October 31, 1929 - October 8, 2014
George Minot Bailey Reading, a man who loved and was loved by many, left this life on Wednesday, October 8th, after living fully for 84 years.
It is easy to remember a man of such remarkable talent for what he has done, but perhaps an even greater tribute to remember George for the way he made people feel. Compassion seemed to be his constant companion. He was never too busy to share his gentle spirit with others. In his reflection, even the most complex situations or emotions seemed simpler, safer and kinder. The sparkle in his eyes spoke volumes about his inner beauty and hinted at the generosity of his character.
George's deep, resonant voice was a gift that made ideas sound meaningful and profound–which, in his case, they generally proved to be. He was distinguished and genuine; serious yet playful; strong and sensitive. Conversation with George could move from the absurdities of our political system to the miracle of the universe. When faced with health challenges, George wrote, "I have been blessed to find wonder in the eyes of small children and wisdom in the ways of the old folks. Not a bad journey. I do believe it will continue to be a good ride, whichever the direction."
Though he considered becoming a physician like his grandfather or perhaps a graphic artist, George's natural talents led him to a legendary career as a radio and television news broadcaster. Over the span of 51 years, George was an Emmy Award winning anchor, reporter, and documentarian in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Monterey among others. George was the founding anchor of the national PBS program, Heartland. His distinguished career put him in front of presidents and heads of state, yet his truest pleasure came from the company of good friends and family.
George's spirit is carried on by those whom he loved, including Sarah Scott, his wife of 25 years, who was his true north. The two shared a passion for traveling, discovery, and time together.
For his last fifteen years George's health was precarious. Twice the medical establishment gave up on him and told him to go home and put his affairs in order. He declined. He turned instead to various forms of energy medicine. In the end he had entirely overcome a rare form of cancer and heart disease.
In retirement, George volunteered his time as a Senior Peer Counselor through the Alliance on Aging, and as a docent at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
George was predeceased by his parents, Mildred Russell Bailey and Clifton Irving Reading, his brother Clifton Reading and sister Mildred Reading Nantais. He is survived by his daughters Kathleen Charpie (Kenneth) of Fairborn, Ohio, Kim Reading and her partner Tom Kuykendall of Seattle, his son Michael Reading (Sharon Lee) of Mill Valley, his sister Louise Reading of Blackfoot, Idaho, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, his previous wife and the mother of his children, Dorothy Malkewitz Reading.
A celebration of George's life will take place on Saturday, November 15th at 11am at Pacific Coast Church, 522 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove. Those who wish may honor George's memory by doing an unexpected act of kindness for others. Donations in his memory may be sent to Alliance on Aging, 247 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901.
Published in Monterey Herald Obits on Oct. 31, 2014.