George Francis Paley

George Francis Paley was born December 19, 1948 in Sharon, CT the first child of Morris and Emma (Carberry) Paley. He grew up working on the family dairy farm and helped raise his seven siblings. He passed away Sunday, January 10, 2016, surrounded by family at his home in Lawrence. He will be laid in the ground in a private Bahá’í ceremony, according to his wishes.

He graduated with honors with a BA in Communications in Radio-Television-Film from the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.

George was an artist, musician, entrepreneur and collector. He loved to travel, to experience new places and people, to play piano and to ride his vintage motorcycles with friends and family. George visited Mexico and Central America, Europe, Russia, Indonesia, Cuba, Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries on his business and personal travels.

George was active in the Lawrence art scene as a sculptor and patron, and helped launch the Warehouse Arts District and Lawrence Creates Makerspace. He contributed to the development of small businesses downtown.

He married Judy Gerling on July 24, 1976 in Sharon, CT.

George left behind wife Judy G. Paley, Lawrence, KS; mom Emma Paley, Sharon, CT; Dalton Paley, Lawrence, KS; Austin Paley, Sarah Gibbins-Paley, and grandchildren Wyatt Paley and Aesa Paley, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; C. Max Paley, Denver, CO; and dog Gus and barn cat Levon II, Lawrence, KS. Joining him at the Great Gig in the Sky is brother Douglas Paley and father Morris Paley.

To read more on George’s life, please see Chad Lawhorn’s article “The two minds of George Paley” in the Lawrence Journal World, April 13, 2014. HYPERLINK

A casual party for George, 67, Lawrence will be held from 4 – 8 p.m. Sunday, January 17, 2016 at the Cider Gallery in Lawrence.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to KU Endowment in support of the Department of Visual Art (06257) Sculpture Program or to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Oncology Center, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

36 Condolences

  1. Marty Olson on January 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm


  2. Dick "Tator" on January 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

    One of a kind. Will miss that smile.

  3. Stan and Mary Ann Ring on January 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Our prayers for your whole family. May you find peace and strength in the days to come.
    Mary Ann Ring

  4. Whipp & Nellie Finneran on January 12, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Peace to you all. George always had a smile that could warm a room! His presence in River City will be greatly missed!

  5. Sammie Conder on January 12, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Spent some time with George in weights class and always enjoyed seeing him. It was such a pleasure to work with you back in our CASA days and am truly sorry for your loss.

  6. lee wright on January 12, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I am so sorry. George had a great impact on many people, including me.
    Lee Wright

  7. Eric Kirkendall on January 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Our deepest condolences to your family. Rest in peace George.

    George was a generous, brilliant, creative, artistic, wonderful, loving person. He meant so much to me, Mary, and so many others. I wish he had more years on this planet, but he used every year to the max. His impact on the Lawrence community will continue far into the future. Of the many accomplishments and creations he contributed to the world, none are more beautiful than his family.

    I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. Leo Buscaglia

  8. Leslie and Betsy Evans on January 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

    This was written by a friend of ours and we’ve found it very comforting. Hope it feels the same to you: “With their last breath those we love do not say goodbye….for love is timeless. Instead, they leave us a solemn promise that when they are finally at rest in God, they will continue to be present to us whenever they are called upon. Let us fear not, nor grieve beyond letting go, the departure of those we have greatly loved, for in the Tree of Life, their roots and ours are forever intertwined.”

  9. Martha Thorp on January 12, 2016 at 10:51 am

    With George’s passing, we’ve lost yet another Lawrence icon. His love of our community is surpassed only by our love of his dedication and vision. A great loss.

  10. Kathi & Bill Fair on January 12, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Always always always glad to see George Paley! We will miss him.

  11. Karen Frick on January 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Our hearts reach out to you all. Lawrence is richly blessed by all of the passion George embraced for creative expression.
    His spirit lives with us through the art based visions and creations that have inspired and nurtured so many in our community.

  12. Laurie Marlowe on January 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    George always had the best smile! Loved Bokonon’s outdoor vending machine, and all the fabulous stuff I bought from Natural Way.

    Serenity now, George.

  13. Van and Janet Grant on January 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    To Judy and family,
    We are so saddened to hear of George’s passing. We pray that you will feel God’s comfort.
    We were not aware of his ill health. We will miss seeing George
    tromping around in our backyard from time to time. We live at 925 N. 1464 Road, so we are neighbors. It was always a delight
    to run into George and visit with him about real estate or his art
    and his beloved Art Walk.
    Our most sincere condolences to you and your family.
    Van and Janet Grant

  14. Kris Barlow on January 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Such sadness, our thoughts and prayers to all the family. I will miss seeing that smile around town.

  15. Diane Stoddard on January 12, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Sincerely condolences to the family- George will be missed. I always enjoyed my talks with him and his vision for the arts in Lawrence.

  16. Phyllis Fantini on January 12, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I will miss seeing George at the Final Fridays. George was a very generous person. He gave my son, Franklin, a beautiful pocket watch that, I know, he will cherish even more now. Judy and family, you are in my thoughts. Peace.

  17. Kristi Kouloukis on January 12, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Lawrence has lost a wonderful person and entrepreneur. What a great smile and personality that was Downtown Lawrence..everyone knew George!

    My thoughts are with his family and friends. Peace and god speed George!

  18. Matthew & Carol Snyder on January 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Dec. 11, 1971 Lawrence, KS became a better place when George arrived to open a store. George always had the most friends, the biggest smile and will always Be. Thoughts go out to Judy and family.

  19. Larry Hatfield on January 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    We have lost a good man. I liked George a lot and,with all of you, mourn his loss. The best to his family and friends.

  20. Gary Long on January 12, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Several have mentioned “the smile”. What could be more wonderful? His amazing heart! If we can but pass on even bits of what George has given to our community as a whole, and to many of us as individuals, we and the world will be a far more beautiful place. Passing it on will keep his memory alive. I will miss you my friend.

  21. Lois Orth-Lopes on January 13, 2016 at 10:36 am

    We have all benefited from George’s vision for our community. Our thoughts are with you.

  22. Katie Kutilek on January 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. George’s impact on Lawrence has been immeasurable. I wish you peace and comfort.

  23. Scott Davis on January 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Truly a remarkable man! Helped me so much in my early years becoming one as well. The BEST of the best! Say hello to my father in heaven George! I’m sure you both are having a cold one and reminiscing right about now.

    Scott Davis

  24. JULIE DAVIS on January 13, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    There will never be another GEORGE PALEY. I hope your family will carry on your legacy. May God be with Judy and your family.

  25. John and Helen on January 13, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    We will always remember George’s generosity, open mindedness , creativity and the warmth with which he welcomed our daughter Sarah into the family .
    He has left an indelible legacy for his children and grandchildren.
    Even far away in Australia his spirit will always live with us.

    May he rest in peace .

    John and Helen Gibbins
    Melbourne , Australia

  26. Mike Elwell on January 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Judy and Family

    I loved the connection with George. The smile and great attitude. The old hippie and great wife. I was expecting George to be down here soon. Judy I hope you will make it here when the the dust settles. Please know the door is always open. I will truly miss that voice. Mike

  27. Patti McCormick on January 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

    What a kind, sweet man. I will miss his energy, talent, passion and smile. After meeting his sons once, I saw George’s passion and talent in their eyes. How wonderful to have such goodness touch our lives. He gave me such support in launching the Cider Gallery several years ago. My prayers and sympathies to Judy, Dalton, Max and family.

  28. Marvin E. Voth on January 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Dear Judy,
    I am sorry you lost George recently. Although his physical presence is no longer with us, he is here in our memories. I am grateful that I was a friend of his. Please accept my condolences.
    Marvin E. Voth

  29. Dave Van Hee & Carolyn Coleman on January 16, 2016 at 11:28 am

    He bestowed so much good in so many ways. We will miss him.

  30. Dean & Sue Radcliffe on January 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    It sure was a lot of fun knowing him! Never saw him without a smile. Our condolences to Judy and the boys.

  31. Mehdi Khosh on January 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    “My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”

    George had a Pure, Soft, Kind and Radiant Heart. We Love you for ever

  32. Linda Amerighi on January 20, 2016 at 9:04 am

    George will be missed. He was a kind and loving person. Growing up next to the Paley family was a wonderful time. On one of his trips to Sharon he made a point to stop in to give condolences to our family and my heart goes out to his family now with prayers and sympathy. Forever in our memories…

  33. Frank Shopen on January 22, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    So long George. Happy carving up there!

  34. Coleen Good on February 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    George was “One In A Million”! A very caring individual! He was definitely a bright spot in all the many lives he touched! I know how difficult it is to lose someone you love so much! Prayers and peace to you and your family.

  35. Robert Herrington on August 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I miss you every day my friend.

  36. Carl Cedergren on March 23, 2024 at 1:41 am

    I was very luck to have met George, Morris and Emma Paley. I bought Their 1913 Hudson 6-54 speedster and had it restored. I met George’s family in Sharon Connecticut. A warm, kind and good family.
    When the Hudson was restored we met at the 2007 Meadowbrook Concours in Detroit to celebrate a first in Class. Morris got to see and sit in his speedster since he had it in the 50’s and was so proud. Again we met at the Amelia Island concours in 2000 for a first in class.
    I threw my wife to be, my parents and George’s family together for a great uniting.
    The Hudson went on to win Most Elegant Open Car at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours.

    Thanks for knowing you George and All !

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