Sir George Aigen
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Sir George Aigen
Mr. Aigen served with the U.S. Army during WWII from 1944 - 1946. As a 19-year-old American soldier, Aigen served on the ground as Europe was liberated from the Nazis and assisted in the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp. In recent years he has spoken to countless groups and organizations of his WWII experiences. Dr. Ivan Nikolov, of Valdosta State University, described Mr. Aigens's speech as "one of the most powerful advocacies for human dignity, freedom and democracy that I have ever heard." He earned two battle stars and two war department commendations.
On April 11, 2019, Sir Aigen was appointed a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, which was decreed by President Macron of France. This award, the French Republic's highest, most prestigious award, was presented by Louis de Corail, Consulate General of France. Other Americans who have received this award are Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur, and others.
After the War George met Joyce Topale on 35th Street in Manhattan (in the garment district) where George was Joyce's boss. They were married on July 1, 1951 on the Rooftop of the Hotel Astor in Manhattan, New York. After they were married, according to George, Joyce became "the boss." They settled in Forest Hills, Queens, and eventually bought a house in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York where they raised their 3 children. Joyce's mother, Janet lived with them along with a dog, fish, bird and a cat.
An active speaker in the community on behalf of WWII Veterans, George flew as part of the Honor Flight from Valdosta to Washington, D.C. in 2008. He was a member of the American Legion, Learning in Retirement at Valdosta State University and Temple Israel.
Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Joyce Aigen; daughter, Nancy (John) O'Sullivan, New York; Son, Dr. Arnold Aigen, California; daughter, Judith (Hugh) Hathcock, Valdosta; grandchildren, Sean O'Sullivan, Washington, D.C., Neil O'Sullivan, New York, Rachel Aigen, California, Heather (Josh) Bohannon, Hailee Hathcock, Hope Hathcock, of Valdosta, and Brandon (Emily) Hathcock of Valdosta and Gage Hathcock, Adel; and 4 great grandchildren, Maggie Ella Hathcock, Maddox Hathcock and John Marcus O'Sullivan and Emerson Hope Bohannon.
The funeral for Mr. Aigen will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, 2019 in the chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home. Rabbi Moshe Elbaz will officiate. Burial will follow with Full Military Honors in the Hebrew section of Sunset Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that you contribute Temple Israel, 511 Baytree Road, Valdosta, GA 31602 or to George's upcoming documentary about his time in WWII, "Aigen, One Man's War" so that his story will live forever and educate future generations. Contributions can be made through the non-profit Snake Nation Press, 110 W. Force St, Valdosta, GA 31601. Condolences may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com.
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