George R. Kierspe

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George R. Kierspe
PINOPOLIS, SC - George Ray Kierspe, 87, of Pinopolis, SC, widower of Marilyn Jean Kierspe, died Monday, July 20th, at his residence.
His memorial service will be Friday, July 24, 2015, at 2:00 PM in the First Presbyterian Church, Aiken, SC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the George & Jean Kierspe Studio Art Program Endowment Fund or the George & Jean Kierspe Wellness Center Program Endowment Fund at USC Aiken. Checks should be made payable to the Aiken Partnership, C/O USC Aiken Advancement Office, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801.
George was born in Orange, N.J. March 11, 1928 to George William Kierspe and Mildred (Klaehn) Kierspe. The family soon moved to Fort Wayne, IN, and 5 years later to Elmhurst, IL. He graduated from York High School and was appointed to the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY, where he graduated summa cum laude.
He worked for Lykes Brothers Steamship Company on cargo/passenger ships gradually working up to Chief Engineer on the SS Dick Lykes. During his 5 years with the company he traveled around the world many times. He later served as a Lieutenant in the US Naval Reserves.
Following their marriage, he and his wife moved to Aiken, SC, where he was employed by the DuPont Company. He served in engineering supervisory positions of increasing responsibility until retiring in 1986.
He was active in community affairs serving as Deacon, Elder, and Sunday School teacher in the 1st Presbyterian Church, Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and on several fund raising campaigns for community organizations. He spent much time in Hitchcock Woods often leading hikes and several campaigns to protect the woods.
He was an avid outdoorsman, traveling and camping throughout the US with his family. He backpacked thousands of miles including the entire Appalachian Trail, sections of the Brooks Mountains in Alaska, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Alps, Himalayas in Nepal and the Colorado Fourteen Highest Peaks. He led local groups on adventure trips to the mountains, coastal wetlands and the Okefenokee Swamp.
During his career at sea a passenger introduced him to art. After early retirement, he pursued his interest in painting and became an active professional artist. His paintings won numerous awards and were sold in galleries in the southeast. He was president of the Aiken Artist Guild and an early promoter of the Aiken Center for the Arts.
He was an ardent supporter of USCA, endowing their art department and wellness center in appreciation.
Memberships included lifetime Appalachian Trail Conference, Sierra Club, Chairman of Aiken Artist Guild, Aiken Center for the Arts, SC Watercolor Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Life Member Kings Point Alumni Association, Colorado Mountains Club, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Nature Conservancy, Aiken County Open Land Trust, Friends of Hitchcock Woods, Hopelands, Aiken County Historical Museum, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Aiken Symphony Guild, Aiken Community Playhouse, Aiken Track Club and 10 Gallon Blood Donor.
Surviving are, four sons, Tom Kierspe and his wife, Kay, of Pinopolis, George Kierspe and his wife, Nancy, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, David Kierspe and his wife, Sherry, of N. Augusta,and John Kierspe and his wife, Ivette, of Tianjin, China; six grandchildren, Caleb and Brittany Poston, Kenneth and Kristin Cordray, Chase and Annabeth Kierspe, Hillary Kierspe, Caleb Kierspe, and Jonathan Kierspe; and six great grandchildren, Noah, Emma, and Selah Poston, and Trenham, Rhett, and Fowler Cordray.
Online condolences may be sent to the family via
Funeral Home
Dial-Murray Funeral Home, Inc. - Moncks Corner
300 West Main Street
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on July 22, 2015