George J. Dargati, 90, of Tolland, devoted husband of his college sweetheart, the late Elizabeth “Betty” (Hannon), died with family by his side on July 20, 2022. Born in the “Greek Village” section of North Grosvenor Dale, CT on June 12, 1932, son of the late Dimitri “James” and Andronica (Fatsi) Dargati. George was an enthusiastic and engaging individual who excelled as an educator, coach, mentor, leader and family man. His credo was faith, family and friends. He loved to tell stories and had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved everyone he met in his life and connected in a very deep and personal way with the people he touched. George lived his life with passion and determination. He had a great competitive spirit, an infectious personality and a big heart that attracted people wherever he went. His deep friendships knew no bounds. He genuinely cared about all people as he asked questions, listened with an open mind and heart, and offered a helping hand. He would often hire a stranger, introduce himself and ask about his life. Inevitably, he would discover someone in common, and soon he would have a new friend.
“The Jet” was a basketball, baseball and track star at Tourtellotte Memorial High School, earning 12 varsity letters. Playing basketball for the legendary Jim Canty, he led the Tigers to back-to-back state championships. During his senior season, Tourtleotte went a perfect 28-0 with George leading the state in scoring and earning All-State and State Tournament MVP honors. After a year of prep school at Williston Academy, he turned down an offer of a professional baseball contract with the New York Giants organization to accept a basketball scholarship to the University of Connecticut. After a successful first season at UConn, he joined the United States Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. While stationed in Germany, he excelled in basketball and baseball throughout Europe and received honors from all armed forces. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at Willimantic State Teachers College where he pursued a Hall of Fame basketball and baseball career. He was a prolific left-handed hitter as a baseball player and one of the top scorers in the nation during his basketball career. ), while leading the Warriors to the first-ever postseason tournament title. He was elected a charter member of the Tourtellotte High School Hall of Fame, the Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame, and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the most memorable highlights of his athletic career occurred when he was selected to play in the 25th Annual Maurice Stokes NBA All-Star Game at Kutcher’s Country Club in New York City. He played alongside Bob Cousy, Oscar Roberson and Wilt Chamberlain and shared honors with Jack Twyman. Of all his accomplishments, he would tell you the greatest was landing his doting wife of 53 years, Betty. George’s intensity was grounded in Betty’s genuine kindness. Together they were the perfect mix, raising a close-knit family of three children and seven grandchildren.
George leaves behind son James Dargati and wife Tori of South Windsor, daughter Kaileen Colgan and husband James of Boston, MA, and daughter Jennifer Wood and husband Kevin of Tolland. He also leaves seven grandchildren, who were his pride and joy: Ryan, Allie and Michael Colgan, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie Wood and JP and Drew Dargati. He was predeceased by his two sisters, Ida and her late husband Don Menzone, and Viola Dargati; and brother-in-law Dave Hannon. Surviving are his sister-in-law Mary Hannon, his brother-in-law Dave Shea and his wife Dottie, his brother-in-law Bill Hannon and his wife Shirley, and his sister-in-law Nancy Hannon. George leaves behind many nephews, nieces and wonderful friends. George was a man of faith and was an active parishioner at St. Matthew’s Church as well as a member of the Rockville Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He taught for 35 years as a science teacher in the Vernon school system and had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of longtime friends at VCMS. He was a mentor and role model and over his career in education positively impacted the young lives of countless students and athletes.
Upon his retirement from teaching, George became active in fundraising projects for charities such as St. Jude’s, Day Kimball Hospital and the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. He also traveled with friends and greatly enjoyed annual trips to Fenway Park, the Frozen Four, and to Florida to visit Ted Williams.
George’s star perhaps shone brightest when he began his last career; that of a loving and caring grandfather. “Poppy,” as her seven grandchildren affectionately called her, was a constant presence in their lives, providing support, wisdom, humor and love. The annual family vacation to Cape Cod with all of her grandchildren was the highlight of every summer. He will always be their “Poppy”, from which they have learned unforgettable life lessons.
The Dargati family would like to thank George’s caring neighbors and all the staff at Vernon Manor for their exceptional and compassionate care.
There will be no calling hours. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 30 at St. Matthew’s Church, 111 Tolland Green, Tolland. He will be buried in the Saint-Bernard cemetery in Rockville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in George’s memory to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451.
Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home is taking care of the arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.carmonfuneralhome.com
Posted July 26, 2022
Posted in Worcester Telegram & Gazette
St. Bernard Rockville Cemetery
St. Matthew’s Church 111 Tolland Green Ext Tolland, CT 06084
July 30, 2022 at 10:00 AM