‘A Gentle, Kind-Hearted Person’
Honoring the legacy of an influential engineer and businessperson
As a kid growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s in Cairnbrook, George David Dooley never allowed himself to be bored. He’d sift through junkyard scrap looking for electronics and use the parts he found to make CB radios and his own inventions, including a rocket prototype. Once, neighbors were surprised to see a homemade, radio-controlled weather balloon floating down Shade Creek, the work of young George’s hands. He grew up to help shape inventions that made it as far as outer space.
“He was always building something, making something from practically nothing,” his cousin Kathy Krestar said.
Though he passed away in 2017, his legacy will continue through the George David Dooley Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.
The 1972 Shade High School graduate went on to study chemical engineering at Penn State and become a successful businessman. One of his endeavors was Real Time Devices, incorporated in 1985 as a State College-based manufacturer of computer components. As one of the company’s owners and the company founder, George helped Real Time Devices expand product offerings and innovate in the U.S. and Europe. Serving commercial, industrial, military and aerospace markets, the company’s products were designed to withstand extreme environments—from oceans to arctic poles.
He also persevered through Tourette syndrome and followed his passions his whole life.
Outside his innovative work, George nurtured a fondness for gardening and propagating orchids in particular. He took great pride in his flower gardens and loved to share flowers with family and friends. He also valued the friendships and fellowship he found at church.
He had a soft spot for adopted pets and those who care for them after adopting a black lab mix, Roscoe, that once likely saved his life. George was in his 40s when it happened: Feeling unwell, he visited a doctor who told him he had the flu and should just go home and rest.
Roscoe knew better. George’s pet woke him in the middle of the night and George realized he was feeling far worse. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with myocarditis, inflammation of the heart that leads to abnormal rhythms. He credited Roscoe with waking him before it was too late.
When he thought about what kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind, shelter animals were high on the list. So was helping others with Tourette syndrome, especially children. Now, through a permanently endowed fund at CFA, he will be able to direct his generosity toward those and a number of other causes in perpetuity. Building on his success in business and science, CFA’s development team worked with his family to design a fund that would uniquely suit George’s wishes.
“He was just a gentle, kind-hearted person,” Kathy said. “When he asked me to be his executor, his question was, ‘Kathy, will you give my money away?’ He wanted to make a difference in this world.”
The George David Dooley Foundation Fund will support: Tourette Camp USA, the Humane Society of Somerset County, Camp Allegheny, Christ the Savior Seminary, and a scholarship for students at Shade-Central City High School who plan to major in a science or technology field and demonstrate financial need.
To make a gift to the fund, click the “Donate Now” button below.