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George J. Mandelas
February 4, 1935 ~ July 2, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
George Joseph Mandelas, 88, of Ellensburg, passed away peacefully at his son’s home on Sunday, July 2, 2023, surrounded by his children.
George was born in the Kittitas Valley on February 4, 1935, the oldest of five children born to Gust & Mary (Camarata) Mandelas. His father’s work with the railroad moved the family to western Washington and George graduated from Bethel High School in Spanaway with the Class of 1953. Following graduation, he moved to Othello, Washington, where he did an internship to learn the trade of plumbing and pipefitting from his Uncle Joe Camarata.
While in Othello, George met and later married Carolyn Vance. They moved to Ellensburg and had five children - Julie, Steve, Dan, Jane and David.
Armed with the knowledge and training he received from his Uncle Joe, George became a true craftsman and fabricator. After several jobs in his trade, George settled into work at Central Washington University. He received several commendations for his professionalism and creative solutions to problems. He remained at the university until his retirement.
George was a lifetime “Ellensburger” (not the hamburger) and loved everything that the Kittitas Valley had to offer. Mention the word hunting, fishing, or camping and George was there, usually with family and friends. He enjoyed horseback riding, breaking and training many horses over the years. He joined the Ellensburg Rodeo Posse in the late 1960’s, where he quickly rose to the rank of Captain and remained an active member for many years. He was an honorary member until his death.
George, like his three brothers, had a mechanical curiosity and would invent, modify or change things just to see if he could. He was always finding ways to challenge and satisfy his curiosity – a trait that he also passed on to his children.
In George's golden years he became a member of the American Legion, affectionately known as “Georgie”. He visited often and few dared to take his spot at the bar. He was a quiet man until you would discuss one of his many passions, in which case he could talk to you for hours.
George is survived by his brother Gus Mandelas; daughter Juile Virden (Larry); sons Steven Mandelas, Daniel Mandelas (Kathy) and David Mandelas (Maisie) along with seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Jane; his parents; his sister Lemonia; sisters-in-law Bobbi Lopeman, Victoria and Patricia Mandelas as well as brothers Nick and Angelo Mandelas.
George is loved and will be remembered fondly and forever.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 4, 2023 in the Evenson Memorial Chapel at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. A reception will follow the memorial service at the American Legion on Craig’s Hill.
Memorial contributions in George’s honor are suggested to the Ellensburg Rodeo Posse, PO Box 191, Ellensburg, WA 98926.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Ellensburg. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.johnston-williams.com