George K. Rizkalla

Jan 06, 2020
George Rizkalla

Tenants Harbor — George K. Rizkalla, Jr., 84, passed away peacefully at home Jan. 4, 2020, with his family by his side.

George was born Feb. 20, 1935, in Worcester, Mass., son of George K., Sr. and T. Catherine Rizkalla of Worcester, Mass.

He attended the High School of Commerce, Boston School of Barbering, and then enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.

He returned home in 1955 to Worcester, where he met his future wife, Irene Carlson, in November that same year; they married in July of 1956. Five of their six children were born in Worcester, Mass.: Michael, David, Karen, Kristine, and Sara.

He barbered in Framingham and in Natick, Mass. and his customers were from WBZ Boston and local television stations. He opened a barbershop in Southboro, Mass. in the mid 1960’s. Even though long hair was popular, his shop was very lucrative because of St. Mark’s and Faye School for Boys.

After returning home from a vacation in St. George, his family started thinking about moving to Maine. George thought it was impossible at the time, but his wife Irene sold his barbershop, and in 1971 George and his family bought the 18th century farm in Tenants Harbor. His sixth child, Laura, was born there. The plan was to open his barbershop after arriving in Tenants Harbor. But George learned that there was no reciprocity between Massachusetts and Maine on licensing, so that meant a year residency.

During that time, he worked many jobs to keep his family comfortable. One day a friend stopped by and said “The Warden wants to know if you want to work at the prison.” George asked, “How can I work at the prison, for the state, if I have a residency requirement?” The friend said, “If the Warden wants you, he can have you.”

George worked at the prison for 24 years and said, “It was the best thing I ever did because of the security, insurance, and wonderful co-workers.” He never took promotions, as he wanted nights and weekends for his barbershop. He continued to work his barbershop for 47 years.

George always loved fishing, but he never wanted to compete in any way with local men, because he wanted them to be customers and friends.

Maine became more of a special place every day to him and he never regretted moving.

George is survived by his wife, Irene Rizkalla; children Michael Rizkalla of Farmington, Karen Rizkalla and husband, Steve Davis, of Rockland, Kristine Rizkalla of Thomaston, Sara Rizkalla-Tyson and husband, Adam Tyson, of New Hampton, N.H., Laura Lawrence and husband, Brian, of Manchester; grandchildren Chelsie Portlock and wife, Daisy, Emily and Molly Rizkalla Davis, Isaac Lawrence, and Gabriel Tyson; and sister Janet Forzley, of Manchester, Conn.

George was predeceased by parents George K. and T. Catherine Rizkalla, son David Rizkalla, and brother Roland Rizkalla.

George will be buried at the Wiley’s Corner Cemetery beside his son, David. The funeral will take place at 11 a.m. at the Tenants Harbor Baptist Church, Jan. 18. There will be a reception at the Odd Fellows Hall in Tenants Harbor after the funeral.

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