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Community benefactor recalled as friend to all

Last updated: April 16. 2013 3:28PM - 1577 Views
BILL O’BOYLE



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KINGSTON – More than 600 people jammed the Great Hall at Wyoming Seminary on Friday to say goodbye to a man one speaker said “learned how to live.”
George Barnard Sordoni, 65, died May 22 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident near Naples, Fla.
“George left his fingerprint on everyone he met and everything he did,” Nicholas Colangelo, chief executive officer at Clear Brook Treatment Center in Laurel Run, said at the memorial service. “I met George 30 years ago when he was at his pinnacle of being a lightning rod.”
Colangelo and two friends of Sordoni’s from Naples drew laughter from the crowd when telling anecdotal stories of their times with Sordoni.
“George struggled to find peace in the world,” Colangelo said. “His accomplishments and struggles are well-documented.”
H. Jeremy Packard, former president of Wyoming Seminary, talked about Sordoni’s service to the school – having been on the board since 1980.
“George was an absolutely dreadful academic student,” Packard said, again drawing laughter. “But we all know he was very intelligent – an intellectual, but at times impatient and critical.”
Packard said Sordoni attended Wyoming Seminary Day School and then “a host of other schools and a host of colleges. You can say he got a well-rounded education,” Packard said.
Packard talked about Sordoni’s personality – “he was his own man,” he said. Sordoni developed many deep and lasting friendships but had a low tolerance for long clich-filled speeches and boring people.
“George liked some people very much,” Packard said.
Charles Vogt and Geoffrey Mason, both from Florida, said Sordoni was serious about recovery.
“He always had a hand out ready to help,” Vogt said. “He had a bluntness for what needed to be said.”
Vogt said he and Sordoni laughed a lot.
“When I get on my knees every day to pray, George will always be my voice of recovery,” Vogt said.
Mason said on the night Sordoni died, the two had met because Mason was in need of comfort and support. Mason asked to meet a half hour earlier than planned.
He said Sordoni complied because he knew his friend was troubled.
“He will leave a legacy of understanding and fellowship,” Mason said. “He possessed a unique greatness. He really could light up a room when he entered; he was larger than life. What a gift he was to all of us.”
The final speaker was Nicholas Sordoni, George’s son. He thanked the speakers and the hundreds in attendance.
“We will remember dad in two ways – how he made people laugh and how he helped people,” Nicholas said. “And he was a relentless parent. He was an extraordinary man and an exceptional father.”
Nicholas thanked his mother, Andrea, for being strong and for all she did for the four children: Nicholas, Sarah, Samantha and Abigail.
Sordoni was a son of the late Andrew “Jack” and Margaret Barnard Sordoni. He split his time between Naples, Fla. and the Back Mountain area.
His obituary said he was an active member of the community and led a life dedicated to helping others. He was one of the founding members of the Luzerne Foundation, a board member of the Geisinger Foundation from 1973 to 2010, and had been on the Board of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School since 1980.
He is also survived by one granddaughter, Ella Bruno, Sweet Valley; and brothers, Andrew, William and Stephen Sordoni.

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