2018-04-19 / Obituaries

George Nicholas Sarantos

George Nicholas Sarantos of Newport, R.I. died on April 14, 2018.

Born in Newark, N.J. on Aug. 19, 1928, he was the son of Nicholas and Stella Moutis Sarantos.

George is survived by his wife, Bettie; daughters, Susan E. Sarantos, Dorcie A. Sarantos, both of Newport and son Mark Nicholas Sarantos, San Antonio, Texas; two grandchildren, Steve N. Sarantos, and Sean N. Sarantos and wife Stephanie; and his sisters Helen Stewart and Libby Marnoch. He was preceded in death by siblings Harry, Alex and Julia Rickenbach.

A graduate of Rogers High School, Newport, and University of R.I., he attended Boston University Law School and Boston School of Social Work.

George had a 30-year career with the YMCA which began at the Greater Boston YMCA, then with the Greater Providence YMCA. In 1965, he became the chief executive officer of the Newport YMCA on Mary Street (now Vanderbilt Grace). The property was not suitable or large enough for his dream of a full-facility family YMCA. He was responsible for raising the funds, construction, and establishing an endowment fund for the Newport County YMCA in Middletown, R.I.

From 1976-1984 he worked with the YMCA of the USA. After retirement he established his own fund-raising and management consulting firm for non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

He was extremely dedicated to helping the community. During his tenure as the Newport Library Board of Trustee’s president, he was instrumental in securing funds from foundations and private citizens that amounted to over half of the cost of the 7.1 million dollar addition and renovation. The voters approved a 3 million dollar bond to finance the project, which the state reimbursed, and not a single penny of taxpayer money was used to support the project.

A past President of Newport Rotary Club, he was well known in Newport and on Aquidneck Island for his involvements in civic activities, and held volunteer positions of responsibility in many non-profit agencies. Acknowledging his work, the City of Newport proclaimed March 7 as George N. Sarantos Day.

After 31 years of service George retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve.

Never seeking attention or credit for his valuable contributions to our community, above all he was true to himself and his stated values.

To honor his wishes there will be no services and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers you may make contributions to the Newport Library or the Newport County YMCA.

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