FORT MYERS, Fla. — George J. Phocas, age 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the evening of July 19, 2021, in Fort Myers, Fla. George was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1927 to John G. Phocas and Palmina Costa.

George is survived by his wife of 55 years, Katrin; brother John Phocas; son George A. Phocas, and three grandchildren, Alexandra, Charles and Benjamin Phocas.

The family moved to Starks, in the early 1940s and George joined the Army during the final year of World War II at the age of 17, where he was deployed to the Pacific as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne and the 7th Infantry Division. Following his discharge from the Army in 1947, George attended the University of Chicago in both its undergraduate college and law school.

In 1961, George rejoined the Army Reserves, where he attained the rank of Captain in the Special Forces. During his time in Europe, he met his future wife, Katrin Gorny, in Hamburg, Germany.

His second great love was flying, and he flew a vintage Navy trainer (T-34) for many years and achieved multiple advanced pilot ratings. He especially enjoyed participating in flying events at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, where he was also a trustee for many years.

George was a celebrated international corporate lawyer, who began his career at Sullivan & Cromwell in 1953. He then worked for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (now Exxon), first at its Venezuelan subsidiary, Creole Petroleum, and later as its lead international negotiator in the early 1960s for the North Sea oil and gas contracts between Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell and Esso and in various additional locations including Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Iran, Libya and the Emirates.

Following his time at Esso, he opened the London office of the then-New York law firm of Casey, Lane & Mittendorf, and later maintained his legal practice in London as a sole practitioner until his retirement in 1997.

A service was held July 27 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Sanibel, Fla. A graveside service with military honors, will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, at Ocean View Cemetery, Spruce Head Road in South Thomaston. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, or the Law School at the University of Chicago.