George Joseph Cuneo, who was born and raised in San Francisco, took a bit of the cityís history with him upon his death on April 1, 2002. He was 99.
George was born in 1903, a survivor of the 1906 earthquake. He told of his motherís cooking dinner on the sidewalk at Steiner and Greenwich after the quake. His family had relocated near the present location of the Palace of Fine Arts until his home was moved by horse team to Octavia and Lombard to make room for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition.
George made his home there for the next 30 years. He attended Yerba Buena Elementary School up to the 8th grade. At age 14, he went to work in the delivery room at Langie and Michaels Wholesale Drug Co. At 16 he became a delivery boy at the Hyde Street Market, where he remained for 56 years as a butcher and subsequent part owner until his retirement at age 72.
In 1988, George was named Cow Hollow boy of the year by the City and County of San Franciscoís Board of Supervisors. He gained public recognition for his contributions to the tradition and welfare of San Francisco, particularly through his career at the Hyde Street Market, and his participation as a catcher for a semi-pro baseball team, Blumís Sweets, in the Golden Gate Valley League. He was distinguished for his activities as a member of the Cow Hollow Boys, Inc. for helping to preserve memories of persons born or reared in the pioneer Marina District section of San Francisco called Cow Hollow.
George joined Presidio #194 on April 18, 1921, the fifteenth anniversary of the Great Quake and Fire, making him an almost 81-year member at the time of his death. He was also a former member of the Elks Club, San Francisco Lodge #3, where he participated in bowling and baseball. He was an active member of the Sons in Retirement (SIRS), and an avid bowler on the clubís team up to the age of 93.
George lived most of his life in the Lakeside District of San Francisco with his late wife, Adeline, whom he married in 1933.
The Native Son