George Edward Fleming, 93, of Wheaton, Ill., formerly of St. Charles, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, at Wynscape Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born on Jan. 25, 1918, the son of Antoine and Marguerite (Renier) Vlemink in Chicago. George was raised in Oak Park, Ill., and attended the local schools there. He graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School in 1936. He continued his education at Northwestern University, where he received his liberal arts degree and then his doctor of dental surgery degree in 1943.
George heard the calling of his country and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in the Dental Corp. He was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base, as well as Treasure Island in San Francisco, Calif. He returned to civilian life, but continued to serve in the Naval Reserves for 24 years, eventually retiring in 1978 as a Commander.
George had a double major of sorts while in college. His first was in dentistry, but his second began the moment he found the love of his life, Irene Kostre. Their two hearts became one when they were married on April 16, 1943. George and Irene began their life together while he was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base, where they welcomed their first son, George. They returned to the Chicago area after the war and made their home on the North Side. It was at this time George began his own dental practice on Spring Road in Elmhurst, Ill. Over the course of their marriage, the family grew to include four more children, James, Barbara, Robert and Richard. The family lived in Elmhurst for a few years and then moved to St. Charles in 1953, where they lived on Golden Oak Farm. In later years, after Irene’s passing and his health began to decline, George moved to Wheaton, where he made his home at the Wyndemere campus. He passed into eternal life on his beloved wife’s birthday, Sept. 29.
George served his community faithfully during his lifetime. He was a member of the Kane County Board and also the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church. He was also the past Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees—Baker Community Center and past president of the Far West Study Club of the Chicago Dental Society.
George loved to spend time on the links and play as many rounds as possible. Music also spoke to his heart and his hands. Many nights while at Northwestern, after only a few hours of sleep, George played the bass at various gigs, finishing his homework while on break. He never received less than stellar marks on both music and educational fronts. He continued to play his bass professionally throughout the Chicago area.
He is survived by his five children, George (Peggy) Fleming of Chippewa Falls, Wis., James (Kathleen) Fleming of St. Charles, Barbara (David) Webster of Geneva, Robert (Cheryl) Fleming of Chicago, and Richard Fleming of Geneva; eight grandchildren, Rachel Fleming, Nathan (Nicki) Fleming, Ryan Fleming (fiance Lauren Wolowiec), Eric (Lauren) Fleming, Elizabeth (Christoph) Groth, Andrew Webster, Michael Fleming, and Joseph Fleming; two great-grandchildren, Henry Imsande and Max Groth.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Irene; and two sisters, Mary Lou and Josephine.
Private services have already been held, and interment took place at Prairie Cemetery in St. Charles.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities, which include the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church. Checks may be made to the “George Fleming Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com .