George Engelke is being remembered by his peers as a larger-than-life executive who took Astoria Financial in Lake Success, N.Y., from a small, sleepy mutual to one of the biggest thrifts in New York.

Engelke, 76, died on Sunday, Dec. 14. While he completely retired from Astoria two years ago, Engelke left a lasting mark on the institution — and the greater New York community — during his 22 years at its helm. And he was remembered for freely speaking his mind while maintaining good relations with those around him.

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