“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
The Birdman has landed.
George Hidemichi Reekie, age 50, passed away on Sunday, July 30th at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester after a sensational ride through life. George was one of a kind. He loved to make things happen. Whether he was racing his sailboat in Narragansett Bay or racing his car at Limerock, or working non-stop on an engineering project, he pushed the limits of performance. He packed a lot of living into his 50 short years.
George was very proud of his 1991 win at the famous Birdman competition in Canberra, Australia, where he piloted a glider that he developed with his father on a record-setting 50 meter flight from a 6 meter high launching pad at Lake Burley Griffin. As an adventurous young man of 24, George used his prize winnings to come to America and started his own engineering firm in Newton, MA. He threw out his anchor after meeting his beautiful wife, Keelin, and the couple settled in Rhode Island.
George was a man of many talents. He was an avid sailor and proud owner of a 23 foot C&C named Whirlwind (aptly named). He was very generous with his boat, always ready to take family and friends for a sail and to let the kids take the helm. He was a skilled musician (assuming the didgeridoo and quinto drums count as musical instruments). He was an excellent cook and grill-master with a gift for creating a colossal mess in the kitchen. He also had an un-matchable sense of fashion; he never wore matching socks, and was one of the few people in the world who could pull off wearing the furry 'zebra shorts'. He was the life of the party and had friends all over the world, yet it wasn't uncommon for this hard-living Australian to shed a tear while watching a sad movie with his girls, or pick a flower from the Japanese garden that his mother designed. George told it like it is. He didn't hold back or dance around an issue (although he was also quite a good dancer).
George was a successful industrial designer having been granted numerous patents from the U.S. Patent Office such as the Black and Decker Weed Wacker. When you visit the Museum of Natural History in NYC and see the large bronze models of the world and moon, know that George was the engineer behind the creation of these models. George developed a unique method of collecting NASA data and invented the technological breakthrough to do 3D modelling under the ocean, thus showing even our deepest oceans on his world globe. Not just anyone can say they “delivered the world”.
George was creative, intelligent, thoughtful and curious about everything. He took as much interest in his complex engineering projects as he did in fixing his boat or flying his kites or purchasing a vacuum. Always up for a challenge, he didn't shy away from purchasing fixer-upper houses (or knock-down buildings), renovating and redesigning them with his architect wife, and turning them into beautiful homes.
Above all he loved his beautiful daughters McKaela and Shealyn with whom he truly enjoyed spending his time sailing, fishing, playing games, teaching, laughing, cuddling and loving.
George's life was filled with great stories, amazing accomplishments, fun adventures and beautiful family and friends.
We will love you and miss you always George.
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
George was the son of Colin Reekie and Fudeko (Obazawa) Reekie, and the loving husband of Keelin (Fritz) Reekie. Besides his parents and his beloved wife, George is survived by his daughters: McKaela and Shealyn, and his two siblings: John and Ann and their families, and his extended families in Japan, England and Scotland. George has also been blessed, through his wife Keelin, with his loving parents-in-law, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters-in-law and sixteen nieces and nephews, who all adored him.
To pay respects and say your farewells to George, visitation will be at Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood Street, Bristol on Sunday, August 6 from 3:00-6:00 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held the following morning, Monday, August 7 at 10:00 am in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 330 Wood Street, Bristol, followed by a reception at the Church. Burial details are still to be determined.
For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions please visit Sansonefuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in George's name can be made to the charity of your choice. Thank you for being a special part of George’s life.
Charitable donations may be made to:
A charity of the donor's choice