George ‘Papa’ Antunes passed away on March 26th, 2021 at the age of 91 in his hometown of Gold Beach, Oregon. George spent his last days at his home where he enjoyed many of life’s simple moments, such as taking in the sunshine on his deck and watching the fishing boats in the bay.
George, a son to Portuguese immigrants, was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He moved out west with a dream and only an 8th grade education when he was 16. It was here that he quickly found his passion for business development and ownership, with the opening of 3 bars/restaurants in California.
California was also where he met and married his wife Joyce Holtham in 1954 and together had 6 beautiful children. In 1973, George moved his family to the small coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon.
There he started Paul Bunyan Burgers, a popular hangout among high school students, many whom would take on the title of employee, and if lucky, would get a burger named after them. However, George was not content with just one local business, and he eventually went on to open Gooody’s (yes, with 3 O’s) just across the street. Gooody’s was loved by tourists and locals alike, priding itself in offering gifts, wine and specialty food items from the Pacific Northwest. Kids from those days might remember it best from its selection of delicious saltwater taffy, and unique beach treasures.
In his 91 years of life, George wholly owned at least 8 individual businesses, and was a partner in 2 to 3 others as well. This was his work life passion.
George was proud of his Portuguese heritage and loved sharing stories of his family back in Portugal, and the culture and food he enjoyed so much. It was important to him to instill this pride into his children and grandchildren, and he would be happy to know that he succeeded.
George is predeceased by his parents Jose and Maria Antunes, brother William Antunes, ex-wife of 21 years Joyce Antunes, son Mark Antunes, and daughter Dora-Lynn ‘Dodi’ Antunes. George is survived by his daughter Anna Antunes Earle, son William Antunes and wife Michelle, daughter Dorothy Antunes, and son Tony Antunes and wife Jackalene. He is also survived by grandchildren Ryan Valentine, Rylie Breeden, Ashley Antunes, Racheal Antunes, Ben Antunes, and Zach Antunes, as well as great grandchildren Halle Harwell, Kai Valentine and Emma Valentine. There are countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends simply too numerous to mention, but George was loved by all and will be missed by many.
Services will be held at a later date.