George H. Weyerhaeuser, Jr.|
George grew up on Gravelly Lake in Lakewood, and though he traveled widely and lived in many different places as an adult, he always said he never felt at rest unless he was in the Northwest. He attended Charles Wright for all his education until leaving for college, forming treasured friendships that continued throughout his life. Some of his favorite memories were of trips on his grandfather's boat, the Wanigan. He and his father were the pilots and repair crew. This experience bonded him with his father and led to his love of figuring out how things work, and solving problems.
At Yale University he majored in mathematics & philosophy. He met his wife Kathy there, and courted her in his inimitable and eccentric way, eventually persuading her of his devotion. They married in 1977, and lived on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. In 1978 they moved to DeQueen, Arkansas where George began his career at Weyerhaeuser in the woods as a Contract Logging Supervisor. He moved through various positions, rising to become General Manager of the company's largest Containerboard Mill at Valliant, Oklahoma. In 1986 George earned a Master of Science in Management from the Sloan School at MIT. Thereafter he moved to the Federal Way headquarters to become Vice-President of Manufacturing for the company's pulp and paper businesses.
In 1993 the family moved north to Vancouver where George led Weyerhaeuser Canada as President and CEO. While there he also served as Chairman of several national committees in the forest industry, including the Canadian National Advisory Board in Forestry, the Canadian Sustainable Forestry Coalition, the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, the Forest Alliance of British Columbia, and the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association/Climate Change Task Force. In 1998, he returned to Federal Way as Senior Vice President of Technology, directing research and development, transportation, and purchasing. From 2006 through 2008 he worked in Geneva, Switzerland as a Senior Fellow to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, combining his love of science, sustainability and policy-making. George reveled in the challenge of bringing together business, government and environmental groups to negotiate solutions to very complex problems.
After retirement he remained very active, serving as a Director of Fermi Research Alliance and RD Merrill Company, and as Chairman and CEO of the Clearwater Investment Trust. He was also a leader in the affairs of the extended Weyerhaeuser family. Since 2008, George co-founded two start-ups aimed at commercializing biotechnologies for improving sustainability in traditional pulp and paper industries. His special talent was understanding and connecting the inventors and the investors.
George was committed to the future of our Tacoma community. He devoted much time and energy to the revitalization of Tacoma's downtown and waterfront. Since 1999, he worked with the Foss Waterway Development Authority, serving as its President from 2000-2004. He was an important advocate for the Museum of Glass since its inception, serving on its board from 1999 to the present and as Chair from 2004-2007.
George had a strong commitment to education, serving on the Leadership Council at Yale University's School of Environmental Studies, as a Regent for the Oklahoma State Higher Education Board, and as Chair of the Institute of Forest Biotechnology. He served as Chair of the Canada/United States Fulbright Foundation, and Chair of the Executive Board of the Sloan Center for Paper and Business Studies at Georgia Tech.
Throughout his career he had a keen interest in technology, sustainability, and scientific research. He greatly respected and cared for his coworkers. Many times people commented that, while working for George, they were able to say exactly what they thought, confident that they would be fully heard and understood.
George loved time with family and friends, sunsets on the water, a glass of wine, and relaxing after a good day's work. Above everything else, George loved his family. He enjoyed his parents so much that periodically during his adulthood he moved back in with them for a month or more at a time (always for 'work reasons', of course). His siblings depended on his quiet wisdom, strength, and sensitivity.
George adored his wife. He treasured son Walker and his wife Allison, and son Corydon and fiance;e Kayla.
George is survived by his wife, Kathy McGoldrick, his sons Walker (Allison Kelly) and Corydon (fiance;e Kayla Kearney), his parents George and Wendy, his sisters Leilee, Sue, Phyllis Griggs (Mark), Merrill (Pat Welly), and brother David (Sarah), and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday May 31, 2013 at the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Museum of Glass or Charles Wright Academy in his memory would be very much appreciated.
Sign George's on-line
Guest Book at www.Legacy.com.
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 19 to Apr. 21, 2013