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Francis E. George, owned Speedy’s Restaurant in North Collins

May 22, 1929 – Sept. 26, 2013

Francis E. George, co-owner for many years of a popular tavern and eatery in the Village of North Collins, died Thursday in his longtime North Collins home after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84.

One of eight children, the North Collins native spent his entire life in the village and town, aside from a stint in the Army during the Korean War.

He was a graduate of North Collins High School and worked at Eclipse Metal in Eden before his military service from 1951 to 1953. He was stationed at Camp Edwards in Massachusetts.

He also served in the Army reserves from 1953 to 1961 and rose to the rank of sergeant.

Mr. George was widely known by the nickname “Foxy.” He was employed for several years at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center.

In 1961, he and a business partner bought Speedy’s Restaurant on Main Street in the village.

Mr. George tended bar, while his wife of 48 years, the former Sharon Heavern, worked in the kitchen.

They sold their stake in the restaurant in 1988.

Mr. George was active in the Eden-North Collins Rotary Club, American Legion Post 1640 in North Collins and the Holy Name Society of Holy Spirit Church.

Each year, Mr. George shaved his head as part of “Goin’ Bald for Bucks,” a fundraising event founded in 2002 by his son, Anthony, a teacher at Lake Shore High School.

The fundraiser was inspired by Mr. George’s daughter, Cathleen, a bank executive who battled breast cancer for six years before dying in 2004 at age 36. The fundraiser benefits cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. George is survived by a sister, Lucy Braun and a brother, James.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today in Holy Spirit Church, 2017 Halley Road at Route 62, North Collins, after prayers at 9 a.m. in Wentland Funeral Home, 10634 Main St., North Collins.