We lost another cowboy. Not one of the drugstore kind either – one that never herded cattle with a four wheeler or a helicopter – but a bronco bustin’, bull ridin’, jerky eatin’, sleepin’ on the ground cowboy!
George T. Fass was born in Kingman, Arizona August 31, 1929. His birth certificate had an erroneous date of birth because the doctor that delivered him was too drunk to sign it until three days later. This same George Fass quit school in the middle of the seventh grade to take a job that paid 87 1/2 cents an hour. Then, in his 30s while working for Jordan Engineering after becoming a Party Chief on a surveying crew, he found he had a knack and a real love for math. That’s when he completed some classroom study to earn his GED.
In his youth, George sold newspapers, shined shoes and even made some “good money” hustlin’ 9-ball at the Sump (a pool hall/bar) in downtown Kingman. He drove truck on Stockton Hill Road from the old feldspar mill at the long gone Louise railroad crossing to the mine on top of Bull Mountain – and he never saw another vehicle on the road in those 12 hour shifts. He operated heavy construction equipment on various pipelines and later as a finish grader for numerous subdivisions.
He was one of the City of Kingman’s first employees, worked for the Mohave County road department, supervised a countywide study of the gold mines and documented the percentage of gold ore in their tailings piles. He worked as an electrician for Wright Electric, then “moonlighted” electric repair and house wiring for decades as a side job.
He also earned extra money as the bass player in Kingman’s original street band, along with Buzzy Blair, Eddy Morago and Shorty Barnes. He continued to strum his guitar and sing until he could no longer hold the instrument. He always did whatever it took to support his loving wife, Carolea, and his two sons, Vernon and Gene. Then in 1978 he landed the “best job I could ever have hoped for.” He was hired as the Supervisor of Maintenance and Construction for Mohave Community College. That’s where he was until he retired to care for Carolea in her failing health in 1995.
Recently, he had a pulled muscle in his stomach, and family was trying to impress upon his failing memory that he needed to not strain the muscle. When asked, “George you’ve had pulled muscles before, what did you do about it?” After a moment’s thought he responded, “Kept working.” That pretty much sums up this cowboy’s life. And “keep on working” he did, even after retiring. The college hired him back to oversee several more construction jobs around Mohave County - the last one being the nurses training facility off Detroit Avenue behind the (old) Safeway building.
George was a member of the Kingman Seventh-Day Adventist Church where in years past he taught weekly Bible classes and served as a deacon.
George’s mother and his grandmother were born at the Big Sandy on the family’s property, Chacon Flats. Both his sons and all his grandchildren and most of his six great-grandchildren were born in Kingman.
George is survived by his two sons; Vernon Fass (Grace) of Kingman, and Gene Fass (Susan) of Edmore Michigan, two younger brothers; Frank (Larry) Fass of Boulder City, Nevada, and Joe Fass of Merced, California, his younger sister; Rosa Linda Heid of Houston, Texas, four grandsons; Jeremy and Jarmin of Kingman, Timothy of San Francisco, and Geoff of Seattle, and one granddaughter, Valorie living in Lancaster, Ohio.
George went to his rest July 21, 2017 and will sleep by his bride in Kingman’s Mountain View Cemetery to await the return of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Services will be held at Kingman Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 3180 White Cliffs Road at 5 p.m. July 28, 2017.
Arrangements were placed under the care of Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home and Crematory.
Thoughts and condolences may be submitted to the family at www.lietz-frazefuneralhome.com. To send a free card to the family, go to www.sendoutcards.com.