George Gervais Kitchens Jr., of Lewisburg, entered into eternal rest after a brief illness early in the morning of July 17, 2017, in his home in Buffalo Crossroads.
He was born in McDonough, Ga., the son of George Gervais Kitchens of Jackson, Ga., and Priscilla Kulp Kitchens of Sunbury, on May 8, 1934.
George was both an auto body repairman and chef by trade, having operated auto body repair businesses in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and South Carolina during his lifetime before settling down in Buffalo Crossroads. Earlier in his life he was a chef for a boys' home in Maryland, returning to this trade in the 1980s, first as chef for the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Bucknell University followed by being named chef-for-life at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Bucknell, where he was made a brother of the fraternity. George also had a passion for woodworking, horse racing, enjoyed playing the lottery and was an expert card shark.
But George's greatest love and passion was for his large family and extensive number of close friends. At any given time, George was surrounded by 10 or more disparate family members and friends, in a chaotic swirl of activity and conversations that he embraced, lived for, and on which he thrived. George was an enterprising and immensely generous man during his 83 years; he turned no one in need away, helping dozens of people get back on their feet, even providing a home to live in, and was always there to help anyone in the family who needed anything. It is a testament to his giving nature and magnetism that so many of these same people surrounded him during the last few weeks of his life when his generosity of spirit was paid for in kind by the dozens of family members and friends who provided loving around-the-clock care to the man who united so many people.
In addition to his parents, George was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Kitchens of Sunbury. George was married four times and was preceded in death by two former wives, Patricia West, of Maryland and Carole Zartman of Lewisburg. George and Carole also suffered the heartbreaking loss of three of their children, Amber in 1969 during infancy, and adult sons Gary and Jason in 2003 and 2006 respectively.
George is survived by two sisters, Jeanette Bostian and husband Walter of Sunbury, and Clara Strausser of Selinsgrove. He is also survived by the following children, Robert "Mick" Kitchens (son of George and Patricia) and his wife Cindy of Buffalo Crossroads; George G. Kitchens III (son of George and Shirley Wilhide Rienks of Waynesboro) and his partner Dr. Stephen Whitworth of Bloomsburg; the following children with former wife Carole, Lisa McConnell and husband Rob of Scenery Hill, Robin Rivera and husband Carlos of Selinsgrove, Jody Cervantes and partner Seth Northwall of Buffalo Crossroads, and Priscilla Kitchens of Buffalo Crossroads. He is also survived by four sons with former wife Judy Martin of Gettysburg, Daniel Kitchens and wife Athena of Lewisburg, Christopher Kitchens of Lewisburg, Joshua Kitchens and his partner Amy Lee of Sunbury, and Jacob Kitchens and his wife Jessica of Watsontown. George is also survived by 28 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Dawn Kitchens of Port Trevorton; son-in-law, Tony Cervantes of Lewisburg; best friend, Roy Bickel; close family friends and caregivers, Florence Poust and Rachel Kellett, and by countless others who endearingly referred to George simply as "Pap".
George was under the home care of Hospice of Evangelical and the family wishes to express great gratitude for the loving care the program gave to him and his family the past few weeks.
The family plans to have a memorial service at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the United Pentecostal Church of Lewisburg.