George Staight

George Staight
George Staight

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.

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  1. What’s important to know about George…
    is that he was a leader. More to the point, he was a leader in the best way: he led by example. He was the kind of husband who was proud of his dedication to his wife and family. He was the kind of friend that others could rely upon. He demonstrated the qualities his daughter would come to look for in her own husband. He was the kind of father that his sons hope someday to become. And he was the kind of man who lived the qualities that we all seek in ourselves and others, who showed us how to live – and, in the end, die – with gratitude for our blessings and faith in what is eternal: love for others.

    All of this seems lofty, but it must also be acknowledged that George found joy in the simple pleasures of nature as well. He shared his love of the outdoors with the youth of our community through years of leadership in the Scout program, both teaching them and sharing their irrational exuberance in the enjoyment of wild things.

    Among friends, he shared his good company and a delightful sense of humor. He led others in the constant pursuit of the positive, to all of our benefit. Among his colleagues, he demonstrated business acumen that he later shared to benefit his students. Among members of the community, he showed the importance of giving back, and led others to join his efforts with twinkling blue eyes and a genuine sense of the fun to be had in that special kind of sharing that truly benefits others.

    How can we help but miss this man? Because he brought us great joy, we feel great pain at his loss. But above all else, it is important for us to remember him with deep gratitude for all the good that he brought to our own lives, and to the lives of others, and in so doing honor him with our best memories.
    Let us now similarly become leaders to those who seek guidance, bring joy to those we see daily, and loving friends and supporters of those who need us most. Let us, in so doing, truly remember George in the best way we possibly can: by following his example.


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