WILDMAN, GEORGE R. George R. Wildman, age 88, grew up in Watertown and resided many years in Hamden, passed away on May 22, 2016 in the care of Vitas Innovative Hospice at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. George was born in Waterbury on July 31, 1927, a son of the late Abil P. & Martha Schulte Wildman. He was predeceased by his wife Gertrude “Trudy” Steinle Wildman in 2013 and brothers Emil & Philip Wildman. He is survived by his son Karl G. Wildman & his wife Joy of Hamden; his grandchildren Kelsea, Alexa & Regan Wildman and several nieces & nephews. A US Navy Veteran, George was a cartoonist & children’s book illustrator. He acquired many achievements in his career; in April of 1982, the National Cartoonists Society awarded him “Best Cartoonist, Humor Division.” Random House contracted George to illustrate a classic Popeye “Pop-Up Book” which was in conjunction with the Robert Altman film. It became a best-seller and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. George was also invited to produce a painted wooden Easter egg for the 1983 White House Easter event. This egg is also housed in the Smithsonian. His pencils, inks and paints graced publications published by Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Time Warner characters along with countless designs for various businesses. George received the Popeye Fan Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award and performed a sketching show to a standing-room-only crowd. A return visit to Chester in 2004, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Popeye. Recently, the National Cartoonists Society, Connecticut Chapter, presented George with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to receive mail from Popeye fans around the world. Until his death, George and son Karl operated their own advertising agency, producing a wide variety of original characters and many individual self-produced products which he continues to offer. A fine example is the 2015 Brother George Holiday Ornament. George was a former Charter Member of the Hamden Elks Lodge # 2224 and a Honorary Member of the Masonic Harmony Lodge # 42. Friends may visit with his family on Thursday, May 26th, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden and may attend his Prayer Service beginning at 5:00 PM and Military Honors at 6:45 PM during the calling hours. Interment will be private. Contributions in George’s memory may be made to Vitas Charitable Foundation, 199 Park Road Ext, Middlebury, CT 06762. For further information or to send a condolence to his family please see: www.beecherandbennett.com
Published by The New Haven Register from May 24 to May 25, 2016.