George Wachtel: 1943-2021

George Stephen Wachtel, 77, of Naples Florida and Sunapee New Hampshire died May 20, 2021 at home.  George was born June 3, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York the son of Herman and Zelda (Fleisher) Wachtel.  He was the loving husband of Deirdre (Dane) Wachtel for 52 years.  George is also survived by his son Chris, his wife Ally and their two boys Lucas and Jayson of Enfield, Connecticut, as well as his son Jeremy, his wife Erin and their son Tyler of Savannah, Georgia.  Additionally survived by his brother William Wachtel and his wife Elaine, niece Beth and nephew Michael, his aunt Norma Mukai and many cousins.

George was a graduate of Valley Stream High School and Hofstra University where he received his bachelor’s degree in English.  He was a lieutenant in the US Army serving a tour of duty at Camp Casey in Korea.  His first civilian job was with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut and he raised his family in Ellington, Connecticut.  George was bitten by the tennis bug and built a tennis court in the backyard of each Connecticut home!

George’s strong belief in himself and his talents led him to partner with a fellow tennis player (William McMillen) to form WordCom, a target marketing company, in 1981.  When Bill passed away in 1988, George took that as a sign to enjoy life.  While continuing to own WordCom, George and Dede transitioned to living in Naples, Florida and Sunapee, New Hampshire.  He officially retired in 2016.

George’s passion was tennis!  He was very active in the Naples tennis community and he participated in many USTA tournaments in Florida and New England.  He was rated a 4.5 player and had reached a ranking of #3 in the country for doubles in his age group with his partner Noble Hendricks.  He was the author of the book “Senior Tennis and Fitness” and wrote a tennis blog of the same name for the last 18 years. The highlight of his year was attending the John Newcombe Tennis Fantasies camp (which he has attended since 2003) where he got to play with tennis legends and reunite with his tennis friends from around the country.  The friendships he developed through tennis meant the world to him and he truly cherished his tennis buddies.  Private arrangements will be held for the family with a memorial service at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s name can be made to the Shih Tzu Rescue (4474 Weston Road, #175, Davie, FL 33331 – shihtzurescue.org) or the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (PO Box 683, Sunapee, New Hampshire 03782 – lakesunapee.org)

Very sad news about George

We are extremely sad to let everyone know that dad unexpectantly passed away yesterday in his sleep. As you all know, it was a very trying few months from his heart surgery through the diagnosis of blood cancer / treatment… and we think it all finally got the better of him. A lot of you have already reached out to us and we are very grateful and comforted that he touched so many lives and was a positive force in the world.

We will be doing a small, private family remembrance this week and at some point in the future will be doing a larger memorial service and will keep you all informed as we figure things out. We will also send out information about donations to his favorite charity in lieu of gifts or flowers and his obituary.

With sadness,

Jeremy, Chris and DeDe.