Valda M. George, a longtime secretary in the South Huntington school district, died Tuesday at Huntington Hospital, after a brief digestive illness. She was 89.
George was born in Washington, D.C., the eldest daughter of Silvio and Alice Bianchi, who emigrated from Italy. She grew up in Manhattan and Queens with her two siblings. She graduated from Textile High School in Manhattan in 1940.
She met her husband, Dominick, playing stickball as a teenager in the city. They were married in 1942 and moved to South Huntington in 1950 after saving the $10 they needed for a deposit on what became their permanent home. There, they raised sons Bob and Dan and hosted many family events and backyard barbecues.
For years, she was a stay-at-home mother, who loved to hang her laundry in the yard to dry. She started working as a part-time secretary at Beverly Hills Elementary School in 1965, when both her sons were students there. She retired in 1997 at age 74 as the principal's secretary at Birchwood Elementary School.
"Everyone knew Mrs. George," said her son Dan, of Wading River. "She absolutely loved her job; she was so happy in that environment."
George was a storyteller, so much so that her mother lovingly nicknamed her chiacchierona, or chatterbox, in Italian.
"Sometimes stubborn and outspoken concerning the things she deeply cared about, she nonetheless always found a kind word or heartfelt thought to express to all those she met or worked with," said her son Bob, of Simsbury, Conn. "She always found something good about everybody."
In addition to her sons, she is survived by her husband of 69 years, Dominick, of South Huntington; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be said at St. Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Church Monday at 9:30 a.m., followed by burial at Pinelawn Cemetery.