serendipitous path by taking advantage of every new job opportunity that came his way, moving his family from place to place. Throughout his career he took great pleasure in mentoring his workers and promoting them when deserved. He was especially conscious of mentoring women and minorities in the work place. It cannot be overstated how loved and respected he was by his family, friends and co-workers. He was a good and dedicated husband and father, diligent and hard working. He set a high bar. He will be greatly missed by many. George is survived by his children, Amy G. McElhaney of Yardley, PA, Georgeann C. McElhaney of Lakewood, CO, Phillip J. McElhaney (Susan) of Kamuela, HI, and Tomas M. McElhaney (Wendy) of Ripton, VT, grandchildren Sarah R Micklas, Malachi and Nathaniel Hemmert, Yanmei McElhaney, George Cote, Dylan and Eryn Smith and Hannah Osborne, as well as his many great-grandchildren. Also, nieces Cheryl (Cunningham) Hulick, Shauna (Cunningham) Reichard, Mary Lynne and Kellie McElhaney, and nephew Jeff McElhaney. He was predeceased by his wonderful wife, Phyllis, daughter, Lesa J. McElhaney, his two brothers, James L. and Harold N. (Mack) McElhaney, sisters-in-law, Gloria McElhaney and Hazel Cunningham, and brother-in-law, Jack Cunningham. He loved us all, dearly. Interment will be held privately at a later date. Donations in George's memory can be made to the Burgettstown Community Library, 2 Kerr St., Burgettstown, PA 15021, or online at and, honoring an outstanding senior athletic scholar, to The James Lee (McElhaney Fund), C/O The Pittsburgh Foundation, 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or online at Arrangements are under the care of the FitzGerald-Sommer Funeral Home 17 S. Delaware Avenue Yardley, PA 19067. Condolences for the family can be left at
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