We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Scott-Rothwell Funeral Home
George Henry Luce was born on April 25, 1936 in Port Jefferson Hospital to George Alton Luce and Olga Deurreschmidt. George was the first child of Alton and Olga and was soon to have a little sister Joan. George’s family lived in Riverhead, where Alton had been born and grew up. As World War II approached George’s mother and father split up, his father Alton enlisted in the Army and his mother went to live in NYC where George attended Trinity School.
Olga remarried and moved with her new husband to Venezuela, as her new husband worked for Exxon Oil. George and Joan, still young children, went to Venezuela as well, but always returned to Riverhead to spend summers with their Luce grandparents at the summer cottage on LI Sound, George’s current home.
When George was 14 he reached the final grade for school children in Venezuela and had to return to the States to continue his high school education. He chose to go to Trinity Pawling in Pawling NY. At the time Trinity Pawling was a sister school to Trinity School in NYC. George excelled in sports and girls, not so much in grades, and was elected Head Prefect (Sr. Class President) by the faculty and his peers. George graduated from TP in 1955 and went on to Northwestern University.
George’s stay at Northwestern was short, lasting only one semester. After his first semester he returned home to Riverhead and was awaiting his draft notice from the army when he decided to take matters into his own hands and enlist in the Navy. George spent almost 5 years in the US Navy serving in Japan in a seaplane squadron as an electronics operator. George would listen for and track Russian submarines under the Yellow Sea as part of the cold war effort.
In 1962 George and his first wife had a baby boy George H. Luce Jr. (aka Tiger). Tiger was born in Japan and he and his mother and George soon moved back to Riverhead. George was honorably discharged from the Navy having served almost 5 years. Back in Riverhead George began working as a mechanic on outboard motors (Westbend Outboard Motors) in the back of G.A. Luce Hardware Store on Main Street in Riverhead. George worked on motors during the day for a living and worked on motors at night as a member of the East End Outboard Racing Club. George’s wife longed for her native home in Japan and the two split after a few years in Riverhead. Tiger remained in Riverhead with George.
George met Naudain Larsen, a young woman from City Island in the Bronx who also worked for Westbend Outboards as a parts distributor. Naudain and George were married in Hampton Bays in May of 1966. George moved with his son Tiger to City Island to begin a life with Naudain and her daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth. George and Naudain (aka Dainy) built a small boat and motor repair business together in City Island called Seacraft Inc.. In July 1968 George and Dainy had a new son, Lawrence. The family of five lived on City Island until 1982 when George, Naudain and Larry moved to Hampton Bays.
Living back on Long Island George worked in the marine business again for other marina owners. George was active in the Riverhead Lions, and the Association of Marine Industries. George, a proud navy veteran, was always willing to volunteer for services to help other veterans.
In June of 1990 George’s wife of 24 years, Naudain, died of cancer in their Hampton Bays home. Naudain was 5 days short of her 50th birthday. George, always a hard worker, reported for work the morning after his wife died. As he later said to his son Larry “I cried all day, but crying won’t get anything done. I had to work too”.
George was remarried again to his third wife, Margie Bofill. Their marriage lasted a few years but differences in age and interests sent them each in different directions. George continued to work in the marine business first for Lighthouse Marina and later for Lighthouse Parts both in Aquebogue NY.
At 63 George decided to retire and relax, doing something he always wanted to do. George moved to Montana and worked on a cattle ranch for the next seven years. His skills in mechanics and hard work were as applicable to tractors, hay bailers and herding cows as they were to fixing boats and outboard motors. George developed many close friends in the town of Chinook Montana and some so close he calls them family. George loved the Montana life, but as he aged he realized he loved his own family on Long Island too and he needed to move back to be with them.
The decade of George’s life from 75 to 85 was a bit of a roller coaster health wise. George had smoked cigarettes since he was 16 and in 2013 was diagnosed with lung cancer. He beat it. In 2017 George suffered a stomach problem and was treated for colon cancer. He beat it. In 2018 George had strange back pains and was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
During this decade of his life George began to work for Hampton Bays School District as a part time maintenance mechanic. Always willing to teach, George showed younger men, and a few students how to fix things the old fashioned way. Ever the philanthropist, George started an annual $750 scholarship for a graduating senior of HB High School, in memory of his wife Naudain. Having survived with 3 different types of cancer and COVID 19 George Luce, the man with the nickname “old iron balls”, died on December 13, 2021 at the age of 85.
George is survived by his 2 sons George Jr. and Larry, his step daughter Elizabeth, his like-family daughters Amanda and Keri, and his 6 grandchildren Leanne, James, Robert (USMC), Phillip, Olivia, and Matthew and many family & friends who have known and loved him along the way.
A full life lived, and his work done, may George rest in peace.
Visiting time with George’s family will be held on December 27, 2021 from 6 - 8 pm, with a memorial service beginning at 8 pm at The Scott Rothwell Funeral Home in Hampton Bays, NY.