Our devoted husband of Fran, and father to
Denny, Gene, Henry, and Sue,
passed away after a long illness on August 7, 2005. Here are some
reflections that will help you know the man that our family loved very much.
Dad had a way of engaging and developing friendships with
everyone he met. Maybe it was his
blue eyes, or that wink meant just for you. Every time he smiled, he would light
up the entire room. Sometimes just a shrug
of his shoulders conveyed his thoughts. He was a brilliant and creative
man who had a zest for life and a love for all things good and
When I was about 11, George came into my and my
mother's lives. We bonded quickly and he became "my dad." He was my role
model, my friend, and my mentor. The love and respect that we shared for
each other grew and became as strong as his love for his own children.
Dad grew up on a farm near Fargo, North Dakota. His strong
mid-western values made him an easy role model to follow. He
would frequently remind me that a man's bond and reputation is earned every
day through honesty, and integrity, and that a strong handshake says "you can
trust me!" If you ever got to shake hands with dad, you definitely knew the
strength of his grip!
When he married my mom in 1960, he committed his life to his new
family. We traveled together across
country, we went to ball games at Fenway Park, we hunted & golfed together,
and we ate dinner together most every night as a family.
Dad was very committed to
God and the Lutheran church. Before
every meal, he gave the blessing. These were always off the cuff thoughts
that reflected his thanks to God for bringing family and friends together in the
sharing of God's bounty. Sometimes his reflections were longer than a
Sunday sermon! At one family Thanksgiving while the food was cooling during his
extended "thanks", several of us
in unison emitted an artificial "snore" and then helped him along with a
loud "Amen!" From then on, we
just had to "snicker" a bit and he would raise his bushy eye brows, smile
and finish up quickly.
In his professional life, dad was a scientist and electrical
engineer. His mind never stopped
thinking and "inventing." Anything
mathematical fascinated him. Long
after the electronic calculator was everywhere, dad still had his trusty slide
rule in his pocket. Once my wife, "Sam", asked him how big an air conditioner we
needed for our bedroom. Two hours later, and with 3 full handwritten pages
of formulas, air flow diagrams, and a floor plan, he answered that a 5000 BTU
unit would do.
"Official Obituary" reviews dad's many
contributions as an inventor including working with Robert Oppenheimer in the
development of the Atomic Bomb. Here
are some other things he helped develop that you might find of interest:
The fluted paper salt and pepper
An automated process for inserting ladies nylons into packages
An early version of an electronically controlled irrigation
Following his own very invasive knee surgery, he consulted on the arthroscopic surgery technique
asked what drives him to invent things, he would answer, "for the benefit
of mankind." When asked what in his opinion is the greatest
invention of all time, he would answer: "electricity, just think what life
would be like without it!"
here's to you dad! You will always be remembered for the way you
made us laugh, for your caring and compassionate ways, and for your gentle
touch, yet your had strong and creative hands. We will always love you for your
devotion to your family and your Country. Your spirit is with us everyday and it will remain
with us until we are once again reunited in heaven.