Obituary for George B. Vasko
George Basil Vasko peacefully transitioned into heaven, surrounded by his loving family, on January 7, 2017, after a brief illness.
George was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1931, to Ludvia and Vasil Vasko. George began working at BF Goodrich on the evening of his high school graduation. It was there that his interest in labor practices was piqued and he became intent on resolving the issues of his fellow labor workers.
George worked 16-hour days at BF Goodrich to put himself through school at Ursinus College, where he received degrees in history and economics.
Following graduation, George entered the United States Army, where he was a member of the military police. Upon leaving the Army, he enrolled at Boston College Law School and graduated with his law degree in 1960.
Shortly thereafter, George moved to Akron, Ohio, where his dream of helping laborers would come to fruition when he was appointed as Assistant General Counsel of the United Rubber Workers. A tenacious and skillful negotiator, he was appointed to General Counsel of the United Rubber Workers in 1967.
Later on, in his legal career, George practiced with Vasko, Howard, and Morris, and then Vasko, Roberto, and Evans, where he retired from the legal profession.
In 2003, George received the Professionalism Award from the Akron Bar Association for his significant contributions to the legal community and the greater Akron community. His friends and colleagues frequently spoke of George’s desire to help those in need and to give a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard. George had a passionate commitment to all of his clients regardless of the size of their case or their ability to pay. George frequently provided pro bono services, and he served as President of the Legal Aid Society.
In addition, George served as a Board member for the Visiting Nurse Service of Summit County, the Summit County Catholic School Commission, and the Akron Art Institute, respectively. He also served as Chairman of the Public Defender’s Office and as Treasurer of the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
George’s proudest moments in life were those that involved his loving wife of almost sixty years, Diane; and his five children, Sharon (John) Lamprinakos, Kimberly Vasko, Scott (Janice) Vasko, Tracy Vasko, and Kelly (John) Thomas.
George had ten grandchildren, Brittany, Elise, Alex, Matt, Cassie, Tyler, Nick, Faith, Natalie, and Carter, and two great-grandchildren, Liam and Isaac.
George’s family will cherish their time spent with him rooting on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians, Browns and the Ohio State Buckeyes as well as the competitive games of pool, ping pong and basketball that he played with the family. Our most cherished memories will be remembering the positive, loving and calm spirit that he bestowed upon everybody that had the honor of meeting him. Everybody is a better person for having known George Vasko.
George’s Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at 10 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church,164 W. Market St., Akron, OH 44303.
Private interment Western Reserve National Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the Summa Hospice Team for excellent care of our loved one.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the St Vincent de Paul Society at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
330-836-3100Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2017.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, 2017.