Funeral services for ex-Rep. George Wortley, R-N.Y., will be held Feb. 2 and 3 in Bethesda, Md., followed by a burial in Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill.
Wortley, the newspaperman-turned-congressman who served four terms representing the Syracuse area from 1981 to 1988, died Jan. 21 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 87. Prior to his election to Congress, Wortley was well-known in central New York as the owner of a chain of weekly regional newspapers, as well as publisher-editor of the Eagle-Bulletin. He also served in several positions reflecting that career, including president of the National Editorial Foundation from 1968-1973 and president of the New York Press Association in 1966. After leaving Congress, he worked as a principal for Dierman, Wortley & Zola, and a senior policy adviser for The Carmen Group and the Financial Institutional Services Corp.
Wortley fit the mold of moderate Upstate New York Republicans. He narrowly won re-election in 1986, beating Democrat Rosemary Pooler 50-49 percent in an election in which both candidates were bedeviled by ethics questions. He chose not to seek re-election in 1988.
Republican James T. Walsh won the seat that year, beating Pooler handily. Walsh went on to hold the seat for 10 terms.
The family will receive friends on Feb. 2 at Pumphrey Funeral Home in Bethesda from 3-5 p.m. The funeral mass will be on Feb. 3 at noon at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, followed by burial next to his first wife, Barbara, at Congressional Cemetery.
His second wife, Anita Hansen, survives him, as does a brother, Edward. Also surviving are a son, George Wortley, daughters Ann Lavin and Elizabeth Ring, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.