George M. Fallon, a retired salesman for a liquor distributor and unabashed lover of anything Irish, died Sunday of complications from a stroke at Perry Point Veterans Hospital, where he had been a patient since 1984.
He was 69 and had lived in Mount Washington and Towson for many years.
"George 'Fingers' Fallon, one of the most notable Irishman it has been our undeniable pleasure to know, is so Irish that anything with even a remote Irish background causes him to do a jig," wrote sports columnist John Steadman in the News-American in 1969.
"The only failing Fallon has is that he believes the Irish, be they on two or four legs . . . can do no wrong," wrote Mr. Steadman, now an Evening Sun sports columnist, about Mr. Fallon's losing bets on every horse from Ireland that had run in the Laurel International since 1952.
"All of Fallon's friends in the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick are hoping he can have a winner," wrote Mr. Steadman. "If he does then there's going to be some celebrating that will make St. Patrick's Day look green with envy."
"As far as we know, he never did win on an Irish horse at the International," said his sister Kathleen M. Zeidler of Roland Park.
Known as Fingers because of his large hands and ability to hold a basketball from the top, Mr. Fallon was born in Baltimore and reared in Thurmont, where he graduated from high school in 1942.
After graduation, he enlisted in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. He later was transferred to the Pacific Theater and participated in the invasion of Okinawa. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant.
He returned to Baltimore and continued his education at Loyola College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business management in 1950. He began his career in sales with the Ruberoid Co. before joining the now-defunct McCarthy-Hicks liquor distributors in 1958. He retired in 1977.
Other survivors include a brother, John C. Fallon of Towson; two other sisters, Patricia F. Moore of Baltimore and Joan F. Ratcliffe of Ruxton; and many nephews and nieces.
pTC Memorial donations may be made to Loyola College, Development Office, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Wednesday.