George Lee Houston, 81, Osceola, passed away peacefully, with his wife, Donna, by his side on April 18, 2020. Prior to this he had been living the long goodbye with dementia.
He was born Aug. 10, 1938, in El Dorado Springs, to Violet (Lorene) Eason Smith and George L. Smith. In 1939 Lorene married Ora Houston and they raised George, and Ora’s daughter, Peggy Houston, Womack.
In 1957 George and Donna Dewey were married and had three children – Gary, Cinda and infant, Jon Ora, who died at birth.
George served in the Marine Corps in 1956.
The family business, The Home Decorator’s Shop, was founded in 1959 with his parents and wife, continuing in Osceola until 1973. George and Ora painted or wallpapered numerous walls and finished many floors in St Clair County.
A life well lived. George was always an adventurous man and discovered his passion in flying. He began with a gyrocopter and ultra-lite aircraft, and then light aircraft for personal and business purposes. This led him to make a living with a variety of flying experiences – banner towing, crop dusting, fire patrol, aerial photography, certified aerial mechanic and certified flight instructor. He took care of Osceola’s airport for many years, serving as an ambassador for the community.
George lived in Osceola most of his life except for six years in Roscoe and served his community as volunteer fireman and Fire Chief of the Osceola Fire Department. He was also a TASA insurance salesman, a semi- truck driver and worked on an oil rig in Texas with Red Adair. He was an intelligent, ingenious and self- made man who served as an example to pursue your passions and dreams with confidence.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Donna of Osceola; daughter, Cinda of Utah; and siblings – Ginger Smith Sappenfield of Blue Springs, Janice Smith Floyd of Stockton and Lloyd Smith of Joplin. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lorene Westerlin; fathers, George Lee Smith and Ora Houston; sons, Gary and Jon Ora, and sister, Peggy Womack.
Thank you to the staff at Truman Lake Manor who treated George with compassion, patience and respect.
Services are pending at a later date.