George Brownlee Boone
George Brownlee Boone, 96, of Asheville, died Sept. 2, 2018 at Deerfield Retirement Community, Asheville.
A Cashiers and Highlands resident for many decades, he served on the founding board of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and The Boone Center at Chestnut Hill in Highlands is named in his honor.
Born in Watseka, Illinois, he was the husband of Shirley (Talbot Kelley) Boone of Asheville, and the son of the late George Ingels and Katherine Sinclair (Brownlee) Boone.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Alma Anne (Cousins) Boone on Dec. 30, 2007.
During his sophomore year at the University of Virginia, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp, (now the U.S. Air Force), immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He bravely served his country as an officer while piloting a B-24 bomber -- known as The Liberator. The B-24 Liberator was an extremely difficult plane to fly -- pilots navigated through flak-filled skies and in frigid high-altitude temperatures on up to eight-hour round trips. On a key mission flying over German occupied Romania, 1st Lieutenant Boone’s plane was shot down on April 15, 1944. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war for more than a year by the Nazis during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart, three Bronze Stars and an Air Medal.
After the war, he entered business in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry with his father on Long Island, New York.
He was an avid golfer and until recently was a member of Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville. He was a member of Country Club of Sapphire Valley and an NGLA member for well over 30 years.
In addition to his wife Shirley, he is survived by seven children, Catherine (Timothy) McNeese of Baltimore, Maryland, David (Diane) Boone of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thomas Boone of Houston, Texas, Jonathan (Michele) Boone of Asheville, James (Courtney) Boone of Newport News, Virginia, Anne (Phillip) Pilewski of Mystic, Connecticut, and Douglas (Sheila) Morrell of Long Valley, New Jersey; 15 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Shirley's family, Cashiers residents Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan, called him their bonus father for a decade.
The family extends its thanks and appreciation to the wonderful staff at Deerfield as well as to Dr. Clay Ballantine of Blue Ridge Premier Medicine for all their care, support and kindness during George’s years in Asheville.
A memorial service was conducted on Friday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. in the Health Care Chapel at Deerfield Retirement Community, Haden Hall. Burial with full military honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia later.
Groce Funeral Home, Lake Julian, is assisting the family.