Dr. George Farah
Last updated 9/23/2020 at 4:06pm | View PDF
Dr. George Farah, loving father of three, passed away Sept. 17, 2020, in La Jolla, Calif., at the age of 88.
Papa George touched many with his joyful personality and positive outlook on life. His smile lit up a room and his storytelling of traveling adventures captured the attention of many. His motto was “It’s a Wonderful World,” and he lived that way everyday.
Papa George was born in Beirut, Lebanon, the second of eight children, to Dr. Salim Farah and Alexandra Farah. He attended Jesuit high school at St. Joseph in Beirut and studied medicine at the University of Lyon in France. After completing medical school, he followed his dreams and traveled to America by boat to be near his sister. With little knowledge of the English language or what lay ahead, he fully embraced the adventure and challenge.
He interned for his medical degree at Saint Clare’s Hospital in New York City. During his long career of more than 45 years, he made front page news and served on multiple boards and organizations, including the Chicago City Council, The Arab American Medical Association and Henrotin Hospital. He ended his career at Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago. Papa George was proud of his medical career and helping patients in need even when they couldn’t afford it.
Papa George raised his three children in the suburbs of Chicago and lived in the area for most of his life. Beyond family, Papa George was an avid tennis player and was very popular at Winnetka’s Nielsen Tennis Center. He also loved to paint. Many weekend afternoons he could be found in his backyard painting the watercolors of his traveling adventures around the world. He always prioritized family and later took an active role in his grandchildren’s lives. He never wanted to miss holidays, sporting or school events.
He spent his last years in sunny La Jolla at Casa De Manana. The staff and his friends there gave him a second lease on life. He participated in every program offered, from daily swim classes to knitting with the ladies, and of course he never missed a party or a martini.
Papa George had a big heart and loved his large circle of family and friends.
He is survived by his brother, Elie Salim Farah; his sister, Pierrette Farah Gadala-Maria; his sons, George Farah and James Farah; his daughter Simone “Gigi” Farah Goldman; five grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial Mass will be said at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at Mary Star of the Sea, 7713 Girard Ave., La Jolla, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Father Joe’s Villages (to help the homeless), 3350 E St., San Diego, CA 92102.