BOURY, George, 91 of Wheeling died Saturday, June 6, 2009 at home.
He was born in Ohio Co. on August 21, 1917 a son of the late Michael and Mary Nagem Boury.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Doris Stauffer, a brother, Michael Boury and his son, Michael Boury III.
Surviving is his wife, Nancy E. Donley Boury, two daughters, Nancy Padden and her husband Tom, Lynne Moyle and her husband Michael, a son, Gregg Boury and his wife Tiffany, two stepchildren, Michele Harrison and her husband Edmund and Michael Froble and his wife, Jodi, a brother, Ellis Boury and his wife Jacqueline, 15 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
George was a born, raised and educated Wheeling citizen who credited his homeroom teacher, Ms. Hervey, with helping him graduate from Triadelphia High School in 1936 after which he move to Florida and worked briefly as a bellman in Miami.
Returning to Wheeling when both parents were hospitalized, George found his father’s restaurant supply business in trouble. The lights had been turned off and the phone disconnected. George began reviving the family business.
George’s younger brothers, Mike and Ellis, returned from World War II and joined him in building the family business, Boury, Inc. As Boury Inc. grew, it began designing restaurants and other commercial facilities throughout the Eastern United States. What started out as a little candy stand became one of the area’s largest employers. In the 1980’s, George’s companies employed over 6500 people.
Other Boury ventures included TJ’s Sports Garden Restaurant, a chain of Factory Glass Outlets/Gift Shops, Triad Outdoor Advertising, Best Western Wheeling Inn, Fabulous Fanny’s, Riverside Restaurant, Wm. Cooper & Co., Leeds Furniture, and the Boury brothers’ crown jewel-the 81 unit Elby’s Family Restaurant chain.
George was a founding member of the Wheeling Visitors and Convention Bureau; he was one of the Governor’s first appointments to the Roundtable for Economic Development and was a finalist in the Pittsburgh’s Region for National Entrepreneur of the Year.
George and his brothers founded the Elby’s Distance Race which has become a Wheeling fixture as well as the Elby’s AAU Swim Meet. The inspiration for Wheeling’s Festival of Lights was sparked when George flew Mayor Bill Muegge and other officials to Niagara Falls in the Boury Inc., corporate plane to see the display there. George also took an active role in other community events, was a member of many fraternal organizations and liked to point out, with a smile, that he was the only non-Italian on the founding board of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival.
It is safe to say that George Boury influenced many people of the Ohio Valley in a positive way by providing jobs, fostering and financing business startups, boosting local tourism and supporting a multitude of local charities. He even influenced the health of the Ohio through his support of many athletic events. Over the years, many people approached George for business advice which he was always willing to share. He took great pleasure in seeing local businesses succeed; his community took a back seat to no other.
There will be no visitation. Private services and interment will be held at the convenience of the family at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.
Arrangements by Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff Street, Wheeling.
On-line condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer.com
Altmeyer Funeral Home has been considered a friend and partner to Beth Sholom Village. The Altmeyer staff demonstrates professionalism and compassion during difficult times with the family members of our residents.
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