GEORGE L. REBH

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'EBH GEORGE LEONARD REBH October 5, 1951 ~ September 25, 2015 Artist, Entrepreneur, Creative Mind, Humanist - True Friend to All "I guess I'm not what you'd call the typical artist. I prefer to describe myself as a creative person involved in a lot of different pursuits." Washingtonian Magazine, May 1982 In college, he invented drawing in scribbles that look random up close but at a distance form recognizable shapes. His fresh style and perceptive eye were welcomed by Washington's elite, who commissioned portraits, cartoons, and landscapes. He began his art career drawing portraits of prominent entertainers for the Washington Post's Weekend Style page (including Frank Sinatra, LeRoy Neiman, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, Dizzy Gillespie). This led to a major commission illustrating the Watergate hearings. He then illustrated OpEd columns (portraits of Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, King Faisal, Averell Harriman and concept pieces) and letters to the editor and editorials (cartoons) which the Post then syndicated in 300+ papers nationwide. In 1978, the White House commissioned portraits of Begin, Sadat and Carter to commemorate the Camp David Peace Accords. In 1980, he prepared a second portrait of Carter for the election campaign used in a television ad. The Presidential Inaugural Committees in 1981 and in 1993 commissioned official portraits of Reagan & Bush, and Clinton & Gore, for invitations and programs. He drew Bush's official portrait for the George Bush Headquarters of the CIA in Virginia. He executed commissions for embassies and Congressmen (portraits of Senators Glenn & Humphrey and Speaker Tip O'Neill among others) and sold holiday cards at Neiman Marcus, Macy's, and Lord & Taylor. A USO portrait commission of Bob Hope for his 75th birthday was used by Hope on his holiday cards. For the Redskins, he drew portraits of Coaches George Allen, Jack Pardee and Joe Gibbs and designed team souvenir programs. He created a commemoration of Joe Gibbs' 1996 induction into the NFL Hall of Fame and later drew Gibbs' family portrait of six images (final image added after last sibling married). In 1996, he created racing scenes and portraits of the fifteen top NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. George Leonard Rebh was born at Walter Reed hospital on October 5, 1951 to Major George Anthony Rebh and Jeanne Garner. Moving often as an Army brat (US & abroad), George acquired an ability to stand out and make friends quickly. By 14, he was accomplished in both acoustic and electric guitar and performed in college. In high school, he played basketball, baseball, and football. A perfectionist, he read Ty Cobb's autobiography and modelled his batting stance after Cobb. He would do the same for his children, researching the perfect jump shot. Like his father, he was an Eagle Scout. After a year at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, George transferred to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. A politics major graduating Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors in his department (#1), he blossomed as an artist, winning a local competition to design a liquor label. He also became an entrepreneur, creating his first media business selling block ads to local businesses for a desk blotter he drew and gave away to students. He also created and sold scenes of Williams College at reunions. Settling in Washington after graduation, he attained fame with his art but drew only at night and on weekends. Also at night, he acquired residential real estate and mastered all the building trade skills: plumber, electrician, cabinet installer, and dry wall installer. As his day job, he was a project officer in the Federal Office of Emergency Preparedness for 8 years, advancing to GS-14. Then, a chance meeting at a cocktail party led him to shift careers to become a professional salesperson. He studied and mastered this art in Atlantic City where in the mid-1980s, as sales director of Ocean Club, he closed $100 million in resort real estate, a single year, single project record that stands to this day. In 1982, he was singled out by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the area's ten most eligible bachelors. In 1985, George met Elizabeth Ervin from Rochester, New York on a blind date. They married in 1991 and reared three children. As the children grew, George designed t-shirts, neckerchiefs, and posters and composed rhymes to make every life event special. Beginning in the late 1990s, George and Liz hosted an annual holiday party, attended by up to a hundred, culminating in George leading a boisterous singing of the 12 days of Christmas to live piano. In 1990, George put his sales career on hold to care for his ill mother, impressing all with his boundless devotion. Thereafter, in the mid-1990s, he co-founded FLOORgraphics, Inc. (FGI) around a new idea for marketing to shoppers in grocery stores. Heading sales and graphics, George catapulted floor advertising to $100+ million, and FLOORgraphics became the fastest growing company in the industry, twice recognized in the INC 500 of fasting growing private companies in America and a five-time New Jersey's Finest private company winner. He and his brother, who joined the business, were honored as Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2004 (New Jersey winners, national finalists). Across 40 years of entrepreneurial pursuits, George was one of those rare people whose force of personality and keen mind changed the course of events. He wanted the ball to secure the win and then humbly passed credit to others. He was passionate, generous (freely sharing his time & talent with all), and did everything with special flair. "What would George do?" will be pondered by those who worked with him and experienced his creativity, determination, attention to detail, integrity, caring, and thoughtfulness, and above all, his smile, no matter how challenging the situation. In his last few years, George was developing with a high school basketball teammate a business to solve the hunger crisis in America; Hungry Meals is planning to launch next year. He regularly contributed artwork to raise money for charities. George was a Christian and his devotion grew in his later years. In his last year, George met Pastor Steve King of the Cherrydale Baptist church who saw him frequently and enriched his faith. George lived a happy, contented, loving life in the Washington area for 49 years and is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; and three children, Emily, Christina and George. He is also survived by his father, Major General George Anthony Rebh (Retired); step-mother, Joyce Ann and brother, Richard. A service celebrating George's life will be at the Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia on October 8 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks contributions in George's name be made to the following charities: Cherrydale Baptist Church Ministries, Wounded Warriors, or . A MAN OF MANY TALENTS A TRUE FRIEND WITH A HUGE HEART

Religious Service Information
Cherrydale Baptist Church
3910 Lorcom Ln
Arlington, VA 22207
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Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 4, 2015
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