George R. HEALY

AUBURN, MAINE - George Robert Healy, age 87, died peacefully with his family by him on July 8, 2010, at the Androscoggin County Hospice in Auburn, Maine.
He had been a resident of the Clover Assisted Living Center in Auburn since 2008. Dr. Healy was a noted college professor and university administrator who served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at both Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (1961 to 1971) and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., (1971 to 1985). Dr. Healy also served as acting President of The College of William and Mary in 1985, Christopher Newport College (now University) in Newport News, Va., (1986-87), and Longwood College (now University) in Farmville, Va., (1987-88), as Executive Vice President of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., (1988-89), and closed his career as Acting Director of the Institute of Early American History and Culture at William and Mary from 1990 to 1992. Dr. Healy's distinguished service to William and Mary was honored by the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1987, and for his service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, he was honored by then Governor Baliles.
George Robert Healy was born on May 31, 1923, in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of Russell Kerfoot Healy and Genevieve Hodgson Healy. He graduated from the class of 1941 at Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, High School. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the Army Air Force in Saipan, as a B-29 armament specialist. He graduated with honors from Oberlin College in 1948 and received his M.A. (1951) and Ph.D. (1955) from the University of Minnesota. He began his career teaching history at the University of Minnesota (1951-53), MIT (1953-57), and Bates College (1957-61) ... he was particularly well known at Bates as one of the distinguished professors in the College's unique Cultural Heritage program. He was a Professor of History Emeritus at William and Mary. Dr. Healy was a master academician and administrator beloved and respected for his intellect, creativity, sense of humor, fairness, leadership and his constant desire to teach and support teaching; he was an early advocate of study abroad programs.
Dr. Healy was an 18th century historian by calling and he practiced many of those traits. A gentleman and intellectual, he was also a stoic and person of limited needs, but a man of vast interests. A product in his youth of the North Woods of Wisconsin, he enjoyed the solitude of the wild exemplified by his almost 50 year attachment to his 'farm' in East Sumner, Maine ... in which he spent many a time working to assure the 1820 original house and his own hand built barn and log cabin reflected as much as possible that era.
He published a translation and comment of Montesquieu's Persian Letters and also was co-author of the bicentennial history of East Sumner, Maine, which received national recognition. A teacher and mentor at heart his thoughtfulness and care was an influence on countless students, friends, colleagues and family.
Dr. Healy was married in 1948 to Dorothy Ann Kohli, who died in 1997. His brother (and closest friend), Dr. John Healy of Madison, Wis., died in 2008.
He is survived by his three sons, David of Canton, Mass., Thomas of Palmer, Alaska, and Roger of Juneau, Alaska; and their wives as well as six grandchildren.
Memorial services in Maine, Williamsburg, Va., and Fifield, Wis., will be held at a later date to be announced.
Dr. Healy asked that any donations be provided to either the George and Dorothy Healy International Scholarship Fund, c/o Bates College Development Office, College Avenue, Lewiston, ME 04240; or the George R. Healy Fellowship Endowment, c/o College of William & Mary Foundation, P.O. Box 1693 Williamsburg, VA 23187.
Arrangements by Pinette & Lynch Funeral Home, 207-784-4023. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press from July 14 to July 15, 2010