died on May 9, 2011 at the age of 87. He was born August 16, 1923, in Kusnacht, Switzerland where his father was a U.S. Consul. His mother was a watercolor artist and avid tennis player. When George was four years old, his father was transferred to Calgary, Canada where he resided until he attended the University of Wyoming. George completed his undergraduate degree after serving three years in the United States military. He is a World War II Veteran. He completed his Master's and Doctorate studies at the University of Washington in 1956. During his last year at the "U Dub," he met and married Beverly Robinson, "that beautiful red headed woman who lived next door," and moved to Humboldt County to begin a 30+ year career at Humboldt State University (HSU) as a Fisheries professor. While teaching at HSU, George was a motivating force in helping build the University's fish collection into the fourth largest collection the state of California. He was also instrumental in establishing the HSU Oceanography program and developing the HSU graduate program in Fisheries. George's experience with wastewater aquaculture and his work with graduate students in raising trout and salmon in tertiary treated wastewater made him an excellent candidate to work in collaboration with the City of Arcata and Humboldt State University to create the internationally recognized artificial marsh wastewater treatment system which is part of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS). The AMWS received an award and grant from the Ford Foundation making it possible to build the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary Interpretive Center. For his work on the marsh projects, an AMWS marsh was named in George's honor. In 1985, shortly after he retired, HSU President Alistair McCrone awarded George the President's Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions and service to HSU and the City of Arcata. In 2008, an Ichthyology Laboratory at HSU was named in his honor. Ultimately George was a modest man who gave credit to others. His greatest rewards have largely been the successes of his students, to whom he has been no less than inspirational. On the personal side, George was an avid fly fisherman and spent summers hiking and back packing with his family in the Marble Mountains, Trinity Alps, Wooly Creek and Willow Creek. The family's first trip was to Monument Lake, when their youngest child was age four, a six mile trip at that time. He was a collector of 'found objects' which he put together in his own inimitable style and placed them to be enjoyed around the family property. The family is deeply grateful for over 50 years of devoted friendships throughout Humboldt County, including Archie and Sue Mossman, a friendship sustained by weekly dinners that in later years included Phyllis Helligas, Bert Taylor, and Marilyn Walker. George had many university colleagues that he regarded with deep fondness, unfortunately space does not allow. He leaves his wife Beverly after 56 years of marriage, daughters Terryl Allen (Jim Lee) of Albuquerque , New Mexico; Wendy Burroughs of Bainbridge Island, Washington; Stasia (Jim) Buffenbarger of Eagle, Idaho; grandchildren Chelsea and Trent Burroughs, Hannah and Dylan Buffenbarger. The family is grateful for the support and compassion of the staff and residents at the Timber Ridge Retirement Community in McKinleyville, California. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in George's name to Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), PO Box 410, Arcata, CA 95518, www.arcatamarshfriends.org. A Celebration of George's life will be held Sunday, July 17, 2011, from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Arcata, California. Please sign the guest book at www.Times-Standard.com, click obits.
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Published in Eureka Times-Standard on May 17, 2011