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George Cokas 1923-1942
Mr. Cokas was a well-known engineering leader at Hughes Aircraft, Ground Systems Division in Fullerton.

On February 28, George Cokas passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease.

George was born in Los Angeles to Greek immigrants, Gus and Pauline, on July 17,1923. He was the second of five children: John, Nick, Jim and Helen.

On December 7, 1942, at age 19, George enlisted in the US Navy. On December 20, 1944, he completed his flight training, earning the rank of Ensign.

At the end of the war he enrolled at USC, graduating in 1949 summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Engineering. On August 5, 1949, he married Lucille Casey. Together they started a family, while he continued graduate studies at Cal Tech. He was awarded a Master of Science in 1952.

Throughout the 1950s, 60s and into the 70s, the couple worked hard to be good parents and raise their three children.

George had a long and successful career at Hughes Aircraft Company. Called a "creative pioneer," his vision and personality put him at the center of several groundbreaking defense projects. He retired in 1988 as a group vice president at Hughes.

In 1982, George married JoAnn Rowley. Together they extended love and support across several generations. They had an active lifestyle, traveling and entertaining often.

Once George was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, JoAnn became his primary caregiver and remained his devoted wife, always at his side. George was loved and treasured by many friends, colleagues and family members.

His kindness, generous and thoughtful nature had a powerful effect on everyone's lives. He leaves behind JoAnn; three children Kathy, Jim and Brian; three grandchildren, Christian, Cathan and Sophia, a great grandson Christian Jr; (JoAnn's children) Robin, Randy and Candace; their children and grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Tustin, on March 17 at 2:30 PM. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association .

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Lois Pardee on September 23, 2016 at 8:20 PM said:

Joann remained at his side when she wasn't with my husband.
For Mr. George Naff, formerly of Sunny Hills on March 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM said:

Hi, Paul. Thanks so much for the attachment. I knew George Cokas quite well [from many years as an executive with Hughes Fullerton] and that he has had this illness. In one respect, I'm sorry to hear this news, but because of the type of illness Alzheimers is, I think he and others with the disease are better off now.

Regards, George Naff

[NOTE: Of course, Mr. Naff is the father of our friends Roger ('64) and Stephanie ('67) as well as John, who is younger. Mr. Naff is kind and thoughtful to write.]

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