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George L. "Jorge" Byrum


1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
George L. "Jorge" Byrum Obituary
Byrum, George L. "Jorge" SAN DIEGO -- George Lawrence Byrum passed away after a brief illness on May 13, 2014. George was an accomplished businessman, a passionate sportsman and pilot, and a generous supporter of wildlife art and artists. Known as a private, low-key person, George was a true "eagle scout" -- a person of the highest ethical standards who was always true to his word. George was born on August 26, 1922 in San Diego. He graduated from Hoover High School in 1939 and studied electric engineering at San Diego State University. As a teenager George played trumpet in the Bonham Brothers Boys' band and was active in the Boy Scouts of America, becoming an Eagle Scout in 1936. He was a member of the ROTC in high school and later served in the National Guard and the US Army. During World War II, George was a gunnery instructor stationed at Kingman Army Air Station in Kingman, Arizona. In 1956, he founded and managed a successful commercial and industrial electrical engineering firm - Atlas Electric of San Diego, Inc. headquartered in the Mission Valley/ Grantville area. The firm contributed to major hospital, shopping center/ retail and military development throughout southern California for over 25 years. Becoming a private pilot in 1963 was a great joy for George. Traveling in his red and white Bonanza Beachcraft V-tail airplane was his preferred mode of transportation for over 40 years. In 1971, George married Virginia "Ginger" Byrum and together they formed a partnership built on a shared love of travel and adventure, the outdoors, and habitat conservation. As avid sportsmen their travels included hunting and fishing in Baja and Sonora Mexico, hunting and photography in Africa and South America, and in recent years, family fishing trips to Sportsman's Cove Lodge in Ketchikan, Alaska. George appreciated wildlife art in many forms - sculpture, paintings, taxidermy - and supported both emerging and established artists. During the past 25 years, George has lived in the Montana Jefferson Valley, enjoying ranch life. He was a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a member of the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group, and the Big Hole Watershed committee. Affectionately nicknamed "Jorge", his closest family and friends will fondly remember his quick wit, the twinkle in his eye, and his wide smile. In addition to his wife, George is survived by his daughters, Sue Lepsch of Kingsport, TN, Kay Byrum of San Diego, stepdaughter, Molly Salky of Ithaca, NY and stepson, Byron Stermon of San Diego; eight grandchildren; his brother Robert and sisters Phyllis and Patricia. Private services will be held in La Mesa and Montana. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Boy Scouts of America San Diego - Imperial Council, or to the Safari Club International Foundation for Education Programs.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on May 18, 2014
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