(Photo from Gulfport Mayor's Office on Facebook)
George Schloegel served one term as Mayor of Gulfport after 52 years with Hancock Bank.
Former Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel died Friday morning in his sleep at the age of 83.
Schloegel worked his way up from the bottom at Hancock Bank, going from the basement while working at the Coast financial institution in high school to being the CEO during his 52 years on the job.
Along the way, Schloegel served on nearly every meaningful civic board, volunteering thousands upon thousands of hours to better Gulfport, the Coast, and the state of Mississippi. His philanthropic spirit coupled with a demeanor that calmed and unified a room was a unique mixture that served every organization and cause of which he was a part tremendously well.
After he retired from Hancock Bank in 2008, Schloegel ran for Mayor of Gulfport, a goal he had from his youth. He won in 2009 and served one term, helping the city reduce its deficit and setting it on a path for prosperity.
Current Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes called Schloegel “an icon worthy of emulation.”
“George has been a true son of Gulfport. His life was remarkable, and through hard work and grit he became a great success at Hancock Bank,” Hewes said in a statement. “For most, that would be enough. But not for him, his passion was his community. His focus was never about how things were, it was about what could be achieved.”
Hewes said Schloegel was a civic leader with no equal, noting that the former mayor and Coast leader devoted endless time and energy for the betterment of a community he dearly loved.
“George always saw what was possible, engaging on all fronts to find common ground to bring about better opportunities, for all,” Hewes said. “As a business leader, he made community service a hallmark of his career, instilling those values in his family and employees, providing leadership at national, state, and local levels. For so many of us, George was a mentor, an advisor, and a friend. A true Ambassador for Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.”
Schloegel is survived by his wife, Peggy, along with their four children and many grandchildren.