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  • Beltsville News

Obituary: Thomassen, George W.



George W. Thomassen

passed away at his home on October 27, 2022, at the age of 103. He was born on the family farm in Creighton, Nebraska on April 8, 1919, the eighth of eleven children. His parents were Wilhelm Thomassen and Thekla Neppl Thomassen. George is preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 68 years; his son Robert Thomassen and his brothers; Frank, Pete, Leo, Elmer and Paul and his sisters; Josephine, Sofie, Irene and Adelaide. His dear sister Dolores sadly passed away four days after George on October31, 2022; his children; Mary Jane (William Nehoda), George W. Jr. (Christine), Elizabeth Matthews (Pete) and Paul; grandchildren Claire, Jim (Sofia), Jill, and Eric Matthews, Jay and Eli Thomassen; His great-grandchildren; Logan, Haley and Timothy Thomassen, and Evelyn, Grace and Hazel Matthews, and many nieces and nephews.

When America entered World War II George joined the Navy and served as Chief Petty Officer aboard the USS Saturn. He and Betty met when his ship was docked in the Baltimore Harbor and she was a volunteer serving food at a USO dance that he attended. They were married at St. Jerome's Church in Hyattsville, MD on October 21, 1944. After the war they moved to Greenbelt, MD, and George attended Georgetown University where he earned a degree in Accounting, graduating in 1948. As the family grew they made several moves between Fredericksburg, VA, Bronnxville, NY, Yonkers, NY and finally he moved his family from Hamden, CT to Beltsville in 1964 to become General Manager at Academy Ford in Laurel, MD. From there he went on to become General Manager at Guy Stewart Motors in Silver Spring, MD. In 1970 he acquired his own Dealership, Thomassen Lincoln Mercury in Rockville, MD. Then in 1977 he obtained a second dealership, Thomassen Ford in Charlestown, WV.

Known for his sense of humor, devotion to family, and his strong Catholic faith supported by his unfailing attendance to daily Mass. His quick and often dry wit always had those around him laughing and put at ease. George always stayed close with his 10 siblings even though he was the only one on the east coast, most of his siblings having moved to California. They were always in touch with each other and tried to visit whenever they could. Even though working 10-to-12-hour days he always made sure he came home for dinner with the family and then went back to work. Everything he did he did with his wife and children in mind.

He may have left the farm, but the farm never left George. He always had a garden, growing a variety of vegetables including corn, cucumber, radish, tomato, squash and string beans. Fortunately, his Beltsville house backed up to a plot of unused USDA property which he was allowed to use for his garden. He delighted in sharing his harvest with friends and neighbors.

He was handy, fixing anything in the house that needed repair. He was good at building things as well; he built a 12-foot-long picnic table to accommodate big family gatherings. That picnic table saw many of both George and Betty's brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren for Sunday dinners, birthdays, graduations, and First Communions, all were celebrated with Betty's wonderful cooking.

He believed it was important to give his time and talents to his community. Even though he worked 60 to 70 hours a week he was involved in many activities including: President of Toastmasters international Club of Beltsville, Chair of Finance Committee St. Joseph Church, Member of Knights of Columbus Counsel 2809, he was a Third Degree Knight. He would also often pick up parish members who needed a ride to church. His strength and leadership in our family will be dearly missed and the joy he brought to our lives will be forever in our hearts.

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