George Fuad Matouk – husband, father, grandfather, and a generally amazing person who was beloved by so many people – passed away peacefully on October 20, 2022 surrounded by his family. He died of complications related to Parkinson’s disease at the age of 85. He is survived by his loving wife Priscilla Nackley, his children John, George (Mindy Aronow) and Margot, and grandchildren Virginia, Violet, Margot, and Sophia and Charlie (Stafford) and sister Selma Quinn (Jack). His first wife Virginia, his parents Maude and John, and brother Gian-Piero Bonechi predeceased him.
A lifetime New Yorker, George grew up in Brooklyn playing stickball, rooting for the Dodgers, going to church, excelling at school and enjoying Syrian delicacies prepared by his mother Maude. He graduated from Xavier High School and Villanova University before serving his country as an officer in the US Navy.
In 1963, he joined the luxury linen manufacturer John Matouk & Co., founded by his beloved father of the same name and became President after John’s untimely death in 1966. He dedicated the next 40 years of his career to this company he cared so deeply about, earning esteemed status in the industry and nurturing deeply fulfilling relationships with his employees, suppliers and customers. George and his dear brother-in-law Paul Hooker acquired the small importing company Sferra Bros. in 1975 and together they built it into a second force in the luxury linen industry.
In 1967, he married Virginia Plasteras, his wife of 25 years, until she passed away in 1992. Together they built a family and raised three children who were all at George’s side until his final day. The family lived in Manhattan and spent summers on the Jersey Shore with Virginia’s extensive family who immediately adopted George as one of their own, even referring to him as “Saint George”.
In 1994, Priscilla brought love back into George’s life. They married in 1995 and together spent 27 blissful years filled with laughter, adventure, friends, family, Villanova basketball games and crossword puzzles. They traveled extensively with Priscilla’s sisters, Barbara and Diane, and their families. Hand-in-hand, through thick-and-thin, they battled and repeatedly defeated George’s archenemy, Parkinson’s disease, for 26 years. George maintained his signature optimism, humility and grace through every single day. He was never heard complaining a single time.
Throughout his life, George was a charitable and generous spirit who deployed his talents to the benefit of many organizations including St. Thomas More Catholic Church and 101 Central Park West. George never ceased to connect with a wide range of people in a meaningful way. He could put just about anyone at ease within seconds of meeting them and he had boundless warmth, generosity, humor and kindness to offer anyone lucky enough to have come into contact with him.
George’s legacy will be his inherent goodness and tenacity to experience life to its absolute fullest. May his memory continue to be an inspiration to us all.