The Impact of One Life
“When a stone is dropped into a lake, it quickly disappears from sight—but its impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden and reach across the water. In the same way, the impact of one life lived for Christ leaves behind an influence for good that touches the lives of many others.”
George Vincent Dooley III was born on October 15, 1956. He was the first born to George and Sally Dooley, whose hearts were bursting with joy at his arrival! Sally remembers walking George in the carriage and wanting to shout excitedly to everyone, "This is my son!!" George (Georgie as he was known back then) was the oldest of 7 children, 4 girls and 3 boys. His younger siblings could not have asked for a better brother! George looked out for each and every one of his brothers and sisters. He was always kind and giving to them. He taught his younger brothers, Tim and Mike, how to golf, play football and stickball, and bought pizza home every Saturday night for them and they all watched wrestling together. He took his little brothers everywhere and they absolutely adored him! George's sisters, Joanne, Mary Ellen, Linda and Patti, remember George teaching them how to drive a stick shift. He never lost his patience; in fact, every time the car lurched, conked out, and held up traffic, George just laughed and jumping out of the car said, "switch places!" George was also very smart in math. He helped all of his younger siblings with their math homework and never complained about giving his time. His parents were very proud of him and so grateful for this! George had a special relationship with his youngest sister, Patti. She remembers their weekly dates when George treated her to ice cream at Carvel in Linden for "Wednesdays are Sundaes!" There was nothing George wouldn’t do for his family. He was the most generous person they knew. What a wonderful role model and blessing he was to his family!
George was known as a child and teenager for playing all types sports, including basketball, baseball, ice hockey, street hockey, stick ball, and football (where he incurred 2 severe injuries and the orthopedic doctor involved reported the thigh muscle started to calcify and required crutches and shots for weeks and another football injury resulting in 4 stitches in his forehead).
At that time, one needed to be 12 years old to go on the golf course and when he turned 12, his grandfather took him golfing for the first time and it became his first love. Just out of high school, George coached the golf team at Roselle Catholic. George bowled throughout high school and joined a league during his college years. This resulted in coaching the bowling team at Linden High School. He also became a football scout/coach for Linden High School. Even as an adult his devotion to sports never faltered as he continued to bowl on leagues and golf every chance he could. George was an avid Kansas City Chiefs, NY Yankees, and NY Rangers fan.
George attended Rutgers for Accounting for two years and eventually graduated from Kean University. He began teaching at St. Anthony’s as an elementary school teacher. He went on to teach at Roselle Catholic. Ultimately, George became certified and switched to public school teaching at Linden High School where he taught and coached for about 12 years. George continued his education earning his Masters plus 30 credits in Administration.
George was raised Catholic and his faith was a big part of his life. He became an altar boy at a young age and loved serving at Mass. In his young adult years, George attended retreats to deepen his faith in God. He also participated in giving talks on retreats for teens, as a way to share his love for God. For many years, George was a lector at his Church and proclaiming God's Word was sacred to him. But most importantly, George lived his faith by treating everyone in his life with respect, concern and love.
George met the girl of his dreams, Phyllis Coppa, in 1983. He invited her to a sporting event with him on their first date. When he mentioned he was taking Phyllis to another sporting event for their second date, his family tried to convince him to take her out to a candlelit dinner or dancing or a movie. But George's mind was made up! The Dooleys were crazy about Phyllis and were afraid she wouldn't ever go out with him again! But thank God, she did! Phyllis knew from the start what she was getting into. George was a total sports fanatic!
George and Phyllis fell in love and they married on May 24, 1986. George couldn’t be any happier, as he always hoped to be married and have a family one day. George also fell in love with the Coppa family, not to mention all the delicious Italian food served in their home! George eventually became one of their own and a treasured son-in-law, brother-in-law, and favorite uncle!
All of George and Phyllis’s dreams came true with the birth of their first child, Brian George, on October 17, 1987. George looked as if he was going to burst with love and pride when he held his precious baby boy in his arms. It was hard for anyone else to hold Brian, as George had always been a baby hog! It was wonderful watching him in his new role of Dad; he was born for it. Being a devoted dad came so natural to George. He loved every moment he got to spend with Phyllis and Brian. Brian was his father’s sidekick, and you never saw one without the other. Life continued to bless them as they welcomed the arrival of their second child, Shannon Nicole, on September 17, 1992. Shannon seemed to complete their life as a family and he seemed to always be holding her in his arms! George worked as a pool manager in the summers and would often take Phyllis and his children there for family day, as well as inviting the Coppa and Dooley families. He would boost Shannon up on his shoulders in the pool and be playful and loving. He loved to take Brian with him to football practice, hit golf balls, and go bowling. This fostered Brian’s love of sports which led him to join the bowling and golf teams in high school, just like his father. He loved the times he spent with Shannon, whether playing tea party or with her dolls, he was in his glory. He would take Shannon to school with him where she would spend the day watching her father teach and coloring on the chalkboard. This helped Shannon grow her love of math and learning at a young age. She eventually followed in her father’s footsteps and became a high school math teacher. Of all of George's roles, husband and father were the most important to him. Phyllis, Brian and Shannon were the lights of his life!
On the morning of August 7, 1998, George died unexpectedly of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It is the family’s hope that we all remember George with love and fond memories. An annual golf outing was established the first year after his death and funds were used for his family needs and scholarships at Linden High School. The George Dooley Golf Memorial has recently partnered with the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. For the past two years, a donation was given to the HCMA and this will continue. It is the family's mission to raise awareness about HCM and educate others about this disease. Please click here to learn more about this disease and thank you all for your continued support.