George P. Kohelis

GEORGE P. KOHELIS, 80, of Follansbee, WV, a dedicated educator, accomplished athlete, and beloved member of the community passed away peacefully at his home, with his family by his side, on Saturday November 11, 2023. George was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather and dedicated his life first and foremost to his family. He also leaves behind a legacy of more than four decades of exemplary service and commitment to education and his community. Born to Pete and Stella (Klofis) Kohelis, George grew up in a close-knit family alongside his two brothers. His journey in education and athletics began at West Liberty University during the mid-1960s, where he distinguished himself as an All-West Virginia Conference standout in both football and track and field. A two-year starter and team captain for the Hilltopper football team, George earned All-WVIAC laurels as a defensive tackle during his senior season in 1965. In track and field, he excelled as the WVIAC shot put champion, setting a school record in the event. He also played semi-pro football for the Wheeling Ironman. In 2000, George was inducted into the West Liberty University Hall of Fame, recognizing his outstanding contributions to athletics and his alma mater. After graduating from West Liberty, George embarked on a remarkable career in education that spanned over 41 years. During this time, he furthered his education by earning a master’s degree from West Virginia University. He commenced his journey at Smithfield High School but found his true calling at Weir High School in Weirton, West Virginia. At Weir High, George wore many hats, serving as a driver’s ed teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, and eventually as the head principal for 8 years. His dedication and leadership were instrumental at Weir High School, being awarded the prestigious National Blue-Ribbon Award during his tenure as principal. After retiring from Weir High, he continued his leadership as an assistant principal at Buckeye Local High School for seven years. On June 14, 1969, George married the love of his life Dianne Pappas. Together, they shared 54 years of true love and commitment that was evident to anyone that knew them. They were blessed with two daughters and two grandchildren, who brought immeasurable joy to George’s life. His family was known to be the center of his world. Where you saw one, you saw them all. George was an active member of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Weirton, where he previously served as the President of the Church Council. During his tenure, he was instrumental in implementing the first Greek food festival. In 2019, George was honored with the Saint Photios Award, for his outstanding service and dedication to his church. Additionally, he was a proud fifty-plus-year member of AHEPA 103. George played an important role in his community where he was awarded the City of Follansbee “You Made a Difference Award” and the West Virginia Northern Citizen of the Year in Education Award. George will be remembered not only for his professional achievements but also for the kindness, compassion, and infectious smile he shared with others. His impact on the lives of students, and colleagues, will be felt for generations to come. May his memory be eternal. George will be remembered with love and admiration by his wife, Dianne, his daughters, Stephanie (Nikolas) Kamarados, and Angela Kohelis; his grandchildren, Maria and George; and his two brothers, John (Mary) Kohelis and Emanuel(the late Anastasia) Kohelis. His nephews Pete (Beth) Kohelis, Gus (Regina) Kohelis, his niece Christina (Nick) Uschold, one great-nephew Johnny Kohelis and many cousins and extended family. Visitation was held at the Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home, Weirton and at the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Weirton. Entombment followed in Highland Hills Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Weirton. George’s family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the caregivers, Lorraine, Ashley, Tricia, Kasey and Home Is Where The Heart Is for all their love and support. Share tributes at