George M. Shendock

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George M. Shendock, 65, a resident of Swoyersville, passed away Thursday morning, June 05, 2014, at his home.

Born on April 12, 1949, in Swoyersville, George was the son of Dorothy M. (Nemetz) Shendock, of Swoyersville, and the late George J. Shendock, who passed away July 19, 1989.

A life resident of Swoyersville, George attended Swoyersville schools and was a member of the first graduating class of Wyoming Valley West High School in 1967.

George wore the "Blue and White" on the last Swoyersville High School football team in 1965 as a defensive left end. In 1963, he received the American Legion School Award for outstanding student. Additionally, he was an officer in the National Honor Society and Key Club; and was a reporter for the school newspaper.

Eventually, George went on to receive his bachelor's degree from Wilkes University, where he majored in psychology and minored in elementary education. Later, he received his Master's Degree in elementary education from the University of Scranton and his M. Ed. in Elementary School Administration from Lehigh University. In addition to serving an administrative internship under Dr. Gafney (Pennsylvania Red Book), he also earned his Pennsylvania Principal's Certification from Lehigh University.

At age 50, he spent a year as a full-time graduate student in the School of Education, University of Scranton, while on academic sabbatical.

For 33 years, he taught elementary school for the Wyoming Valley West School District, and was head teacher of the Dana Elementary School, Forty Fort, and was also head teacher of the former Franklin Street School, Plymouth.

During the 1980s, he was an Elementary Science chairman, having personally written the day-by-day elementary science curriculum for the entire academic year, for grades one through five. George had the distinction of being the first Wyoming Valley West educator chosen for inclusion into Who's Who in American Education, 1986-87, and 1987-88. He was selected as a Penn State Main Campus Fellow in Science, Technology and Society in 1986, having been sent as the Wyoming Valley West representative by then-superintendent, Dr. Elwood Jacoby.

At his own expense, George traveled to the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, to try and obtain a taxpayer cost-free NASA Education Program for Wyoming Valley West, as sole representative for the district. After obtaining the program, Mr. Shendock coordinated and scheduled all sessions for 10 school buildings, including the high school and middle school. It included directing two NASA specialists over a 10-day period; providing in-services for more than 330 professional staff members; and general presentations and displays, followed by individual classroom breakdown presentations for more than 5,000 students. In recognition of his ability and efforts, he received a formal letter of commendation from the superintendent, Dr. Jacoby.

In all, Mr. Shendock taught more than 2,000 students from Swoyersville, Forty Fort, Kingston and Plymouth during the course of his career.

George was a member of the Wyoming Valley Historical and Geological Society for a number of years, and participated in the restoration of the Forty Fort Meeting House in 2007.

In his youth, he hunted and traded with the Labrador Coast Innuit (Eskimo), and tutored Shoshoni Indian children on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming.

During summers, when not in graduate school, he organized and led 11 field expeditions along the Coast of Labrador, the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, and the north Shore of Quebec, Canada. He did archaeological field studies, which were then reported directly to Ottawa, St. John's, and Quebec City. The historical research dealt with early Norse exploration of Northeastern Canada by Vikings from Greenland and Iceland. During his extensive research on the subject, he had the privilege of being allowed to study, first-hand, the original written accounts of these explorations set down by 12th century Icelandic monks, while at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik. In the late 1990s, a site he discovered was named after him, and added to the official Archaeological Survey Map, Newfoundland. On the North Shore of Quebec, he is also credited with the discovery of one of the most southerly Innuit sites in all of North America (17th Century, Thule Culture), in an official government publication of Quebec, after having been verified and studied by their field archaeologists. Mr. Shendock was invited by the Canadian government to present his research findings at the Viking Millennium International Symposium in 2000. The Symposium was held in St. John's, Newfoundland, and was attended by world class experts on the subject from 12 different nations. Impressed by Mr. Shendock's research, it was chosen for inclusion in a hard covered academic text along with a small percentage of the other presenters at the Symposium. The text entitled, "Vinland Revisited: The Norse World at the Turn of the First Millennium," can be found in all major university libraries across North America and Europe. It is also found extensively in both regional and major public libraries across the United States.

George was a member of Phi Delta Kappa; the NEA and PSEA; the FOP (30 year associate member); WVIA; the General Pulaski Society, South Carolina; and the Colonial Williamsburg Duke of Gloucester Society, Virginia.

A faithful Catholic, George was a life member of the former Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Swoyersville. He was proud of the fact that his great-grandfather, Michael Nemetz, was among the church's early founders in 1895, and served on the church's original board of directors. Following the consolidation of his church, George became a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Swoyersville.

In addition to his mother, Dorothy, George is survived by a brother, Robert G. Shendock, of Virginia; his aunt and Godmother, Eleanor Hudak, of Swoyersville; as well as his nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 116 Hughes Street, Swoyersville.

Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Cemetery, West Wyoming.

Family and friends are invited to call on Tuesday morning from 9 to 10 a.m., at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Wroblewski Funeral Home Inc., 1442 Wyoming Ave., Forty Fort.

For additional information or to send the Shendock family an online message of condolence, you may visit the funeral home website
Funeral Home
Joseph L Wroblewski Funeral Home
1442 Wyoming Ave
Forty Fort, PA 18704
(570) 287-8541
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Published in Citizens' Voice on June 8, 2014
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