CARBONDALE – Dr. George Kao, 59, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
George was born Jan. 10, 1959, to Eugene and Jenny (Wang) Kao in Douliu, Taiwan. He grew up in Taiwan and later Tokyo, Japan with his parents and older sister, Sue, before they immigrated to Manhattan, Kansas in 1970. He developed early talents in martial arts, violin, tennis, and painting and continued to paint and play tennis throughout his life. He followed his sister's footsteps in earning a bachelor's and medical degree from Indiana University.
George's desire to help people suffering from cancer led him to pursue a career as a radiation oncologist. He spent his entire thirty-year career in Southern Illinois, serving patients at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and helped to establish the SIH Cancer Institute. He treated his medical staff as if they were family and was met with the gratitude of the thousands of patients he compassionately served.
George married the love of his life, Janet Marie DeMeyer on Aug. 30, 2003. Together, they had twin daughters, Alexia and Alaina, and built a family full of love and adventure. George valued every moment he spent with them and enjoyed family vacations to the beach, national parks, and visits home in Canada. He instilled the values of kindness and hard work in Alexia and Alaina and cherished watching them grow up.
George was preceded in death by his parents. He and Janet took great care of his parents in their old age.
George is survived by his loving wife, Janet; two beautiful daughters, Alexia and Alaina; sister, Dr. Sue Kao An and husband, Dr. Howard An; niece, Dr. Jennifer An and nephew, Steven An.
A memorial service will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Carbondale Civic Center, with visitation from 2 until 3:30 pm.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the SIH Cancer Institute.
To share condolences, leave a story or memory of Dr. Kao visit www.meredithfh.com.