Robert George, who died of a heart attack Monday, recently told me, “Dick, when I see you, I think I should be marching behind you playing my trumpet.” That’s because he was a freshman in 1948 when I was a senior and drum major of the late Bob Barr’s Jordan Vocational High School Red Jacket Band. He broke out his trumpet a few years ago and played with the Bob Barr alumni band at a memorial half-time ceremony at a Jordan-Columbus football game. He was CEO and Chairman of the Board at Lummus Industries at the time. Lummus was a manufacturer of cotton gins in Columbus. It moved to Savannah.
I mentioned him in my Reader’s Digest article “Unforgettable Bob Barr.” It was the story of a music man who inspired a lot of kids to do quite well in life. Robert George was a prime example of that.
As his obituary says, when he was with Lummus he traveled all over the world “with his favorite destination being the People’s Republic of China.” After retiring from Lummus, he became involved as an executive in a number of companies engaged in international trade, and he consulted with American companies wanting to do business in China.
He also lectured on international trade at universities in the U.K. Africa, and China, and a number of American civic clubs. He also served as President of Beacon College and Graduate School in Columbus from March 1998 to March 2000.
He was a fellow member of the Rotary Club of Columbus, where he served as president in 1991.
There will be a memorial service at Evangel Temple Wednesday, November 13, at 3 p.m. Visitation is from 5 – 7 p.m. today, November 12th, at Striffler – Hamby on Macon Road. His obituary states that he is survived by his wife of 59 years Sara Crews Goerge, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. You can read the full obituary in tomorrow’s Ledger-Enquirer.
Not only was he intelligent and successful in business, he had an upbeat personality and was fun to know. We’ll miss him.