Rotarian George Shutes a good leader
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:20AM
RIVER FOREST — Long-time River Forest resident George McKillup Shutes died Nov. 1 at the age of 91.
Along with living in River Forest, Shutes was a member of the Rotary Club of Oak Park and River Forest for about 20 years.
“He was a kind and warm human being. I mostly remember him sitting on his porch on Park Avenue in River Forest, always welcoming a visitor with warm and friendly conversation,” fellow Rotarian Charles Williams said.
Shutes was Rotary Club president from 1998-1999.
“He was a good leader and a well-liked Rotarian,” member Doug Cahill said. “Also, a good citizen and a good friend.”
Shutes’s daughter Lynne Muller said Shutes was an ambitious student with parents who pointed him toward medicine.
After attending the University of California, Davis, he joined the Air Force and went to flight school. He flew the B-17 during 79 combat missions over Europe, including 13 missions on aircraft.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Muller said.
Soon after the war, he married his wife, Suzanne. He then joined forces with other veterans who launched Flying Tigers Airlines.
“To George, this venture sounded exciting,” Muller said.
Flying Tigers was the start of a more than 35-year career within the airline industry, encompassing both American Airlines and Eastern Airlines.
The couple eventually settled in River Forest, Muller said.
Shutes retired from the airline industry in 1994 and worked for several years with George Waterman & Co in River Forest. He then joined the Rotary Club.
The Shutes have two daughters, Carolyn Silos and Lynne Muller and grandchildren Suzanne Gardner, Cari Lynne Fagan, Kimberly Kraft, Mary Ann Sylos, and John Sylos.
“He was a father-figure to me,” John Sylos said.
They also have great-grandchildren Grantland Gardner, Jack Gardner, Mia Kraft, Zoe Kraft and Max Kraft.