George Frank Ceithaml passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 24, at his home in Dana Point. He was 91.
Born in Chicago, he was quarterback and captain of the 1942 University of Michigan football team and was a starter for the 1943 East-West Shrine game as well as the college all-star team that defeated the NFL champion Rams. After being selected captain of the 1942 all-American blocking team and receiving All-American honorable mention honors, Ceithaml was drafted to play in the NFL. Instead, he entered the U.S. Navy after graduation, participating in the 1944 landings at Anzio Beach and D-Day at Normandy.
Ceithaml returned to the University of Michigan and served as an assistant football coach and later at USC. When in Pasadena with the 1948 Michigan Rose Bowl team, he met the love of his life, Joan Kalmbach, on a blind date. They were engaged in just 10 days and married three months later, a marriage that lasted 64 years.
He left USC in 1957 to pursue a business career with Investors Diversified Services, Inc., then the world’s largest investment management firm. After promotions that led to his becoming the company’s senior vice president for marketing in Minneapolis, Ceithaml retired and moved back to Laguna Beach with his wife.
Ceithaml was a member of the Newport Beach Country Club, an active volunteer at his grandchildren’s elementary school in Laguna Beach and remained an ardent supporter of the University of Michigan football team.
He is survived by his wife Joan, daughter Jody, son George and his wife Chrys and three grandchildren, Kara, Taylor and Colin and his brother Joseph.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Club, 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651.