George Earl Von Waldner, also known as Jeep, Sarge, and even Grandmaster Von Waldner, came into this world on September 19, 1954, at Fort McPherson military base in Atlanta, Georgia, and left on September 13, 2021, when he was welcomed into eternity by his soulmate, Mary Von Waldner. He is survived by his loving children Michelle “Missy” Teague, George “Thumper” Von Waldner, and Kim Booker, as well as his pride and joy five grandchildren. Stephanie Hilliard, Vanessa Von Waldner, Aiden, Allie, and Zoe Teague. George was predeceased by his father Joseph and his brother Michael, left to share in his memory are his mother, Lynn Von Waldner Freer, sisters Patricia Sanders and Joanne Ziegler, and brother Joseph Von Waldner.
George was a loving and devoted husband, a good father, and a fiercely loyal friend, as well as a truly gifted teacher. For him, the lifestyle of honor, nobility, and fairness was achieved daily. Anyone lucky enough to know him knew his heart and passion for teaching, mentoring, motivating, and inspiring. He loved passing on the knowledge and expertise he gleaned in every area of his life. He was a man of few words but loved with his whole heart. He always seemed to have the wisdom of the ages, so if he spoke, you listened.
George was a true patriot and loved his country. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corp. upon leaving, he went to work in law enforcement and found a lifelong career with Orange County Corrections. With over 25 years’ service in Orange County Corrections Department, he won numerous awards, various achievements, was asked to develop several programs, lead special teams, and develop extraction techniques. He taught firearms, pr24, and close-quarter self-defense as well as he was extremely active in doing everything it took to protect his officers. He was always thinking and assessing. Sarge was a much-loved and extremely respected supervisor.
Martial arts was Grandmaster Von Waldner’s way of life, not just something you do in the dojo. Honor and respect are key principles to his everyday life. He was involved in karate from about the age of 18. He had a 10th-degree black belt, but he would’ve never told you that. He was passionate about learning from all styles, tearing apart the techniques to find the good and the weak points. He was known in the martial arts community as a great technician. He absolutely loved to teach, whether hand-to-hand, knife fighting, grappling, weapons, pressure points, self-defense, or just to help you understand your own style. As long as there was a student, the master would appear. Grandmaster Von Waldner was one of the most respected and loved teachers, having taught all over from parks and poolsides to community centers and dojos big and small. He always made time to educate someone if they truly wanted to learn.
George had a unique ability to bring calm into chaos. To make you feel completely protected and safe. You could trust that if he had your back, you were going to be ok. He was an unshakable force. Unwavering in his convictions. Thanks to the values he strictly lived by and mentored into countless others, the world is a much better place.
A man of wisdom and philosophy. One I hope to remember and share, “Love, responsibility, respect, honor, loyalty; these are not just words or nice ideas, they are active decisions you make daily, sometimes many times a day.” May we all strive to live as humbly, and with such intent, as the life he lived so well.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 11am at Winter Garden Cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday, September 28, from 5pm until 8pm at the funeral home.