“No matter what the world threw at you, you always managed to find the positive way to see it,” George Schnakenberg III’s best friend eulogized at George’s memorial, after his 38-year-old friend passed away unexpectedly this past July 22.
A Pittsburgh native, George was design director at Sollega Inc., an inspired San Francisco firm that designs mounting systems for solar panels. Founding partner George, bemoans the corporate company’s landing page, “was a prolific designer/inventor with numerous successful products to his name. His legacy lives on in our hearts and minds.”
By all accounts, George was an extraordinary human being. When he collapsed and died while riding an electric skateboard in San Francisco on that summer Tuesday, he left a community of stunned and grieving friends and family members in his wake, including a new wife who was expecting their first child.
Baby girl Nova was born on July 31, nine days after her Daddy slipped the surly bonds. Aghast at the injustice of it all, friends leaped to establish a crowdfunding campaign for the little one, and to help her grief-stricken Mommy Joanne — who laments that she “still cannot comprehend that the invention he was most proud of, his daughter, is one he will not get to see” — find her feet as she moves forward into the next shell-shocked phase of her life.
“When we close our eyes,” the FundRazr page dedicated to him keens, “we picture George on his skateboard descending an endless hill, with San Francisco behind him.”
“The way I see it, you’re still very much alive in each of us,” George’s buddy summed up his emotion-choked memorial speech. “I’m confident that everyone who knew you remembers you for exactly who you were: a bright, kind and generous soul who could always find a way to keep giving, even in the toughest of circumstances. When faced with trying times, our new mantra in those moments may very well become, ‘What would George do?’”