East Rockaway resident George A. McDougal died on Nov. 19. He was 91.
McDougal was born in the front bedroom of the house he grew up in and lived in most of his adult life at 680 Scranton Ave. in East Rockaway. He was the youngest of seven siblings and married his wife, Connie Keenan, the oldest of six, in 1955. They wed while St. Raymond’s was under construction and instead married in the school auditorium, where they and seven of their children eventually attended school. Last year, they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in grand style, renewing their vows in church, for which they received a standing ovation for the milestone and George’s 90th birthday.
McDougal graduated from Chaminade High School, where he was known as the class cut up and for leading the Flyers’ cheers as their sole cheerleader, filled with pep and “spizzerinctum”. His Chaminade sweater and ring were treasured items and the family still has both today. He was a shuffleboard champion with his good friend Tom McGarry at the Bay House (gin mill) in Bay Park, where they played for beer. At the young age of 19, McDougal was drafted by the U.S. Army and proudly served in the Combat Infantry 40th Division during the Korean War. Sgt. McDougal led his troops courageously and received special commendations for his actions under enemy fire. He spoke little of his war experiences until recent years.
He was the general manager at Rupp Chevrolet for many years, where his charming personality helped him gain many accolades and free cruises for his salesmanship. One of his great joys was to bring home the new model of station wagon to his ever-growing family (he was most prolific!) and take the family around town and to Bay Park to show off the car. It was a real thrill for his children to always have a new car to travel in. His other passion was landscaping. McDougal loved to manicure his home and his friends often honked as they drove by as McDougal was outside cutting the lawn or clipping the hedges. He took pride in the upkeep of his house, his family home, and decorated for every holiday impeccably.
McDougal was known to many as a true gentleman, honest, kind, loyal and loving. He was a man of great faith. He was an usher at St. Raymond’s Church, and he was active in the community and in the ER Action Party. He loved his family and his devoted wife. He was a proud father. When his children would ask what he wanted for a birthday or Christmas gift, he would always say, “ Good children”. That always made for difficult gift giving because he already had them!
His siblings loved to have loud parties, where they sang around the piano with trumpet playing and family members recited classics like Casey at the Bat. The McDougals were large personalities and loved to have fun and drink. McDougal enjoyed a libation or two and was known to frequent the local haunts like DeCandia’s, the Whistling Gypsy and others. He truly just liked having fun.
McDougal had a great sense of humor and lust for life. He loved to share a joke at Sunday dinners, getting material from his favorite book, the Reader’s Digest. He enjoyed his grandchildren and took much joy in seeing his family grow.
McDougal is survived by his wife of 66 years, Connie; his children, Susan West, Patty D’Angelo (Dave), Dennis (Susan), Laura Glenz (Larry), Michael (Jackie), Robert (Donna), Terry Murray (Kevin) and Christopher (Sarah); his 19 grandchildren Jennifer Tindall (Joe), Gregory West; Emily and Lauren D’Angelo; Joseph, Sara and Andrew McDougal; Kathryn, Allison and Brendan McDougal; Victoria and James McDougal; Thomas, Elizabeth, Caroline and Daniel Murray; Caden, Liam and Molly McDougal; and his great-grandson, Tyler Tindall.
Donations in McDougal’s memory can be made to St. Raymond’s Parish Social Ministries, St. Raymond’s Church 263 Atlantic Avenue, East Rockaway, 11518.