George R. Failmezger

LANCASTER—George Richard Failmezger, 80, passed away on August 6 after suffering a blood clot. He was born in Orange, New Jersey, to Ted and Hilda Failmezger.

He is survived by sons, Roger and wife Liz, and Carl; grandchildren, John, Heidi, Richie and Max; brother, Charlie; uncle, Big Jim; and numerous first cousins.

He was predeceased by his wife, Adele.

He graduated from Madison High School, playing on their varsity tennis team; Dartmouth College, belonging to DKE fraternity, where they had a pet alligator in their bathtub; and University of Virginia Law School, finishing at age 23. He generously contributed to the Dartmouth and UVA amici funds. He strongly believed in education, sending Roger to Woodberry Forest School and Lehigh University and Carl to Episcopal High School and Dartmouth College.

His father, Ted, was tragically killed by one of his patients with a hand gun when George was 21. While he was never able to overcome this turmoil, he strived to do the best that he could. He formed many life-long friendships and often hand wrote letters to them on “yellow” sheets of paper. Because he had poor handwriting, one could read only about half the words but could get the gist of his thoughts.

He had no desire to keep up with technology. When the electric typewriter replaced the manual one, he no longer could type. He never owned a cell phone.

He formed a very successful title search business, searching over 43,000 titles during his life, almost all before age 45. He developed his hand written index lists on yellow sheets of paper that were much more comprehensive than the indexes in the Fairfax County record room. His lists enabled him to rapidly search titles often searching more than 125 in a week during the peak summer season. He had an excellent work ethic, always meeting his clients’ time deadlines.

When Fairfax County switched its index system from manual to computer based, his system lost its advantage and his business faded. For the next 25 years, he continued to go to the record room daily updating his index lists, as he always thought that someday computers would not keep up and his business would again return as the way that titles would have to be done.

He was overly generous and caring almost to a fault. He often loaned people tens of thousands of dollars, which many took advantage and simply did not repay him. He was not upset by those who did not repay as his heart was simply too large.

He bought numerous real estate parcels, including 30 lots that surrounded the Corrotoman-by-the-Bay clubhouse. He then donated them to the CBTB Association so that the community would always have green space around its clubhouse. He purchased 21 acres in Leesburg, which turned out to be his real gem. Although he was coerced to rent this property to the City of Leesburg for a park by his late wife, Adele, the rental money became his retirement funding. Later, he would tell people that it was his idea all along.

A memorial service will be held for George at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 26, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Rappahannock, 366 James Wharf Road, White Stone. A reception will be held there immediately afterwards.