George Van Patten Head passed away peacefully at home April 20, 2016 at age 74. Born October 15, 1941 to Ralph W. and Eleanor Young Head, George grew up in Enfield and graduated from Ithaca High school in 1960.  He is predeceased by his parents as well as Joan (Van De Mark) Head, his wife of 42 years. George is survived by his children Carl Head (Robin Houseworth), Lee Head (Jessica), Donald Head, and Renee Wilkinson (Tom); his grandchildren Patrick (Cassandra), Joshua, Jeremy, Marta, Noah, Alyssa, Cole, Derek, Christina, Alex and Sydney and two great grandchildren Landen and Grayson.  Also surviving is his wife Peggy Gauthier Head.

Those who knew George will recall his deep passion for all things mechanical and his considerable skills in fabrication.  These abilities were with him from childhood when he built a go kart as a preteen.  Not long after that he bought his first real car, a 1938 Ford he named “Pumper”.  This began a life-long appreciation of automobiles and a love of repairing and restoring them, a talent he freely shared with family, friends and neighbors who frequently called on him to fix their cars, tractors, lawn mowers, anything mechanical.  If it was broken, George could fix it.

George met Joan while he was working on stock cars at a local race track. They were married June 24th 1961.  Together they began a small dairy farm in Enfield, where they worked, raised their family and welcomed friends and neighbors with an open door, a friendly smile, and a cup of coffee.  In addition to his gentle and easy way with people, George held a strong connection to animals.  He cared for many dogs over his life time and truly loved working with cows and being a farmer.  After retiring from farming in the mid 1980’s, he became a master mechanic for Ralph Carpenter Jr. maintaining and repairing heavy excavation equipment.  His extensive knowledge of fabrication was put to use during his later years as a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local #112 in Elmira from which he retired in 2002.  Throughout out their life together George and Joan took pleasure in spending time with their children and grandchildren. They also enjoyed traveling to car shows, vacationing in Florida, and sharing time with friends at local taverns until her death in 2004.  Several years later George found a loving partner in Peggy Gauthier who has steadfastly stood by his side for the past eight years.

George’s sensitive nature, mischievous personality and honest wisdom will be dearly missed but his wide bright smile will be forever in our memory.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Dr. Garbo and all at Cayuga Hematology/Oncology; Dr. Powell and all at Radiation Oncology at Cayuga Medical Center for their dedication to George’s care and support during his cancer treatment. 

The family will be present to receive their friends at Ness Sibley Funeral Home at 23 South St. Trumansburg NY on Friday April 29th 2016 from 5-8pm.  A memorial service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday April 30th 2016 at 2 pm.  A celebration of life at The VFW Post 961 in Ithaca NY will immediately follow the service.