George Edward Tortarolo II
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Born 1944, age 77
Died October 11, 2021
Born in Manhattan raised in the Bronx
Attended Lehigh and Fordham Universities
Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army, 1967-69
Upon returning from Vietnam, George married and spent his career as a pharmaceutical scientist developing formulations for widely used medications and consumer products earning two registered U.S. patents and having had the pleasure of retiring from Pfizer at the age of 55. He was known among his colleagues as “Mr. Wizard” for his consistent and surprising ability to solve complex problems with outside the box solutions often worked through on a scrap of paper or the back of an envelope.
The self-taught mechanic, carpenter, electrician, plumber, and builder prided himself on rarely ever having to call a repairman for assistance during his lifetime. George thoroughly enjoyed spending hours tinkering with his convertible Jaguar. He was always quick to lend his craftsman skills and knowledge to those in need.
An advocate for public libraries, George was a voracious reader often completing multiple books in a single week. He began that practice in grade school and continued it well into his final years. He loved the hobby of researching historical and technical information and became a subject matter expert on a wide variety of topics, some of which included New York City history; astronomy; inventions; and science fiction.
He was a bourbon aficionado and member of Louisville’s Bourbon Society. George, an automotive and driving enthusiast, would not think twice about making a road trip anywhere and was most grateful for the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. Some of his favorite places include Portugal; Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and Yellowstone National Parks; Gettysburg, PA, the American desert, and the Italian section of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli”, was not only his favorite movie quote from The Godfather, but also a mindset and practice he carried throughout life.
George, born to George Tortarolo Sr. and Florence Vespi Tortarolo is survived by his wife of 52 years Joanne Stys Tortarolo, son George Tortarolo III, daughter Diane Creveling, son-in-law Raymond Creveling, and two grandsons George Tortarolo IV and Giovanni Tortarolo. Despite being an only child, he quickly gained several brothers and sisters through marriage which include John and Nancy Stys, Linda and John Buono, Patti and Lee Gothard, Theresa Stys, Victoria and Tom Shewbrooks, and Robert Stys plus many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements entrusted to Bridgewater Funeral Home and private service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please make donations in his memory to Joshua Tree National Park where his ashes will rest.