A Life of Faith, a life well lived.
Ethel Georgeanna “Georgie” Wiltse passed from this world to be with her Savior Jesus Christ on May 20, 2018.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” -John 14: 1-7
She was the daughter of Elmer and Ethel Coles and was born on September 7, 1931 in suburban Mount Kisco, New York. Her mother died in childbirth when Georgie was 3 years old and she and her brother Roger grew up in the Bronx. As a young teen she moved to the suburbs to her aunt’s home and enrolled in Bedford Hills High School. On the first day of school, she met the love of her life and future husband Roland Wiltse. They married on May 26, 1951, at Bedford Village Presbyterian Church. Their first child, David was born 11 months later in April 1952 followed by Melody (Nichols) 1954, Judy 1955, and Douglas in 1959. During High School and for some period of time thereafter, Roland and Georgie worked in theater productions and appeared in a variety of one-act plays.
Roland became a DJ at several radio stations in New York, Ohio, and the Chicago area under the professional name of Stan Scott. They moved to Des Plaines in 1964 where Stan Scott, one of the five “Western Gentlemen” at WJJD, was charged with launching the first county and western station north of Nashville. WJJD was a great success and on April Fool’s Day in 1967, Georgie and the other four wives showed up at the radio station and did their husband’s radio shows for the day. Roland and Georgie ran the concert series known as the Shower of Stars at McCormick Place which ran from 1965 to 1972. Georgie was the business manager for the company and handled tickets, seating arrangements and working with top talent such as Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dean, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Jack Greene, and newcomer Barbara Mandrell. Georgie also worked with local singing talent Hayden Thompson who was on the Shower of Stars and other talent booked at the Rivoli Ballroom in Chicago from 1965 to 1968. In 1967, they moved to Arlington Heights. After Roland’s death in 1984, Georgie worked for the IL Dept. of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and later at the U of I Aids disease information program. For the last 2 years Georgie has been a resident of Maple Crest Care Center in Belvidere Illinois bringing her great personality and winning smile to the staff and residents there.
Georgie served as a Den Mother for Cub Scouts, Brownies, and Bluebird groups in the 1960’s and 70’s. Georgie was active in the Arlington Heights Woman’s Club. Roland and Georgie were sponsors of the Wheeling Township Teen Age Republicans (TARS) in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Georgie was GOP Committeewoman of Wheeling Township for about 20 years, was a Wheeling Township Trustee, and Women’s Republican Club member and President. Georgie and Roland were original Red Shirts for the Frontier Day Festival committee starting in 1976 and she continued to work for the next three decades at the Festival, the last 20 years or so as co-chairman of the Information Booth. Georgie taught Sunday School for 33 years at 3 churches, Southminister Presbyterian Church in Centerville, Ohio, Southminister in Arlington Heights and finally First Presbyterian in Arlington Heights. She was also a member of the Arlington Heights Historical Society Board. Georgie also was member, President and general manager of her condo board. She is survived by her four children, 9 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, (with two on the way). A Celebration of Life will be held at the Arlington Heights Historical Society, 110 W. Fremont, on August 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the format to be open to people dropping in, sharing stories, staying and departing as their schedules permit. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Arlington Heights Historical Society.