George Staight, a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, peacefully passed away at home on Nov. 12, at the age of 65, after battling stomach cancer. He was comfortable and surrounded by his wife of 42 years, Lisa, and their three children, Patrick, Kevin, and Annie.
Staight treated life as an adventure. Born on Dec. 27, 1947, in Mt. Pleasant, Penn., to a Naval officer and a TWA stewardess, George spent his childhood moving to various naval bases across the country with his three siblings. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, with a degree in economics. He and Lisa married on May 28,1971.
The couple moved to California in 1972 and Staight began working as an underwriter. He earned his masters in business administration from Cal State Fullerton and later used his business acumen to help his wife open her law practice. He ultimately became a real estate broker in Orange County as well a professor, teaching marketing classes for the University of Phoenix.
The couple settled in Laguna Beach in 1978, in a home in Arch Beach Heights. He lived there for the rest of his life. Staight became very involved in his community; he coached AYSO soccer, joined both the Indian guides and Indian princesses, volunteered at CLC, and taught an outdoor cooking class many summers to the kids of Emerald Bay.
Over the past 20 years, Staight has been passionate about the Boy Scouts of America, serving Laguna Beach’s Troop 35. He served as scoutmaster from 1994 to 2000. During this time, the local district honored him as the Scoutmaster of the year.
He guided and motivated both his sons to earn the rank of Eagle Scout and he remained active in scouting for years after. He continued to instruct adult leader training programs and work with the Boy Scouts at the district level for the rest of his life, even after he was diagnosed with his terminal disease.
He was a dedicated family man who always put others before himself. He was a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and sang with LagunaTunes. He was an avid camper and hiker who loved the outdoors. He would scuba dive off the California coast and snowboard on the slopes of Snow Summit even into his 60s.
Staight had a big personality with a big heart. He would light up the room with his enthusiasm and his optimism was infectious to everyone who met him. For those who knew him personally, his presence and support are irreplaceable, and he will be severely missed. He lives on in the hearts of those who loved him, and we will forever cherish his memory.
His funeral mass will be on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Laguna Beach’s St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1042 Temple Terrace, followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Staight’s honor to a charity of the donor’s choice.