George J. Lober (1917 - 2015)

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CHARLES CITY – George J. Lorber, 98 of Charles City, died Sunday, Sept. 13, at 9th St. Chautauqua Guest Home. George was the Charles City school's superintendent from 1968-1981.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 8 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Fullerton-Hage Funeral Home, 401 Blunt Street. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with a one hour prior visitation at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 South Main Street. Dr. Bill Odermann will be officiating. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Charles City. The Veteran's Flag Ceremonial Unit will be presenting the American Flag and playing taps.
George was born on March 19, 1917 in Oran, to Joseph and Laura Lorber. He grew up living with his family above the general store in Oran that his father owned and operated. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree at Upper Iowa University in Fayette and his master's degree at the University of Iowa. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder for five summers while working on his doctorate and married Wilma Lenius on Dec. 22, 1940, raising their three sons John, Jim, and Mike together.
His first teaching job was at Readlyn from 1940-42. Then World War II took him away from his new life as a teacher and husband, though he was able to be present at the birth of his first child in Waverly before shipping off to boot camp in Battle Creek Michigan. George was active in the Coast Guard from October 6, 1942 until he was honorably discharged November 29, 1945. He served aboard the U.S.S. Samuel Chase and was among the first U.S. troops to take liberty in Tokyo.
When he returned home he went back to teaching and coaching. He taught for half a year in Oran, and then signed as a teacher and coach at Clermont for 1946-48. In 1948 George stepped into administration, taking the superintendent's position at New Providence. Two years later they moved to Orange City, where he worked as superintendent for 12 years. From there he went to Independence as superintendent until 1968, when he joined the Charles City School District.
George signed his contract just prior to the F5 tornado that hit Charles City, which devastated the community. He worked with School Board President Don Semelhack to pass a $3.5 million bond issue to rebuild. George continued to take great pride in what Charles City schools accomplished under his 13-year watch.
He retired in 1981, and then devoted his time to all his favorite things: family, golf, travel, woodworking and the Lion Club's Rose Garden. His wife passed away 21 years prior to his death on Sept. 13, 1994.
George was an active member of his community. He was named the 1986 Man of the Year by the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce, received the Rotary Club Community Service Award, and in May 2014 was inducted into the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation's Hall of Fame.
Throughout his life he was involved in the Floyd County Fair, Iowa High School Music Association, Lions Club International, Floyd County FFA, Iowa Education Association of Administrations, American Association of School Administrators, State of Iowa Department of Education, Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Veteran Association.
George was a 60-year member of the Lions Club, receiving the Melvin Jones Fellow distinction and was a member of the Lions Club International Foundation. He was also a lifetime member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charles City.
Those planning on expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Lorber and Wilson Lions Club Rose Garden in Charles City (Directed to Lions Club Treasurer Lance Lasher). George and friend Ed Wilson planted seeds of the original Lions Club Rose Garden as a community beautification project following the tornado disaster. The garden was recently renovated in 2013 with a nearly $30,000 anonymous donation and named after Lorber and Wilson, who died in 1996.
Those left to cherish his memory include his three sons: John (Susan) Lorber of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jim (Leah) Lorber of Oskaloosa, and Mike (Robin) Lorber of Peach Tree City, Georgia; grandchildren: Amber (Scott) Foth, Derek Lorber, Adam (Mindy) Lorber, Joshua (Bonnie) Lorber, Nicole (Greg) Schippers, Michelle (Karl) Bozner and Benjamin Lorber; 10 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law Roberta Lorber.
He was preceded in death by his wife Wilma Lorber; parents Joseph and Laura Lorber, and five siblings.
Online condolences may be left at
Fullerton-Hage Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 401 Blunt, Charles City, Iowa 50616 (641-228-4211,, Facebook: Fullertonfuneralhomes).
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Fullerton Funeral Home
401 Blunt Street
Charles City, IA 50616
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Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal on Sept. 14, 2015