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George L. Engelke Jr. dead, former bank executive was 76

Services were to be held Thursday morning for

Services were to be held Thursday morning for George L. Engelke Jr. of Garden City, former chairman, president and chief executive of Astoria Financial Corp., who died Dec. 6, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Services were to be held Thursday morning for George L. Engelke Jr. of Garden City, former chairman, president and chief executive of Astoria Financial Corp., who died Saturday.

Astoria is one of the largest Long Island-based banking companies, the parent corporation of the 87-branch Astoria Bank.

Engelke, a certified public accountant by profession, was 76 and died of natural causes, the company said.

He served as chief executive of Astoria Financial from 1993 to June 2011, and served as chairman of it and what was then called Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association, from April 1997 to June 20, 2012.

He also was a board member from January 1990 to December 1993 and again from January 1999 through December 2007 of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, which lends money to member banks for home mortgages and community improvement. He was its chairman from 2005 through 2007.

Engelke served from 1994 through 2010 on the board of the Community Preservation Corp., an organization based in Manhattan that coordinates public and private resources for local owners to obtain financing, public subsidies and other assistance in the rehabilitation of multifamily housing. He was its chairman from 2002 through 2004.

In 1993 and 1994 he also was chairman of the Community Bankers Association of New York State.

Under his leadership, Astoria went public in 1993 and then acquired Fidelity New York Savings Bank, Greater New York Savings Bank and Long Island Savings Bank.

He also served on the board of trustees of Long Island University and was a longtime supporter of Lehigh University, his alma mater, according to an Astoria announcement.

The company statement said, "George's business acumen was invaluable to the bank's growth and expansion, and his kindness toward all those he met was inspirational."

It also said he was an avid golfer.

Survivors include his wife of more than 20 years, Sandra, of Garden City. Others include children Jennifer Engelke Skyrm and Courtenay Engelke; stepchildren Suzanne Blair and Steven Jaenichen; a brother, Roger, and nine grandchildren.

The funeral was to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Community Church of East Williston.

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