Local attorney still going strong at 100Jul 01, 2021 01:59PM ● By Becky Ginos
Fadel served as mayor of Bountiful from 1954 – 1957.
BOUNTIFUL—At 100, George Fadel has seen just about everything and he’s not done yet.
In spite of his age, Fadel still comes to his law office every day, follows Supreme Court rulings and watches CNN on one channel and Fox News on the other to get all perspectives.
“He never rests,” said his son Doug Fadel, who is also an attorney. “He’s constantly busy and works hard to find things he can do to improve his family, the law and the city. He’s all about service to others and the community as well.”
Fadel attributes everything he is to his parents. “My mom and dad were from Lebanon,” he said. “My dad came to America in 1875 and then went back to get married. He spent two weeks at sea sailing to America not knowing what he was going to find.”
Eventually the couple moved to Utah and his father opened a men’s clothing store in Salt Lake. When the Depression hit, men weren’t buying clothes anymore so he traded the business to a woman who had a 27 acre farm in Bountiful.
“He was still trying to make the dry goods business grow until my birth in 1920,” said Fadel. “I was the seventh child of eight born in Utah. In 1922 the business was about gone so we moved part time to Bountiful House on the farm.”
There was no running water or inside plumbing, he said. “It was one bedroom with a coal stove. We lived on the farm for a year or two.”
In 1926 Fadel went to the old Stoker School. “It was the only elementary school in south Davis County,” he said. “I went to South Davis Junior High and somehow got elected class president then attended Davis High School riding the Bamberger.”
In 1938, Fadel enrolled in the University of Utah majoring in speech, history and military science. “In my fourth year I started law school.”
He was in the ROTC and soon found himself headed to war. “My first assignment was as an anti-tank platoon commander,” said Fadel. “We had a battery of 150 men and staff that crossed the Mediterranean. We were down in the hole stacked six high on cots with our field bags. In November the waves were rough and all the men got sick. I went up on deck and let the waves and rain hit me so I didn’t get sick.”
They landed in Naples, Italy and continued up the battle line to Monte Cassino. “I was down by the river with the jeep driver when Gen. Eisenhower and Gen. Clark passed by,” Fadel said. “I saluted. Eisenhower saluted back. I was impressed.”
Fadel and the troops battled up through France and Germany until Patton came in and ended the war. “The Germans were starving,” he said. “I was sent on reconnaissance of our strongholds and I saw what looked like 1,000 blue uniforms. I thought ‘this is the end of me.’ But as they got closer they put up their hands. They were hungry, bedraggled and looking to surrender.”
After the war, Fadel re-enrolled in the U of U law school and graduated in 1948. “I came to Bountiful,” he said. “There were only four attorneys in the whole county.”
Fadel served as city attorney for Bountiful before becoming mayor in 1954. He was a strong supporter of the Bountiful Rotary and served a term as president of the South Davis Chamber of Commerce. He was also successful in obtaining the necessary bonds to enable Bountiful to expand its power plant and provide for the community’s needs.
Fadel has seen a lot of change over his 100 years. “We used to use carbon copies and duplicators before the fast copy machines now,” he said. “When we got our first telephone in the office there was a central telephone office and the operator would ask ‘what’s the number please and I’ll connect you.’ Then it was a dial telephone and a radio transmission receptor before cell phones. We used a non-electric typewriter then an electric one until we got computers. All of that is innovation.”
“He’s a good example to everybody,” said Doug. “He’s not done yet. That’s impressive at 100.”