Contact: Jessica A. Smith,
Assistant Executive Director
(512) 334-5504 
[email protected]

For Immediate Release


AUSTIN, TEXAS, APRIL 27, 2017 – The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is proud to announce George Darte, co-owner of the George Darte Funeral Chapel in St. Catharines, ON, as the winner of the 2017 Golden Light Award. OGR is the world’s leading professional association dedicated to making independent funeral homes exceptional. The Golden Light Award is the association’s highest honor, and it recognizes an individual who has made specific, meritorious contributions to society through his or her profession, community or field of voluntary service as career achievements.

OGR President Charles Castiglia announced Darte as the award winner during the association’s Annual Conference and Supplier Showcase in New Orleans, LA on April 22. He said, “George puts his heart and soul into his community. He has the curiosity to pick up new ideas everywhere he goes and the intellect to apply those ideas to funeral service in ways that benefit the families he serves, his staff and his family”.

George is a very active member in his community and is always willing to give his time to a good cause. George is a past chair of the Breakthrough Healthcare Campaign, a founding member and past chair of the St. Catharines General Hospital Foundation, and a founding member of: The Bereavement Ontario Network, The Bereavement Resource Council of Niagara, Wellspring Niagara (a cancer support center) and the crisis response teams for the separate and public school boards. He is a member and past captain of the St. Catharines Rowing Club, a past member of the Salvation Army fundraising wing, Star of the Sea Parish, the Rotary Club of St. Catharines, Past President of the International Order of the Golden Rule, a Niagara District Funeral Service Association and the Ontario Funeral Service Association, and successfully chaired the Meridian Centre Fund Raising Committee.

George is also the proud father of Gregory (Mary), Christopher (Natalie) and Grandfather of Keegan, Conor, Liam, Cristiana and Ariana. George is married to Dr. Heather Combe, a local veterinarian with Fairview Animal Clinic, and they live with his step-daughter Alicia in St. Catharines. 

About OGR

Founded in 1928, OGR is affiliated with independent funeral homes throughout North America and overseas that share common goals of exemplary service, uncompromising care and compassion to families in their time of need. For more information, visit