George Mario Padilla, 94, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, passed away on July 15, 2023. George, also known as Chiqui and Tita, was born on May 27 1929, in Guatemala. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
George was known for his sense of humor. He enjoyed camping, traveling and his dogs. He was one of the original foodies. He had a passion for experiencing different cuisines and exploring science. George’s love for travel stemmed from his upbringing in Italy before he emigrated to the United States.
He truly loved teaching and mentoring his students. He also volunteered at the Durham Museum of Life and Science Butterfly house and taught many young people about the natural world.
He pursued his education at Stuyvesant High School in New York, NY, and later attended George Washington University and UCLA, where he earned his PhD in 1960. George’s academic journey ultimately led him to a position at Oak Ridge National laboratory before joining the faculty at Duke University Medical School and becoming a Professor Emeritus. In September 2007, George came out of retirement for two months as he was appointed as a Visiting Professor to teach Microanatomy at the new Duke NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.
In addition to his academic achievements, George had a deep love for his family. He is survived by his devoted wife, Susan, his daughters Gina and Andrea, and his son John. George’s legacy lives on through his cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Oscar, Katrin, Zoe, Jamie, Savanna, Summer, Dylan, Nicholas, Lauren, Ollie and Miles.
George is preceded in death by his parents, Ester and Carlos, as well as his siblings Carlos, Carole and Oscar.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the ASPCA in George’s name, as he had a deep affection for animals.
George Mario Padilla will be remembered as a loving husband, a devoted father, and a cherished grandfather and great-grandfather. His passion for travel, love for food, and dedication to his family and country will forever be remembered in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
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