Jacksonville, FL — George H. Dorion, PhD., 91, of Jacksonville, FL and Norwich, VT, passed away on Wednesday April 14th, 2021. Born on April 16, 1929 in New York City to William Jules Dorion and Adelaida Bacardi Dorion. George went to Trinity School (class of '47). He went on to receive his B.A. (class of '51), Phi Beta Kappa and M.A. in Chemistry from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 1953 he joined the United States Air Force, working through 1955 at the USAF Aeronautical Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio where he served as Senior Research Chemist. Upon release from active duty, he transferred to the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 1975 at the rank of Major.
While pursuing his PhD. in Chemistry at Yale University (New Haven, CT) in 1956, George met Dorothy Simpson, a student at Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. They married in 1957.
After receiving his PhD., George worked at American Cyanamid in Stamford, CT (1959-69). He later worked for Environmental Resources, Inc. (1969-70), Bacardi Corporation in Puerto Rico, and Bacardi-Castleton Beverage Corporation (Jacksonville), from which he retired in 1995. Dr. Dorion was an internationally respected research leader in photo-chemistry, polymer systems, anaerobic waste digestion/ disposal, fermentation and distillation processes, and product development. He held 8 patents, published 3 books and presented more than 23 professional bulletins and reports ranging from photochromism, graphic arts and data display, permeability, polymers, methane production and anaerobic digestion of distillery, citrus and food waste.
A standout cross country and track runner and team captain at Williams, George pursued running for decades. He competed in races up to 60 miles in length in such diverse locations as Nanisivik (northernmost Canada), Greenland, Guatemala, Mexico, and in his hometown New York City Marathon. For many years he was a fixture at cross country, track and road races in North Florida, where he often ran with Dottie and the children.
Dr. Dorion remained lifelong friends with his Williams and Yale classmate, Hodge Markgraf (Hodge's wife Nancy was a good friend of Dottie's at Columbia). Another longtime school friend, from elementary all the way through Williams, was George Selly. Throughout his travels, professional and private life George established good friendships and enjoyed a variety of interactions. All of these friends shared George's quick, often dry sense of humor and fun.
Many times over the years George impressed upon his children and friends that "if you lose your sense of humor, you've really lost everything."
Another side of George was his quiet, behind-the-scenes philanthropy. He helped Williams in many ways, supported the USAF, and in recent years was involved with the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, FL and Volunteers in Medicine Clinic - Jacksonville. Additionally he and Dottie established, through the Community Foundation, scholarships for dependents of employees of Bacardi Bottling Corporation Jacksonville. He was consistently encouraging and supportive of the educational, professional and athletic pursuits of his children and grandchildren.
Surviving family members are his beloved wife of 63 years, Dorothy Simpson Dorion, sons Mark G. (Helen) Dorion, Christopher C. Dorion, Timothy A. (Sandy) Dorion and daughter Lisanne C. Dorion. He is also survived by grandchildren Amalia, Tobias and Grace Dorion. George is predeceased by his parents and brothers Robert ("Bo") and Bill.
At the family's request, there will be a private service at St. John's Cathedral, 256 E. Church Street, Jacksonville, at 10:30 a.m., Friday, April 16th conducted by the Very Reverend Kate Moorehead. Livestream of that service is through the Cathedral link at: youtube.com
and search: St. John's Cathedral Jacksonville. Private burial will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 19th at Jacksonville National Cemetery and Livestream link is available through Dr. Dorion's obituary at: www.hardagegiddensoaklawnchapel.com
In lieu of flowers the family suggests gifts to the George and Dottie Dorion Bacardi Scholarship Fund administered by the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, 245 Riverside Avenue, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32202 (www.jaxcf.org
) or Community Hospice and Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256 (www.communityhospice.com
Arrangements by Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel, 4801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville. 904-737-7171.
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