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GEORGE LOUIS SLANINA

George Louis Slanina, 61, of Stafford, Texas died peacefully on December 20, 2004, surrounded by his family and friends, after fighting mesothelioma for the past 15 months. He was born in East Bernard on June 28, 1943. George had a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston, 1967. He also received extensive electrical/electronics/business law college training at University of Houston. George worked for almost 38 years in the electric utility business with varying positions including 17 years in plant construction and operations, 10 years in plant performance and analysis and almost 11 years as a consulting mechanical engineer. As a well-respected mechanical engineer, everyone knew they could turn to George for help troubleshooting a problem.

George, at age 37, was a co-holder and inventor of an electrically operated damper switch, U.S. patent number 4,243,174, January 6, 1981. It is a control apparatus used with home air conditioning units to control the volume of heated or air-conditioned space. This design was unique for its time, for no other apparatus specifically addressed energy conservation via a program timed sequence apparatus. An example of the usefulness of this apparatus - a family could program the apparatus to switch heated or air-conditioned air from awake time areas to asleep time areas of the home, and back to awake time living areas automatically according to their lifestyle. The bypass feature would also allow a family to indefinitely discontinue heating or air-conditioning an unused or seldom occupied room.

Always active in the community, George was president and treasurer of the Catholic Union of Texas (K.J.T.), Society #133 for numerous years, beginning 1987 through present; he also held the position of district president and district vice president of District VI. He won the Fraternalist of the Year award in 1994 for all of his hard work and dedication. George started an "Adopt-a-Tree" program at Holy Family Catholic Church, for which many oak trees were planted on a loved one’s behalf. For the annual Fall Festival at his church, he and his wife served as Food and Paper Goods Chairpersons for seven plus years, organizing many booths and organizations. George served as the president of the Stafford Athletic Booster Club for Stafford High School, the school where two of his daughters attended. George was also a board member of the Fort Bend WCID No. 2 for six and one-half years. He was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, and was a Registered Mechanical Engineer of Texas.

George enjoyed watching his grandson’s basketball games, fishing, hunting, golfing and telling stories with the boys. He took pride in raising his three daughters. He coached his daughters’ softball and track teams and taught them to never give up.

It was his strong heart and determined energy that allowed him to fight his cancer for so long. He actually walked down the hallway of his home the day before he died.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Slanina, his mother, Marie Slanina, his three daughters and their spouses, Gina and Chris Nilsen, Sherri and Sean Slanina-Wertz, and April Slanina. He has two grandsons - Justin Slanina and William Slanina-Wertz - and one granddaughter, Georgianna Slanina-Wertz, on the way. He is also survived by his future son-in-law, David Svetlik, and future grandsons, Tyler and Jordan Svetlik, and his siblings and their spouses, Marie Kucera, Norbert and Gloria Slanina, Charles and Sylvia Slanina and Victor and Vicki Slanina. He joins his son, Christopher Wayne Slanina, in heaven, who died shortly after birth.

The family extends sincere appreciation for the special care given to George by his medical team at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Hospice Team. The family would also like to thank all of the family and friends for their prayers, love and support.

Two services were held on Wednesday, December 22, 2004. A rosary was held at 4:00p.m. in Wallis, Texas at Knesek and Sons Chapel. Later in the evening at 8:00p.m., a vigil was held in Missouri City, Texas at Holy Family Catholic Church, with visitation at 7:00p.m. Funeral Mass was held Thursday, December 23 at 10:00a.m. in Missouri City, Texas at Holy Family Catholic Church. A luncheon followed after the funeral mass at the parish hall, hosted by the K.J.T. members. Committal services followed at Polish/Holy Cross Cemetery on Highway 36, in Sealy, Texas at 3:00p.m. Contributions may be made to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Hospice, or Holy Family Catholic Church Building Fund. Funeral services were under the direction of Knesek Funeral Chapels, 122 N. FM 1093, Wallis TX 77485, (979) 478-6311.

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