George Sanzone of Blacksburg, died peacefully on Monday, May 2, 2016. George was born on January 13, 1934 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of John and Frances Sanzone. He was a self-made man, from his stint in the United States Navy to his years of study culminating in a Doctorate in Chemical Physics from the University of Illinois.
George studied architecture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. During his service in the U.S. Navy, he served on an Admiral’s staff in London and helped design naval bases in Scotland. After returning to the U.S., he worked at Bendix Corp. (Cincinnati), where he helped develop time-of-flight mass spectrometry. At Burton & Rodgers he worked on development of a flight simulator for the B-58 supersonic bomber.
In 1969, now Dr. Sanzone joined the faculty of Virginia Tech, where he enjoyed teaching and research in the Chemistry Department (1969 – 1998) and the many students, friends and colleagues along the way. After retiring, George began a new phase in his life, filled with travels, learning and 3-D puzzles, all in the company of his beloved companion of 27 years, Therese Martin. His cancer diagnosis in 2001 did not quench his spirit for life; if anything it made him all the more grateful for the years he continued to have.
George is survived by his sister, Lucille DeLuca; his former wife, Jeanne; his three children, Thomas, Stephanie, and Jennifer; four grandchildren; and his dear Therese.
The family expresses sincere appreciation to Dr. Harry McCoy and the nurses and staff of LewisGale Hospital Montgomery for their excellent care and many kindnesses.
An informal gathering of close friends to remember George will be scheduled for a later date.