George J. Dargati, 90, of Tolland, CT, devoted husband to his college sweetheart, the late Elizabeth “Betty” (Hannon), passed away with his family by his side on July 20, 2022. Born in the “Greek Village” section of North Grosvenor Dale, CT on June 12, 1932, the son of the late Dimitri “James” and Andronica (Fatsi) Dargati. George was an enthusiastic and engaging individual who excelled as an educator, coach, mentor, leader and family man. His credo was faith, family and friends. He loved to tell stories and had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved everyone he met along life’s journey and connected in a very deep and personal way with the people he touched. George lived life with passion and purpose. He had a great competitive spirit, an infectious personality and a big heart that drew people in wherever he went. His deep friendships knew no bounds. He was genuinely interested in all people as he asked questions, listened with an open mind and heart, and offered a hand to help. He’d often engage a stranger, introduce himself, and ask about their life. Inevitably he’d discover someone in common, and soon he’d have a new friend. “The Jet’ was a basketball, baseball, and track star at Tourtellotte Memorial High School, earning 12 varsity letters. Playing basketball for the legendary Jim Canty, he led the Tigers to back-to-back state championships. During his senior season, Tourtleotte recorded a perfect 28-0 record with George leading the state in scoring and winning All-State and State Tournament MVP honors. After a year of prep school at Williston Academy he turned down a professional baseball contract offer with the New York Giants organization to accept a basketball scholarship to the University of Connecticut. After a successful freshman season at UConn, he joined the US Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. While stationed in Germany, he excelled playing basketball and baseball all across Europe and received All-Armed Forces honors. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at Willimantic State Teachers College where he went on to a Hall of Fame basketball and baseball career. He was a prolific left-handed hitter as a baseball player and one of the top scorers in the country during his basketball career and set multiple school scoring records that still stand today, including single-season average (25.8) and career scoring average (24.5), while leading the Warriors to the first ever post-season tournament title. He was elected as a charter member of the Tourtellotte High School Hall of Fame, Eastern Connecticut State University Hall of Fame and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the most memorable highlights of his athletic career occurred when he was selected to play in the 25th Annual Maurice Stokes NBA All-Star Game at Kutcher’s Country Club in New York. He played alongside the likes of Bob Cousy, Oscar Roberson and Wilt Chamberlain and shared game-high scoring honors with Jack Twyman. Of all his accomplishments, he would tell you the greatest was landing his adoring wife of 53 years, Betty. George’s intensity was grounded by Betty’s genuine sweetness. Together they were a perfect blend, raising a close-knit family of three children and seven grandchildren. George leaves behind his son James Dargati and his wife Tori of South Windsor, his daughter Kaileen Colgan and her husband James of Boston, MA, and his daughter Jennifer Wood and her husband Kevin of Tolland. He also leaves seven grandchildren, who were his pride and joy: Ryan, Allie and Michael Colgan, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie Wood and JP and Drew Dargati. He was predeceased by his two sisters, Ida and her late husband Don Menzone, and Viola Dargati; and brother-in-law Dave Hannon. Surviving are his sister-in-law Mary Hannon, brother-in-law Dave Shea and wife Dottie, brother-in-law Bill Hannon and wife Shirley, and sister-in-law Nancy Hannon. George leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends. George was a man of faith and was an active parishioner at St. Matthew Church as well as a member of the Rockville Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He taught for 35 years as a science teacher within the Vernon School System and had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of life-long friends at VCMS. He was a mentor and a role model and over the course of his career in education he made a positive impact on the young lives of countless students and athletes. Upon his retirement from teaching, George became active in fund raising projects for charitable organizations such as St. Jude’s, Day Kimball Hospital, and the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. He also traveled with friends and greatly enjoyed yearly trips to Fenway Park, the Frozen Four and Florida to visit Ted Williams. George’s star perhaps shined brightest when he began his last career; that of a doting and loving grandfather. “Poppy” as he was affectionately called by his seven grandchildren, was a constant presence in their lives and provided them with his support, wisdom, humor, and love. Annual family vacations on Cape Cod with all of his grandchildren were the highlight of every summer. He will always be their “Poppy,” from whom they learned unforgettable life lessons. The Dargati family would like to thank George’s caring neighbors and the entire staff at Vernon Manor for their outstanding and compassionate care. There will be no calling hours. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, July 30th at St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green, Tolland. He will be laid to rest in St. Bernard Cemetery, Rockville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in George’s memory to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451. Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home has care of the arrangements.
Remembering members of the Williston Northampton community