George James Anthony McKitis ’44

George McKitis passed away on September 4, 2013 at his home in Tucson Arizona.

George was born on the 17th of April, 1927 in Auburn, New York. George’s family (including his parents George & Martha and sister Lucille) subsequently moved to Torrington where both of George’s parents had family. In his youth, he often spent time with his cousin in Cornwall whose family owned a gas station that was located opposite their home at the intersection of routes 4, 43, & 128 which was known as McKitis Corners; providing the basis for his life-long capacity for tinkering with cars.

During his career, he first worked for the State of Connecticut Child Welfare Dept., and from there moved onto counseling and adoption service coordination at Catholic Family Services of Torrington in his position as District Executive Director. Mr. McKitis was instrumental in the creation and execution of such innovative programs such as: working with the Dept. of Correction to assist incarcerated men with re-entry into the community, assistance for Viet Nam Veterans to return and adjust to society, Employee Assistance Programs, and substance abuse intervention.

George held board positions with the Community Council of NW CT, the CT Council of Family Service Agencies, CT Conference of Catholic Charities, CT Assoc. for Mental Health and was a Peer Reviewer on the National Accreditation Board for Services to Families and Children. He was also the Vice President of the local Mental Health Association, and the CT Chairman for the National Assoc. of Social Workers. George worked with the American Public Welfare Association on their National Committee on Services to Children and the National Juvenile Justice Collaboration. Mr. McKitis was constantly on the lookout to provide services to people who were underserved. His quiet strength, patience and wisdom served this community, improving the lives of many people.

George attended Williston Academy, where he was dubbed one of Connecticut’s real sons: a stalwart member of the Glee Club, school paper and football team. He graduated in 1944, then entered into the Navy. After a brief tour of service he returned safely home and was shortly thereafter married to Barbara O’Donnell of Cornwall, with whom he had five children. Elizabeth (Brancato) of Torrington, Barbara (Juhas) of Cheshire, Michael McKitis of Oro Valley, AZ, Suzanne (Perillo) of Barkhamsted, and Alicia (Tremper) of W. Cornwall. George completed his BA in History and Education, and went on to earn a Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut.

In 1992 after a thirty year career George retired and began his life anew by marrying (Mary Jane Ciardiello) and moving to Tucson Arizona. He quickly became acclimated to the desert and began work as a Docent at Tohono Chul Park giving tours and teaching.

George is pre-deceased by his sister, Lucille Garrison and his first wife Barbara. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane, his five children, and two stepsons, Chris and Paul. He also leaves grandchildren; Christopher Brancato, Anais Woodard, Jon and Andrew Perillo, Rebecca McKitis, Chelsea Kegler, Benjamin and Heather Tremper and his great grandchildren; Sam & Zach Brancato, McKenzie Tremper, Lorelei & Colin Kegler.

One thought on “George James Anthony McKitis ’44”

  1. Thank you, whoever put this together! I always knew he tried to help anyone he could. I never knew he went to this extent! The more time passes without him, the more I miss him.
    Thank you again!

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