In Memory of




Obituary for George Robert Sotsky

George Robert (Bob) Sotsky passed away Saturday, March 23, 2024. He was born June 22, 1935 to Jack and Louise (Steedly) Sotsky. His father was a Jewish WWI refugee from Eastern Europe, and his mother was the daughter of German truck farmers. He grew up on his grandparents’ farm in Okolona under the shelter of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. The farm provided an exemplary life laboratory for his curious and probing young mind, while the loss of his Jewish family in Europe during WWII indelibly shaped his ideology.

George was an engineer, an inventor, an entrepreneur and a born leader. Upon graduation from Southern High School, he was awarded a Naval ROTC Scholarship to the University of Louisville, and in 1958 he graduated from Speed Scientific School with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was then commissioned into the US Marine Corps and married to his High School sweetheart and love of his life, George Anne Childers.

During the 1960’s, George was the Design Team Manager at Naval Ordnance Station in Louisville, leading the design of Naval Gun & Missile Control Systems. And he was the commanding officer of the 47th Rifle Company Reserve Unit. In 1970, George entered the business world when he and his cousin and business partner, Jim Steedly, purchased the Louisville-based Republic Welding Co. He presided over the growth of this once small machine shop into a diversified family of businesses across multiple states that employed over 250 people at its peak. George was a friend and mentor to hundreds of employees over the years and always looked for opportunities to innovate with his team at Republic. They developed new technologies related to industrial equipment repair and machine design and Republic was awarded multiple patents during his ownership. Their contract with NASA to repair the Shuttle Crawler Track Pads was a source of particular pride for him. George also served as president or chairman of multiple industry associations including KMTA, ASE, AERA, and AIK; he was a member of the Speed School Industrial Board of Advisors, was active in the Speed School Alumni Association and The Future Fund.

George had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and was an avid student of history. He was kind, generous and affable; a man of the highest integrity who was beloved by those whose paths he crossed. He was a devoted family man who loved fiercely and a loyal friend who maintained many close friendships across time and distance. He lived a full life and he surrounded himself with the people he loved. He was a gracious host, loved conversation, music, dancing, and a delicious meal. George and George Anne made their home a hub for countless gatherings with family and friends over their 53 years of marriage.

George was preceded in death by his parents (Jack, Louise, and Elizabeth), his wife George Anne, and his sister Betty Schafer. George is survived by his children, Kathy (Kenny) King and Jay Sotsky of Louisville, and Karen (Ted) Merhoff of Nashville, TN; grandchildren Jacob Sotsky (David Reilly) of Los Angeles, CA, Annie (Brian) Davis and Becca King (Austin Pegram) of Louisville, George Merhoff of New York, NY and Lily Merhoff of Nashville; three great-grandchildren, Ella Davis, Rosalie Pegram, and James Davis; his sister, Rosemary Tumey of Buckner, KY; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation: Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Rd., Thursday, 2-7 pm. Life Celebration: Friday, March 29th at 11 am at All Peoples Unitarian Church, 4936 Brownsboro Road, followed by burial at Cave Hill Cemetery.

The family requests that donations be made to the J.B. Speed School of Engineering "George and George Anne Sotsky Scholarship." Checks may be written to the UofL Foundation specifying the "George and George Anne Sotsky Scholarship” or visit the following link and specify the "George and George Anne Sotsky Scholarship" within the ‘Other’ Designation box (