Captain George J. Katilus, Jr., USN (Ret)
George J. Katilus, Jr., a former insurance company executive, bank board director and U.S. Navy veteran of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Captain, died Saturday in his Haddonfield, New Jersey home after a long battle with cancer and lung disease. He was 86.
One of Capt. Katilus’ proudest achievements was his distinguished career with the Navy. He joined the service as a commissioned officer in 1953 and served as a Surface and Underwater Detection Officer. Following active duty, he was Commanding Officer of a number of Naval Reserve units, culminating as Assistant Chief of Staff for Coastal Defense, for the 4th Naval District in Philadelphia.
Capt. Katilus also commanded great respect in business. He was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of Schuyler Savings Bank in Kearny, NJ. In addition, he worked at the Prudential Insurance Company for many years, rising to the position of Director of Taxes.
Capt. Katilus held Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from New York University.
As someone who survived two previous battles with cancer, Capt. Katilus knew how difficult the fight could be. So in his free time, he volunteered for the American Cancer Society in Ocean County, driving patients to medical appointments. He then drove for Interfaith Caregivers of Haddonfield, picking up senior citizens who could not get around on their own. He was also a Sir Knight and 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
With all his success, Capt. Katilus felt his greatest honor was to be the patriarch of a large, loving family. Nothing made him happier than being the Captain at Longpoint, his bayfront home at the Jersey shore. He’d make buttery french toast for breakfast, and watch his grandchildren spend sunny days swimming in the backyard pool. At night, he’d hand out the ride tickets as everyone headed off to the Boardwalk. The kids were amazed that Poppy and Mimi always seemed to have “an endless supply” of tickets ready for them.
Capt. Katilus is survived by his 10 grandchildren, Harrison, Kyle, Grant, Allie, Elizabeth, Colin, Julie, Cameron, George J. IV, and Katrina, and by his loving children, Carol Edwards (Rich), Judy Schuster, George J. III (Christine), and Marianne Hess (Harry). He was the husband of the late Joan (nee Fretz) Katilus.
The family will receive friends on Sat., April 22nd, from 9 – 10:15 AM, at Christ the King RC Church, 200 Windsor Ave., Haddonfield; where his Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 AM, and conclude with military honors at the church. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Capt. Katilus may be made to Wounded Warrior Project or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.