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Family, business community mourn loss of Little
Penticton lost a prominent community leader and a strong advocate for improving conditions for business this weekend
George Little, owner of G. Little Electric and a past president of the Penticton Industrial Development Association, died Sunday at the age of 69.
“My father fought very bravely but wasn’t able to recover from his illness,” said Tamara Little, George’s daughter.
“It’s a shock and we are very sad. It happened very quickly but we were really appreciative of the great care he received at PRH.
“The nursing staff and the physicians there were tremendous.”
Little moved to Penticton as a journeyman electrician in 1971 and worked for Cooper and Gibbard Electric. until starting G. Little Electric in 1985. The electric service company grew over the years to include alarms and HVAC as well.
Little is survived by wife Mavis, his daughters Debbie and Tamara, and her son Josh.
“My father was very much a family man and first and foremost was a grandfather to my son, Joshua,” said Tamara. “He was a great dad and a great husband and a great grandpa.”
That family ethic extended to his work, Tamara said, and George thought of his employees as part of his own family.
“He was very close to his team here,” she said. “He was very proud of the company he created.”
Frank Conci, the current president of PIDA, said a sense of community was a driving force for Little, and he tried to fulfill his responsibilities as a community member in many different ways.
“One was through PIDA and involvement with city hall stuff. He did it with a real energy,” said Conci adding that Little’s sudden death was a blow to the community.
“When it happens like that, you just feel the loss so keenly,” said Conci. “He was such a big part of the industrial community here that it is going to be a loss for sure.”
Little’s work with PIDA was only part of his involvement, both locally and provincially. At times, he also sat on the boards of the Southern Interior Construction Association, the British Columbia Construction Association; Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and the Electrical Safety Advisory Board of British Columbia.
“He was not a citizen who would sit back and leave other people do the job. He was willing to dig in and do his best,” said Conci.
Little was also a member of Penticton’s Financial Review Advisory Committee and part of the process that led to the city’s core services review in 2009.
“George was well respected. His opinions were always considered with great seriousness by all levels of government, not only municipal but also provincial and federal,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “George had connections at all levels and was a very articulate spokesperson for business and in particular for the industrial area in Penticton.”
The company Little built over the last three decades will continue.
“Insuring the employees of G. Little Electric had work that could support their families was my dad’s No. 1 priority, so as a legacy to him, we will be keeping G. Little Electric open to work with our customers and look forward to many years of good work in the community,” said Tamara.
Tamara added the family is planning a celebration of life for her father, which they will announce when they have set a date.