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George J. 'Chet' Ferriola

| December 31, 2020 1:00 AM

George J. “Chet” Ferriola passed peacefully on Dec. 20, 2020, at the Schneidmiller Hospice House after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia.

He was born on Oct. 13, 1943, in Paterson, N.J., to George and Agnes (Docherty) Ferriola, and was raised in Little Falls, N.J., where he attended Holy Angels Grammar School and Passaic Valley High School.

At an early age he found his lifelong love of hunting, fishing, boating, skiing, archery and motorcycles to mention a few. He learned to play the guitar (inspired by Chet Adkins, thus the nickname) and joined friends to form a band known as “The Countdowns.” They played for several years in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area, until each band member was called to serve their country during the 1960s.

George served in the U.S. Army in Korea, from 1965-1967. After their military service ended, the band regrouped with fewer members and started performing under the name “Just Tuesday” until they retired in 1971. The band played everything from country western, oldies, Beatles, rock, and even psychedelic. In 1971, George entered the Union County Technical Institute in New Jersey, where he earned a civil engineering degree and started a career as a land surveyor. His love of the outdoors definitely drove his career choice. He was a city kid who longed to live in the Wild West. He figured the wide-open west would be the perfect place for a land surveyor, and the dream began.

In 1968, George met the love of his life on a blind date. That lucky 21-year-old was me. I didn’t hunt, fish, shoot archery, ski, or ride motorcycles. As for the wide-open West, well, as long as it involves sand and ocean, I was in, and so the dream continued. On June 8, 1974, we were married in St. Philip the Apostle Church in my hometown of Clifton, N.J. The next day we packed a U-Haul truck with all our worldly possessions and headed to Idaho.

We bought a chunk of land, built a house, George started his job as a land surveyor in the Wild West, and that dream was coming true for him. I realized I was landlocked for the first time in my life and thought I’d shrivel up and die. I was assured the ocean was only 7 hours away. Then winter came and with it the snow. We had snow in New Jersey, but now we had SNOW! George found out quickly that survey crews didn’t work in the winter in Idaho. Immediate career change needed. He went to work in Spokane, Wash., for a company called Spokane Plastics (later called Quintex Corp.). He worked inside sales for 27 years and loved working with his customers all over the country. Did I forget to say George had the gift of gab?

George was the proud father of three children. Mike, born in 1977, definitely got his father’s genes for all the outdoorsy stuff; Beth, in 1980, and Maria in 1985. They did not inherit their father’s abilities, although they tried them all under his watchful eye and he loved them for trying. In case you were wondering, I never really mastered any of George’s hobbies either, but he tried, and we had lots of fun trying to make me a country girl.

Becoming a Grandpa/Papa completed his dream. He was blessed with six beautiful grandkids and he loved every one of them. Even at the end of his journey, the grandkids could still put a smile on his face.

George is survived by his wife, Pat, of 47½ years, who will miss him more than words can say. He is also survived by his children and their spouses and children: Mike and Danae Ferriola (Lily and Frank) of Hayden, Idaho; Beth Hinderman (Dominick) of Rathdrum, Idaho; Maria and Mark Barnhouse (Annabelle, Gabriella, and Norah) of Hayden. Also surviving: sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Jerry Wittig, Little Falls, N.J., and numerous nieces and nephews.

We would like to give special thanks to Dr. Susan Melchiorie and the staff at Bennett House Adult Day Program, Guardian Angel Homes, and especially the staff of the Tudor House for all their wonderful care.

At George’s request there will be no service.

When we get to the end of our lives together;

the house we had, the cars we drove,

the things we possessed won’t matter.

What will matter is that I had you and you had me.

Yates Funeral Home has been entrusted with the final arrangements. Please visit George’s online memorial at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com and sign his guest book.