George F. Centini, Jr., 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Born in Lancaster, PA, George was the son of the late George Centini, Sr. and June Helm Centini. He is survived by his longtime companion, Gary Hufford.
He graduated from J.P. McCaskey High School and served in the Army Reserves for 6 years.
George was in the hospitality and restaurant business for over 50 years in Lancaster. Born above the restaurant his grandfather, Patsy Centini, owned and operated, George's hospitality skills were learned from an early age. In 1960, he started his career by purchasing Pip's Place and then found an opportunity to purchase the Tally Ho on Orange Street in Lancaster and later remodeled the 2nd floor to create The Loft restaurant. He also opened the best sandwich takeout shop next door.
After a successful run, George sold the establishments in 1985 and moved to a horse farm in Wakefield, PA, where with his partner, Gary, he ran a bed and breakfast. Restaurant ownership called again, and they purchased Peg's Place and remodeled it to establish Molly's Pub. Molly's embodied George in its friendly atmosphere, excellent service, great food, and drink. George was a hard worker and meticulous about running a clean restaurant. Everyone remembers the annual St. Patrick's Day at the restaurant. After selling Molly's in 1995, they took a brief break before purchasing Characters Pub in 2004 until 2011.
In his spare time, he enjoyed going to the horse track or planning fun Rocky Springs Park picnics for their patrons. With George's interest in horses, Kentucky Derby Days were a hit at the restaurants. They coordinated travel trips that included their patrons to various locations around the world including Ireland, Greece and Spain.
He is survived by his 50-year companion, Gary Hufford, his stepbrother, Bob Campbell, and his stepsister, Denise Campbell.
George loved cars, his first 1947 Cadillac convertible was a favorite and consequently he had many other Cadillac vehicles.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions in George's name may be made to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125 and Herd of Hope Rescue, 1142 Union School Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552.
Please visit George's Memorial Page at:
A living tribute »