George Francis Dempsey

George Francis Dempsey, 86, a longtime resident of Hinsdale, passed away on Nov. 23, 2020, at his home in Western Springs in the loving care of family and caregivers.

George was born to John "Jack" F. and Margaret "Marge" F. Dempsey in 1934 in Chicago, where he attended grade school at Christ the King and Visitation and graduated from Leo High School in 1952. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1957 where he was 1956 Brigade Boxing Champion and 1957 Brigade Boxing Manager. He earned master's degrees in industrial engineering and systems management from the University of Southern California. He married the love of his life, Mary Fleming Dempsey, in 1958.

He proudly served his country in the United States Air Force for 20 years and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his service in Vietnam. George retired in 1977.

His Air Force career took him to Tokyo, Anaheim and Washington, D.C., but he never strayed far from his south side Chicago roots. He worked in various business positions after his retirement from the Air Force. He loved participating in many veterans' parades and events.

George had a lifelong affinity for the theater. He acted and directed in community theater wherever he lived, founding a Saigon theatrical group during his tour in Vietnam. George and Mary were active members and laureates for decades of the Theatre of Western Springs, where they both acted in many plays and served on the board of governors. George also worked as a stage manager and was a director for workshop productions. From 2005-19 George served on the Joseph Jefferson Committee honoring outstanding Chicagoland theater artists and served as chair of its membership committee. He taught classes in musical theater at College of DuPage. One of his favorite quips was, "New York may have Broadway but Chicago's got theater!" George was an adoring husband and loving father. Throughout the duration of Mary's Parkinsonism, George was her primary caregiver, inspiring all with his love and support. In the words of a friend, "Mr. Dempsey was one happy guy. He always lit up a room!"

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Fleming Dempsey.

He is survived by his children, John, Mary Clare (Kevin Hitzeman), Joseph (Paula), William and Patrick (Madhuri); his sister, Mary Margaret Dempsey; and his step-grandchildren, Erin Hitzeman, Shannon Hitzeman, Caitlin Hitzeman and Kendall (Justin) Burkhardt.

The funeral Mass was private due to pandemic. A celebration of life will be scheduled when it is safe to congregate.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Theatre of Western Springs Foundation, 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs, IL 60558 or online at

Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.