Each month we’ll feature a St. John’s member so we can get to
know each other better.
Spend any amount of time with our friendly church council
president, and you know that family and faith are important to George.
Thanks to his mom (and eventually dad) and grandmother, George was
aware of his faith at an early age, weekly attending neighborhood Milwaukee churches. With a family move when he was 9 years old to 62nd and Capitol Drive – [then] “out in the sticks,” as George puts it – they transferred to St. Peter’s Lutheran, where the pastor converted his dad after one home visit, and the rest is history: going to church as a family every Sunday.
George majored in telecasting and earned his degree at MATC. Over the years, he’s had jobs producing and directing live television (“still the best!”) programs including Bucks and MU Warriors basketball games, the news, and Romper Room. As the production manager, he helped plan the new WITI-TV6 studios at the current Green Bay Ave. location. In 1980, George struck out on his own to form Midland Video Productions, where he produced and directed videos for national and regional brands, and nationally aired PBS documentaries, one for which he (producer) and son Joe (director) garnered a Midwest Emmy nomination. But it all comes back to family, so when he was ready to hang it up in 2014, he sold the business to Joe.
George attributes his career and family success to the support of wife Dianne, whom he met while they were both working at WVTV Channel 18 and married in September 1972. Together they have three children – Joe, Jenny (Trick), and Amanda (Reinemann) – daughter- and sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren ranging in age from 4-19 (all of whom attend St. John’s and take up more than one pew on any given Sunday). With a clan of 16, family vacations aren’t quite so easy, but they’ve managed to take smaller group ones to Great Britain, Ireland, France, and Italy (an ancestry story you can ask George about) and enjoy attending the grandkids’ local soccer, cross-country, track, and baseball events every week.
Serving others brings joy to George and is how he lives his faith. He has served on numerous boards and non-profits locally, regionally, and nationally, and currently serves on committees for the Milwaukee Co. Department on Aging and volunteers at Kathy Hospice – and, well, our very own St. John’s church council for six years. After surviving his cardiac arrest four years ago, George figured that God was telling him to get back out there and help people. And, boy, are we glad he did (God and George)!
– George isn’t embarrassed to say that he passed out in the delivery room when daughter Jenny was being born. The doctors paid him no attention.
– His favorite song is “26 Miles [Across the Sea].” If you know it, you’re in good company!
– He has been an Uber driver for 5 1/2 years, “going the distance” over 7,500 rides.
– George has had just 18 ½ official birthdays! (Born on February 29!)