Tom and Joe's Diner - Altoona, PA
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We appreciate everyone's support through this rough time for our family. All of your thoughts and support are what help us get through this. 'Big George' will be missed by all.

A Final Tribute (49MB File)

 
 
 
 
 

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From Son George M. Batrus


As some of you may or may not know, on Thursday May 29th Hollywood lost one of its funny men with the passing of Harvey Korman. On that same day, Altoona lost one of its very own funny men...my dad...George T. Batrus. It was his funny antics and personal stories that set him apart and kept everyone around him laughing. His satisfaction was not measured by the amount of money in is pocket or with something he may have just bought, but instead by how big he could make you smile and how loud he could make you laugh. His antics can be summed up best by the one catch phrase he would hear all too often by my mom...”All he knows how to do is be silly”...and that is what made him so special and so well loved and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.



We also know that his loyalty to his family was paralleled by no other. His hardworking nature and concern for his wife, his children and their families was a top priority. Even up to his last few days he wasn’t concerned about his own well-being...instead he always was asking, ‘how is mom?’ or ‘how are your wife and the kids?’ He was a true family man putting us first and him second.



I feel so lucky to have had such a fun-loving, kind, thoughtful, and generous father. I will carry on his legacy by striving to be as good to my family as he was with us.



My dad’s special gift to me was giving me the chance to work with him side-by-side, everyday, for about 9 years. The special bond and friendship that we had between us, I would not trade for anything. In one way or the other he has been able to touch everyone that has been a part of his life with his kindness, generosity, and fun-loving spirit. For these reasons he will be deeply missed by all.



I ask everyone to take a brief moment of silence for a prayer and a thought of how he touched you with one of his stories.



I LOVE YOU DAD!!!



Thank-You and God Bless

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From Son Michael T. Batrus

First on behalf of my entire family, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to help remember my dad and celebrate his life. I think everyone would agree that he lived his life bringing happiness to friends and strangers every day of his life. I have so many good memories from the wonderful experiences I had with my dad. I think I can speak for my mom and brother by saying we could never have asked for anything more. As I grew up watching my dad, I realized no one was as full of life and lit up a room like he did. My dad was not just a father and husband but he was a best friend to all of us and he would do anything for us.

I still remember one night when my mom was pregnant with my brother that it was pouring down rain when we were leaving Tom & Joes. My dad told my mom to wait at the door so she didn’t get wet. I was thinking, “Dad there is no way you can keep her dry”, but next thing you know he nearly knocked over the parking meter and sideswiped the restaurant so she would stay dry and dry she stayed. This was an early lesson for me at nine to know how to care for those you love.

I also remember that because my brother was in an incubator for about two weeks after he was born, the doctor said it would be better if my dad did not smoke. He then stopped cold turkey and never smoked again.

My dad gave me so many examples of how to be a good husband and father and I try to meet his standards and live as he would. I always loved hearing advice and stories from my dad and always believed anything he said.

I still remember today when we would leave for Dad’s favorite annual Atlantic City vacation at 3:00 o’clock in the morning he would tell me he hoped the fog cutters were out cutting fog so we could see driving in the dark. I was thinking, what is a fog cutter but heck dad knows what he is talking about. I am embarrassed to admit how old I was when I would still ask him if he thought the fog cutters had been out so we could see. It still reminds me today how gullible I was and still laugh to remember how he always tricked me into believing in things that brought me comfort.

I think there is no better way to remember my dad than laugh at all the humor he brought to our lives and especially during our vacations. You haven’t seen anything until you have seen my dad walk straight into a perfectly clear glass window because he was too busy admiring a gold ring in the jewelry store. And, of course, when entering the store, the employee began clearing the merchandise and locking it up. Of course, we can’t forget when Dad went to the swimming pool in his underwear or when pigeon droppings landed on him on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Then, when he went to clean off, he got his foot rubbed by the man in the next bathroom stall. It was really funny when dad came out in a panic to tell me what happened but then next the same man asked my dad how he was doing. When dad looked at his shoes, he realized it was the same guy that just rubbed his shoes and Dad said in a panic, “Mike let’s get out of here.” I still laugh as I remember him sliding full speed downhill in the rain on a slippery walkway outside the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and my cousin David saved dad from catastrophe as Dad smashed my cousin, full speed into a light pole. Then there was the time when he lost his teeth and sunglasses at the beach in Atlantic City when he was wiped out by a big wave. And for those of you who haven’t seen dad on a bicycle on the boardwalk you have missed him running into people young and old and on one occasion going through a repair zone and almost falling through a hole in the boardwalk

I could go on forever but I will always remember my dad by my side at Bingo or at the horse races or sharing chocolate sodas at Dairy Queen or making my day bright by just being together or riding with me on my first ever big time roller coaster in Hershey. He also enjoyed taking me to church regularly on Sunday mornings growing-up and loved sitting in the pew with his family and friends. I also remember all the stories of the great times he had when he was young with parties at the Batrus house at all times of day and night or all his trips to Atlantic City with many of you here today and some even got to ride in the pink Cadillac. The happy memories and stories are endless.

I only wish I was closer to home these last 14 years to keep growing my memories. I have to give special thanks to my mom and brother for taking great care of him and my Aunt Jeanie for visiting him regularly these last two rough years. I also have to give a special thanks to my brother who has kept my dad’s restaurant dream alive. Although I acquired great cooking skills from my mom and dad, I would not be able to cook 3 messes, 2 special specials, 5 omelets, home fries, bacon and 4 orders of pancakes at the same time the way my dad and brother can. I do remember one thing from Dad and that is: beware of the cook if you order breakfast at lunch time. Also, I want to give all of you who ate at Tom & Joes over these many years a special thanks because my dad loved to talk to all of you and tell you stories about our everyday life, especially when he won at bingo. He also has brought a lot of cheer home to his family from all of you as he has sure told us some crazy stories about you, none of which I will repeat here.

Dad, I love you and will miss you but you will always be with me on the roller coaster of life especially at our favorite past times like Bingo, playing slots, eating, playing cards, watching the Price is Right or just talking. I wish you would be there to see your three grandchildren graduate and know your future great grandchildren or be there to continue to guide me in caring for both the Angie’s in my life and ensuring Matthew has the same values that you have passed on to me. Dad, I wish for one last time I could see you give me that big smile you always have with your glasses slightly slid down your face. Well, in closing I hope that if you can order breakfast in heaven that the cook knows how to make eggs very, very, wet, soft scrambled. Thanks for everything, Dad, I will always keep your memory alive and I only hope that I can be half the father and husband you were. I love you, Dad.

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You cant deny our sense of style....Thanks Dad!!
We always will strive to be just like you.