George N. DiJulio, Sr. was born in Black Diamond on March 24, 1919 and died at home on Mercer Island on February, 13, at the age of 93. George was the youngest of 9 children born to John R. and Angelina DiJulio. Along with brothers Chris, Jim, Guy, John, Ben, and Joe and sister Mary, the extended family produced over 250 family members. George attended Mount Virgin grade school, graduated from Franklin High School and attended the University of Washington where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. While at Franklin High, George played on the varsity baseball team, starting at second base. This team was noteworthy as famous Seattleite and Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer, Fred Hutchinson, led the team as both a pitcher and a first baseman.
Prior to an extended career as a restaurant owner, George worked in the family owned and operated household goods moving and storage industry (Lincoln Moving & Storage) and later he managed the White River Lodge restaurant in Tukwila. George next was hired by Joe Gottstein and became the first manager of the Longacres Racetrack’s Turf Club. Late in the 1950’s George, partnered to own and operate one of Seattle’s first fast food restaurant chains serving 19 cent hamburgers in various Seattle and Bellevue locations. Later he partnered with Bill Cogswell in the ownership of The Plaid Piper, Casa Villa, and Hungry Turtle restaurants in Seattle and the Turtle Too restaurant in Auburn. George was an active restaurant owner in the greater Seattle area for over 45 years and together with other local owners like Victor Rosellini, Walter Clark, Peter Canlis, Dave Cohn, Ivar Haglund, and others, the Seattle restaurant scene remained in good hands for many, many years.
During the Seattle World’s Fair, George was the general manager of the Hawaiian Pavilion exhibit and playhouse.
George was a dutiful and long-time member of the Seattle Italian Club, Sahalee Country Club, and St. Monica’s Parish on Mercer Island. George served on the Sahalee Board of Directors and served as president of the St. Monica’s Mens’ Club, founding the St. Monica’s Annual Parish Dinner and chairing the event twice. George served as president of Mercerwood Shore Club during the early 1960’s. Along with his brothers, George was also a founding member of the Seattle Jesuit Club. Additionally, George often played Santa Claus for the Seattle Seafair Pirates during hospital visits and special events.
George married Mary Elizabeth Wilson in October of 1948 and after living in Renton for three years, the two settled in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of north Seattle until 1958 when they relocated to a larger home on Mercer Island. George is survived by Marybeth, his loving wife of almost 65 years, and their seven children: George, Jr. of Redmond, Chris (Robin) of Kirkland, Betsy Biehn (Dave), Pat (Mary), Doug (Regina), and Lisa Given (Bryce) all of Mercer Island, and Matthew (Julie) of Bellevue. Additionally, there are 24 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
George’s passion in life revolved around Marybeth and his family. He loved baseball, water and snow sports, and westerns. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Monica’s Parish on Mercer, Island at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 25 with a reception following in the Parish Hall. Interment for family members will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Seattle.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances should be made to Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Catholic Church, St. Monica’s Catholic Church, or to the charity of your choice.