Deceased January 13, 2017

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In Memory

Perhaps quieter than some and brighter than many, George died Jan. 13 at age 92 after a distinguished career as a petroleum geologist and independent producer.

He came to Amherst after serving in the U.S. Army Airborne Division from 1943 to 1946. Some of you may have heard him discuss his military experience. Regrettably I did not, but I would imagine that he saw his share of action. A European history major, he graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, and continued his education at the Harvard Business School, earning an M.B.A. in 1951.

Next he went to the University of Oklahoma from 1954 to 1956 to attain his degree in petroleum geology and was a scholastic geological member of Sigma Gamma Epsilon and then settled into his career. By the time of our 50th reunion, he had already logged 43 years in the oil and gas business, centered mainly in southern Oklahoma and northeast Texas, where his work led to the discovery of several very significant fields, and he had an equity position in some of them.

He was very active overseas, primarily in the UK, where he again made prominent discoveries including a few in the coalbed and methane gas fields in North Staffordshire. He traveled in Western Europe more than 250 times and along the way collected English 18th-century furniture and additional pieces from the Biedermeier period in central Europe.

During these sojourns, he developed a particular fondness for the art, music and cuisine of Vienna. He lived a wonderful, successful life with genuine achievements in his chosen field. I wish that I had gotten to know him better along the way. A real plus for our class.

Gerry Reilly ’49

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