George Vassilatos, age 87, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully in the hospital in the presence of his family and priest.
He was born in Corfu in 1931 and was educated in Athens, receiving his degree in chemical engineering in 1954 from the National Technical University (Polytechneion). After service in the Greek army, he received an MS from the University of Toronto in 1960 and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964, both in chemical engineering.
He joined DuPont as a researcher and worked at the Experimental Station for 38 years, making significant contributions in polymer processing and fiber formation, attaining the level of DuPont Fellow and winning the Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement in 2002.
George was active in many professional societies, held 19 patents, was a faculty member at the University of Delaware and the University of Washington, and served on the visiting committee for the Chemical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and received the Thomas Chilton Award.
George was devoted to his church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox, serving in many capacities over several decades including two terms as president of the parish council. Within the Greek American community, he was president of the Hellenic University Club and active in the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture (AFGLC) and the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA).
Above all his accomplishments, George was foremost a loving husband to his wife and best friend of 53 years, Yvonne. He was a dedicated father and grandfather who cherished his two children and their spouses, and was so proud of his four grandchildren. He was quiet and thoughtful, and listened more than he talked. A kind and patient mentor to several generations of family and friends, he was a model of decorum, always encouraging, and a great supporter of his Greek American culture.
He is survived by his wife Yvonne; his sister Athena Hareras of Pittsburgh; his son Peter (Julie); his son-in-law Robert Warnement; and grandchildren George, Sophia, Nicholas and Angeliki. He was preceded in death by his sister Evangelia Savanis of Pittsburgh and his daughter Thalia Warnement.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 808 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806.