George K. Bluh, 81, of Conway passed away peacefully at his home on January 14th, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. He ended his long struggle living with Parkinson's Disease with grace and dignity.
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George was born on March 28th, 1932 in Astoria, Queens, NY. He was the son of Arthur Bluh and Frieda (Reich) Bluh.
George served in the Air Force during the Korean War, from 1951-1955 as a 1st Lt. He was awarded a Korean Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. He was stationed in Fukuoka, Japan, where he picked up his first camera and took to documenting life through photography.
It was at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, where he met fellow student Cynthia Hubbard. They married on February 25th, 1961. George's education was a lifelong endeavor; he earned his B.S. at CU in 1958, a Certification of Education in 1961, and M.A. in 1964. He studied Mandarin Chinese at the Institute of Far Eastern Languages, Yale University, in 1962. George continued his studies in History and Chinese language at the University of Washington, from 1966-1969. He later tutored Chinese language.
He was a member of American Historical Association, Association for Asian Studies, Psi Chi, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Phi Alpha Theta.
A love of learning, a feisty intellect, and a broad range of knowledge made George an especially gifted educator when he eventually became part of the teaching staff of Greenfield Community College. It is during this career of 24 years that many people came to know and love George. Indeed, Greenfield Community College was another family for him. George began teaching in 1974, retiring in 1998.
Travel was one of George's favorite passions. From early rambles with his brother, and climbing mountains in Colorado, he yearned to go places and have adventure. Notably, he traveled to China twice, with trips to Mongolia, Hong Kong, and Thailand. He also traveled in Europe with his Serbian cousin to trace shared ancestral roots in Bratislava. A highlight of George's retirement was a UU sponsored trip in 2001 to Transylvania with Cynthia.
Camping and hiking were also fun pursuits, with many trips to the White Mountains, and the coast of Maine over the years. He enjoyed salt water fishing.
There is an abundant legacy of George's life; his bright, large abstract acrylic paintings and decades of photography. His library is rich with books in his many areas of study. Intellectual by nature, he was down to earth and loved to show off his wit and humor at all times. He could amaze with his recall of facts and broad range of knowledge.
George's community involvement includes an active membership at Greenfield's All Souls Church for 45 years. In his home town of Conway he was the program director for the Historical Society for 10 years.
He is predeceased by his parents and two brothers Robert and Harold Bluh. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Cynthia (Hubbard) Bluh and his children, Geoffrey Bluh of Conway, Alexandra Bluh of San Francisco, Joshua Bluh of San Francisco and Rebecca Bluh and husband Anthony Derricotte of Greenfield and his granddaughter Cameron Bluh-Derricotte of Greenfield.
The family has much gratitude for the many caregivers from Comprehensive Home Care who spent time with George, and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital that gave so much to help in the last stage of this journey.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, March 29 at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 399 Main St. The service will start at 2:30 p.m.
A contribution in George's memory can be made to: Greenfield Community College Foundation, 270 Main Street Greenfield, MA 01301; All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 399 Main Street, Greenfield, MA 01301; and Conway Historical Society, Inc., PO Box 174, Conway, MA 01341.
Published in The Recorder on Mar. 26, 2014
Wrisley Funeral Home
90 Sugarloaf Street South Deerfield, MA 01373