Leo Burnett Detroit ECD George Katsarelas Dies at 49

By Matt Van Hoven 

Last week, SVP ECD George Katsarelas passed away. The 49 year-old writer apparently had a heart attack earlier last week and was being kept on life support. He was taken off of life support today and passed on shortly after.

Katsarelas is a Michigan State grad. He studied advertising and communications there and later became a copywriter. He spent five years at Doner before moving on to an ACD position with Campbell-Ewald. He stayed with the agency for seven years, but most recently served Leo Burnett as an SVP, ECD, beginning in 1994.

Under his direction, his teams created myriad award-winning campaigns for the likes of Pontiac, Cadillac, GM Service Parts and AC Delco. He was president of the Detroit Creative Director’s Council and an active member of the Detroit advertising community.


“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Katsarelas family during this extraordinarily difficult time,” said Leo Burnett Worldwide Chairman and CEO Tom Bernardin. “George was extremely talented and a wonderful family man and friend.”

Katsarelas is survived by his wife, Mary, two sons, Max and Nick, and daughter, Elizabeth.

Arrangements for George are as follows:

Visitation will be Monday 2:00 pm &#151 8:00 pm with prayer at 7:00 pm.

Funeral will be at 10:00 am Tues. St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Westland.

McCabe Funeral Home
31950 W. 12 Mile
Farmington Hills, MI
Tel: 248-553-0120

St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
36375 Joy Road
Westland, MI
Tel: 734-525-6789