Obituary, George Fain Black

On Sunday, September 4th 2022, George Fain Black was found unresponsive at the age of 96. George had recently suffered from a mild heart attack, some 24 years after his quadruple by-pass that gave him an extended life. It is safe to say that George lived a full life.

George’s name represents the three family names that settled Texas. George is a direct descendant from James George who fell in the fall of the Alamo. Black’s Fort today outside of Austin, Texas is only remnants of what it used to be, but is protected by the State of Texas.

Born in Canyon, Texas in January 1926, he lived through the great depression, the dust bowl through high school where he excelled in sports and academics. His nickname was

Georgi Porgi.” George was also a Life Scout, but could not complete his Eagle requirements due to World War II. After graduating from high school, along with life-long friends enlisted in the US Navy to serve during WWII. George was a radio-man serving on the USS Benjamin Franklin, CV-13, also known as “Big Ben” and the “ship that wouldn’t die.” George served on other vessels during his military career and found himself back in Pearl Harbor, and was the radio-man that took the message that the war had ended. George earned various medals and awards.

After the war, George enrolled at the West Texas State University and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. George was very active in Campus politics and veterans affairs. George is an Alpha Tau Omega, formerly known as Tri-Tau.

After college, George went to work for Texas Employers Insurance which began his 40 year career in Insurance claims. In his early career, George found himself in Florida and met Betty Jo Meadows and married. After their first child was born, Georganne, they returned to West Texas where George met George Bush Sr. At this time, George and George Bush Sr were engaged in business and political aspirations. Their second child Gregory was born in Odessa, Texas.

George then moved to the Houston office for Texas Employers as the District Claims Manager. Once again, George Bush Sr appeared and George was his political advisor when George Bush Sr was elected in the House of Representatives in 1966.

After 40 years of service, George retired from Texas Employers and started his own company G&B Claims Consulting, where he worked until his mid 80’s. George was a Houston Hero and an intrical part of the booming business scene in Houston. He proudly served with the Rotary Club, SCORE, and other organizations.

George is survived by his sister Evelyn Denton, his children, Georganne and Gregory, his grandchildren Jordan and Zachary.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.memorialoaksfunerals.com for the Black family or to Greg at Gregblack@live.com

SAVE THE DATE! 2023 USS Franklin Reunion February 16-19 Corpus Christi Texas.

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Angel Barnes and the family of crewmember Gerald Ahniwake ‘Ahni’ Ray would like to invite you to the 2023 USS Franklin reunion at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Corpus Christi International Airport is located just 12 miles away from the hotel. San Antonio Airport is 2.5 hours away.

The highlight of the reunion is the USS Lexington CV-16 Museum (https://usslexington.com/). These dates coincide with the celebration of the USS Lexington’s 80th anniversary, and will include donations of USS Franklin memorabilia and granite plaques that will become part of a new display on the Lexington that will be devoted to the USS Franklin.

The remaining events are being worked out so book your hotel now. A full registration and schedule will follow soon!

Please contact the hotel by calling the number below or using the link below to make your hotel reservations and the USS Franklin reunion group rate of $104/night.

https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1662064249967&key=GRP

(361) 851-2000

SpringHill Suites Corpus Christi
4331 South Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

We are very excited for this opportunity to gather again and hope to see you all there!

In 2004, USS Franklin crewman Ray Bailey donated to the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California a set of granite plaques commemorating the two USS Franklin Medal of Honor recipients, Donald Gary and Joseph O’Callahan, and the Franklin crewmen who lost their lives while serving on the ship. The museum was never able to use the plaques and they rested in storage on the Midway until recently when they were recovered and temporarily stored to await a new home. That home has been found at the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas.

As part of the documentary about the USS Franklin, Andy Clark will be filming the transport of the plaques from San Diego to Corpus Christi the week of October 3-7, and invites any interested Franklin crewmen and/or their family or friends to meet him and his film crew along and way to become part of the documentary.

The route will be on I-8 from San Diego through Southern California into Southern Arizona, then changing to I-10 at Phoenix, passing into Southern New Mexico and then turning south at Las Cruces, through El Paso and picking up I-37 in San Antonio for the final leg to Corpus Christi, Texas. Anyone near or on this route who wishes to participate can contact Andy at amclarkphotography@gmail.com

You can see a short video here about the USS Franklin at the USS Midway Museum and the recovery of the plaques: