Dr. George M. Savitsky was part of a very exclusive club.
The 46-year resident of Ocean City was one of the few members of the Philadelphia Eagles who ever had a chance to wear a championship ring.
But after the Eagles won their second consecutive National Football League title in 1949 with a shutout of Los Angeles, Savitsky opted not to buy the ring — as players were required to do in the days before NFL stardom was a megamillion-dollar proposition. Instead, he bought his mom a dishwasher.
"He was a very humble man," Savitsky's daughter, Laurie Savitsky Long, said on Friday.
Savitsky died among family and friends at the age of 88 on Tuesday. He had maintained a home in Ocean City since 1966 and moved here full-time after retiring from an oral surgery practice in Woodbury in 1986. He lived on Seabright Road in the Gardens section of Ocean City.
Savitsky's daughter said that her dad never sat around and talked about the Eagles. But at the times when somebody would ask about his gridiron career, she would hear her father tell a story that would lead her to say, "I didn't know that."
Savitsky was born in New York City but grew up in Camden.
After serving in the Marines during World War II, Savitsky played football under coach George Munger at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned All-American honors as a lineman all four years he attended Penn and is said to be the only NCAA player of the 20th century to achieve that feat.
Savitsky went on to play both ways on the line for Philadelphia Eagles. At the time, Penn and the Philadelphia Eagles were both powerhouse teams.
After the 1949 championship, Savitsky returned to University of Pennsylvania Dental School and became an oral surgeon, retiring to Ocean City in 1986 with his wife and children. In 1991, Savitsky was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Savitsky is survived by his wife of 60 years, Doris (Pud) Hurley, daughter Linda Bonato (Louis), son George Jr. (Elizabeth), daughter Laurie Long, son Joseph, and daughter Lisa Duffy. He had eight grandchildren, Louis, Daniel and Joseph Bonato, Matthew, Michael Savitsky, Alison Harrar (Simeon), and Sarah and Michael Long. Savitsky was also blessed with wonderful caretakers, Kofi, Stephen and Samuel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at noon Monday at of St. Damien Parish, Second Street at Atlantic Avenue, where friends may call from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass. Burial will follow in Cape May County Veterans Cemetery, Cape May Court House. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his memory may be made to the charity of one's choice. To leave a condolence for the family, visit www.godfreyfuneralhome.com.