George W. Masters, Jr., saved Robert J. and James J. O’Reilly from drowning, Ocean Bluff, Massachusetts, September 10, 1951. While Robert, 13, and his brother James, 10, were bathing in rough surf in the Atlantic Ocean, they were swept from their feet by breakers four feet high and carried into deep water by a strong undercurrent. Robert attempted to swim toward shore but became tired and called to Masters, 24, recreation director, who was 15 feet away, for help. As Masters approached, Robert seized him around the neck. Persuading Robert to release his hold, Masters swam 25 feet with him to wadable water 15 feet from shore. Robert waded from the surf. Others informed Masters of the plight of James, who had drifted 160 feet from shore. Although tired and winded, Masters with great effort swam beyond the breakers and continued through three-foot swells to James. The boy climbed onto his back and grasped him around the neck. Masters freed himself, obtained a chin-hold on James, and with difficulty towed him to within 100 feet of shore. There both were submerged and momentarily separated by a breaker. Masters surfaced and resuming his hold on James swam towing him to within 15 feet of shore. Others reached Masters and relieved him of James. Masters was taken to the beach in a semiconscious condition and was revived. His legs were numbed, and he suffered from shock but recovered in four days. 42382-3754
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George W. Masters, Jr., who died on Jan. 19, 1988, was a generous man who befriended people from many different walks of life and differing economic means.
He was married to his wife, Marge, whom he loved dearly always, for 39 years, leading up to his death, and raised five children along the way, devoting significant time and love to his family and always putting us first in his life.
He was an avid golfer and, in younger years, also played professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He had an entrepreneurial spirit and was a business leader in the community who owned several successful enterprises. He also served on the boards of several southeastern Virginia community organizations.
If a person’s funeral is any indication of what one gave during their lifetime, then my father gave much. Literally hundreds of people came from near and far to pay their respects and share heartfelt best wishes to the family. In the end, he was really good guy who loved and was loved by many. Twenty years, on since his death we still miss him tremendously.
(Narrative provided Jimmy Masters, son, March 2008.)