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Local Business Leader, Michael George, Dead At 81

DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit businessman known as the “Chaldean Godfather” has died at the age of 81, after fighting a long battle with an illness. Michael George played a big role in the Chaldean community.

Martin Manna, President of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, says George was involved when they formed the chamber and when they launched the Chaldean Foundation — which helps refugees.

“He was a big contributor to southeast Michigan when you talk about business philanthropy, a mentor to so many, as far as giving people good sound business and personal advice and he led by example … Mr. George was one that would put others first and for that reason was revered. People loved him for every thing he stood for.”

His nephew, Michael Sarafa, says George was a hard-working man.

“He worked his whole life – six weeks ago he was in his office – before his health started to deteriorating – still working 50 hours a week – most of the time the last several years he was working on charitable causes,” said Sarafa, “but not a day went where he didn’t show up at the office before 8′ o’clock in the morning until the last few weeks and he just couldn’t do it anymore.”

George is also remembered for his role as president and CEO of Melody Farms – which was a Livonia based dairy distributor originating in Michigan.

A mass will be held at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield on Thursday. People can pay their respects to the family the same day at the Shenandoah in West Bloomfield.

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