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George Earley

George Earley

Tuesday, February 15th, 1927 - Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
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Obituary

George Whiteford Earley, 93, of Mount Hood, died peacefully at home on October 28, 2020. His death was eased by the presence of family members nearby and a glorious view of Mount Hood in the distance.

George was born to Carol and Guy Earley in Warrenton, Virginia, on February 15, 1927. He attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., received a B.S. degree in Aeronautics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and earned his M.A. in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, including a year of overseas duty.

George married Margo Griffith in 1951 in Washington, D.C., and they made their first home in Wilmington, Delaware, before moving to Bloomfield, Connecticut, where they raised their four children. He worked as an administrative engineer for United Technologies in the early days of the Space program, and returned later to join the team of scientists building the very first large wind turbines. Between tenures at UTC, he served as the business administrator of First Congregational Church in West Hartford and as the energy auditor of public buildings throughout the state of Connecticut. His commitment of mind and heart to alternative energy gave him deep satisfaction for the rest of his days.

George spent every summer vacation backpacking with his family into wilderness areas all over the West, an adventure which led almost inevitably to the choice of Oregon for his retirement. In the Hood River Valley, he and Margo built a spacious home to welcome friends and family members throughout the year. He became a talented handyman indoors and out, plunged into the life of his new community, and spent many happy hours on snowy forest roads with dogsled and his beloved malamute Thunder.

For fifty years, George was a prolific freelance writer, exploring a wide range of interests: science fiction, space exploration, photography, Dixieland jazz, conservation, and what he termed "unexplained phenomena" -- UFO's, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster. In 1968 he published an anthology of science fiction titled "Encounters With Aliens." He wrote letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and other articles for newspapers on both coasts. He formed a Connecticut chapter of the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena, served as president of the Connecticut Writers League, worked with writers' groups in Hood River County, served as secretary of the Hood River Valley Residents Committee (now Thrive), and for fifteen years was an enthusiastic member of Friends of the Hood River Library. His curiosity and witty humor never waned, and his speech was peppered with puns both good and bad, to the delight of his friends and the dismay of his wife.

George is survived by his wife of 69 years, Margo; his children and their spouses, David and Angela Earley of Wooster, Ohio; Steve and Anne Earley of Gisborne, Australia; Kate and Ken Downes of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts; Christine and Todd Strickland of Lakewood, Colorado; thirteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of George's life will be held at a later date after Covid-19 travel restrictions have been eased. His family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation in George's memory may be made to the Hood River Library Foundation or to The Nature Conservancy C/O Anderson’s Tribute Center (1401 Belmont Ave. Hood River, OR 97031).

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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Lori Fortune

Posted at 06:07pm
We are so sad to hear of George passing. Over the years we looked forward to him coming into the shop to get saw repair and hearing a story or two or three. He was a very interesting man that was a pleasure to visit with. He will be missed by Bill and I at Big Gene's Equipment & Repair. Our condolences to the family. Lori Fortune
VM

Victoria McClain

Posted at 11:54pm
Margo and Family

I’m so saddened to hear of George’s passing.
How blessed I feel to have been a short part of his life. The memories of our trips to museums, zoos, and libraries will remain etched in my memory forever.
Thank you George for our wonderful time together and all the wonderful stories you shared with me.
My deepest condolences
Victoria McClain
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