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George Anthony Annarino

A Funeral Mass for George Anthony Annarino, 82, of Newark, will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with Fr. David Sizemore as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

George, a lifelong parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, died at Licking Memorial Hospital following a brief illness on March 19, 2018. He was born in Newark on July 19, 1935, to the late George and Nellie (Scaffide) Annarino.

At the young age of 12, George followed in his father’s footsteps in the sport of boxing, competing on Sun TV. He eventually switched to martial arts and began teaching classes at the Rockwell UAW Hall, and opened his own place, Annarino’s Karate School, in 1983. He trained a countless number of students, many of whom became blackbelts and pursued their own career in martial arts. He also worked in the maintenance department at Rockwell, retiring in 1985.

George earned his first black belt in 1971 and his tenth in 2015, in addition to thousands of medals and awards from the many years of competing nationally and internationally. George was a multiple Martial Arts Black Belt Hall of Famer and was most recently inducted into Bruce Lee’s Legend and received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over his 60 years career, George became famous for his karate demonstrations that included walking on glass, breaking arrows in his throat, and laying on a bed of nails. He was inducted into Ripley’s Believe it or Not for his cucumber demonstration, which entailed cutting cucumbers off of four people while he was blindfolded.

George is survived by his wife of 32 years, Karen (Frost) Annarino; his children, Mark (Karen) Annarino, Georgette (Brent) Kreager, and J.C. Annarino (Amy Clodfelter); 10 grandchildren, Nick, Adam, Brittany (Colt), Jessica (Anthony), Brandon (Kirstie), Tiffany (Zack), Charles “Caz” II, Anna, Caitlyn, and Sydney “Nikki”; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings, Josephine Layton, Veronica (Ronald) Edwards, and Ralph Annarino; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by the many individuals from the martial arts community that have shown unwavering support, especially in this last year.

In addition to his parents, George was preceded in death by his son, Charles “Chuck” Annarino; great-grandson, Layton Huffer; brother, John Annarino; brother-in-law, Richard Layton; and sister-in-law, Doris Annarino.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in George’s name be made to the Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio, PO Box 430, Newark, OH 43058; Licking County Humane Society, 825 Thornwood Drive SW, Heath, OH 43056; or to the Kids and Boxing Campaign, a fund designated for underprivileged children who are interested in learning about the sport of boxing. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Friends and family may call from 2-8 P.M., Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Reed-Egan Funeral Home, 141 Green Wave Drive, Newark, where a Vigil Service will be held at 7:30 P.M.

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