GEOFFREY "GR" RANDOLPH
FROSTPROOF - Geoffrey "GR" Webster, a resident of Frostproof, Florida and Grasse France, passed away at his home in Grasse, France, surrounded by his wife and children, after a brief but valiant battle with cancer.
He was a graduate of the Gunnery school in Washington, Connecticut, attended Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and received his MBA from the University of Chicago. Mr. Webster was a native Floridian and great-great grandson of the Governor of Florida during the civil war, John Milton. He was a Frostproof resident for nearly 15 years.
He was a retired executive, as well as an author, artist, renowned collector of antique aviation toys, and highly decorated Vietnam War pilot.
He was an American patriot and military man through and through. He enlisted in the Army and was later commissioned from Officer Candidate School and went to the US Army flight school. As a U.S. Army pilot stationed in Vietnam, Capt. GR Webster commanded the Mustang Gun Ship Platoon of the 68th Assault Helicopter Company, flew about 950 hours of combat, and received 31 air medals, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal w/V. He later served as an aide de camp to a Major General attached to the US Embassy in Brazil.
After completing his military service in Vietnam, he began his career in the fragrance industry culminating in the post of CEO of Givaudan Fragrances, an international firm. In 2000, Webster was elected to the Fragrance Foundation's Hall of Fame. During his career, he lived in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, and Paris, France and retired to Frostproof, Florida and Grasse, France..
He also published The Miniature Aircraft Quarterly, a full-color magazine with an auxiliary club membership for toy airplane aficionados.
When he retired, at age 55, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, honing his skills in painting, specializing in portraits. He also pursued his avid passion for collecting antique and vintage toy aircraft, writing a definitive text about this area of collecting as well as contributing to various publications.
Webster had been a lifetime collector of antique and vintage miniature toy airplanes and aviation models, and had amassed one of the most comprehensive collections of toy airplanes and aviation models ever assembled, containing numerous rarities made in Germany, France, Japan, Great Britain and the United States.
GR Webster remained an active pilot most of his life and he could fly anything with wings or propellers. He flew his amphibious airplane all over the United States.
His portraits and other paintings are in some of the finest private collections and were treasured gifts to special friends.
Mr. Webster is survived by his mother and stepfather, Helen and Alvin "Bud" F. Lindsay, Jr. of Miami Beach; wife, Agnes Costa Webster, their children Jim (8 yrs), George (6 yrs.) and Helene (5 yrs.) of Grasse, France and Frostproof, Florida; his sisters, Wendy Webster Keleher (Walter) of Duxbury, Massachusetts, Diana Webster Biehl (John) of Frostproof, brother, Alvin F. Lindsay III of Key Biscayne, Florida, and step-sisters, Paula Lindsay Gillies (Dillon) of Portland, Maine, and Elizabeth Lindsay Kuhnke (Karl) of Palm Beach, Florida and Lucerne, Switzerland.
A funeral Mass was held on Saturday, January 11 in Grasse, France. A memorial gathering to celebrate the life of Geoffrey "GR" Webster will be held on Saturday, January 18 at 1 p.m. at the historic Ramon Theater, 15 E. Wall Street in Frostproof, Florida. Flowers are welcome. Alternatively, the family suggests that donations be made to their favorite charity in GR Webster's memory.
Published in Ledger from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2014