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George Pistorius

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George Pistorius Obituary
George Pistorius

1922-2014 WILLIAMSTOWN George was born in Prague, former Czechoslovakia, on March 19, 1922, son of Theodor (an economist who founded the Institute for Exportation in Prague) and Blazena (Jiranek) Pistorius. He was the grandson of Josef Jiranek, who was a noted concert pianist and pupil of Smetana. George graduated from the Real Gymnasium (equivalent to a B.A.), then attended Charles University, 1945-48, where he studied French and Comparative Literature, and the Universite de Strasbourg, 1949-1951, where he studied Slavic philology. George married Marie Skokan on June 30, 1945 in Prague. They both left Prague in 1948 for Paris, where he worked as a journalist, writing cultural and education programs for the French Broadcasting Company, and did postgraduate studies at Universite de Paris, 1948-1950. When he first came to the United States in 1958, he taught French and German at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, while attending University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Ph.D. in Romance Languages, specializing in French. In 1963, he moved to Williamstown to teach French at Williams College, where he taught for 29 years until his retirement in 1992. He was Chair of the Romance Languages Department, 1971-1982, and he wrote several scholarly books and articles in French, German, and Czech. He was fluent in four languages, and was interested in Franco-German literary relations. George was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1964. He was a loving husband and father, a devoted professor who was admired for his intellect and sense of humor. He was a photographer, developed pictures of his travels and family in his own darkroom, loved traveling to Europe, hiking in the Alps, playing chess with his daughter, playing piano, skiing as a child, attending classical music concerts and other cultural events, reading, and going to art museums. George is survived by his daughter, Erika, and her husband, John Stamper, and his granddaughter Alessandra, his brother Milos Pistorius, his nephew Vladimir Pistorius, and his niece Zoja Oubramova. He was predeceased by his wife, Marie Pistorius, and by his brother, Lubos Pistorius. FUNERAL NOTICE: The funeral for George Pistorius will be Saturday March 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM at Thompson Memorial Chapel on the Williams College campus. Burial will follow in the Williams College cemetery. There are no calling hours. To send a card or a message, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.


Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 20, 2014
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