George Kaye, passed away on Thursday, January 23 surrounded by his family. He was 88.
Son of the late Sam and Sally Kaye, Mr. Kaye was a standout student, graduating from Weequahic High School in Newark, NJ at the young age of 16 where his classmates elected hi Senior Class President, and then obtaining his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rutgers University where he also competed in the College World Series Baseball Championship. He served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War ultimately earning the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He went on to lead a successful career as a Certified Public Accountant and business executive, ultimately becoming Chairman and CEO of Shoe-Town, Inc. During his tenure at Shoe- Town, he was selected by his peers to serve as the President of the shoe industry trade organization, the Footwear Retailers Association. Mr. Kaye had many hobbies, including skiing, tennis, scuba diving, biking, hiking, piano, crossword puzzles, reading, classical music, fine wines, and a love for travel. Above all, he cherished his family and his deep relationships with many friends in New York, Aspen, and all over the world. Mr. Kaye is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Harriet Washton, loving children Deborah Roberts (Bobby), Jennifer Ditmer (Douglas) and Edward Kaye (Donnell), grandchildren Vienedre, Kevin (Alexandra), Stephanie (Ryan), Gregory, Timothy and Samantha (Joel), and great-grandchildren Amber, Mikel, Marcus, Kameron, and Dominic. Mr. Kaye was dedicated to philanthropy and served on the Board of Directors of Aspen Public Radio, The Aspen Camp for the Deaf and HOH Community, The Buddy Program of Aspen Colorado and the Denan Project, among others. In addition, he was passionate about volunteering. He accompanied his wife to Ethiopia over several years to help build and work in a hospital, under the auspices of the Denan Project, as well as volunteering for the Aspen Music Festival and School, and serving as an active member of the New Jersey and Aspen Rotary Associations. In support of his generous spirit and in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to any of the organizations in honor of Mr. Kaye. Memorial services will be held in Aspen, Colorado in the coming months.