George Family   The 2nd Generationshim
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Eddie George - Minister
Manny George - Engineer/Educator
  TF George memories
  Betty Ann Lynerd memories
  Ben Lynerd memories
The Reach-Out Sisters
Veronica George
Reflection on the Life of Manny George
by Thomas F. George and David A. George

This biography was read by Tom and David at memorial services for Manny on June 14, 1999.

Emmanuel John George Emmanuel John George was born June 30, 1911 to Isaiah and Rachel George, Armenian immigrants from Syria who had moved to Philadelphia. His father, one of the first diamond cutters in Philadelphia, wrote back to the old county requesting a wife. A picture of Rachel was sent, and with his approval, she boarded a boat and met him on Ellis Island where they were married.

Manny was the second of fifteen children, some of whom are here today: Martha, Esther, Florence, Ruth, Tuddy, Ginnie and Frank. He spoke only Armenian until he entered school. He was raised on Lancaster Avenue and Hamilton and Spring Garden Streets, and was actively involved in community and church sports and drama.

As an adolescent, he was something of a daredevil and enjoyed playing pranks. For example, he once ran a race in the streets of Philadelphia which put him in bed for two months. He hid his newborn sister Martha from their mother in a box under the bed and on the roof. He might punch in the hats of men visiting his father, or exchange the purse contents of women visiting his mother. He himself would jump from roof to roof three stories over the alleys of Philadelphia.

Manny graduated from West Philadelphia High School and entered the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 16. His academic and athletic prowess were well recognized, and he was hired onto the coaching staff of the Penn track team at the age of 17. While a student, he ran in the famed Penn Relays. He was known for his speed, running a 100 yard dash in just 10 seconds.

Upon graduation from Penn in 1932, he was hired by Sun Oil Company, which began 41 years with Sun. The first twelve years were spent at the refinery at SunÌs Marcus Hook.

He sought to enlist in the Navy during World War II, but was kept home because his occupation as chemical engineer was deemed crucial to National security. He served as an air-raid warden during World War II.

Manny moved from engineering to corporate management in the mid 1940Ìs, which took him to downtown Philadelphia. He played a key role in helping Sun move into the computer age. His responsibilities included college recruitment, where one of his successful recruits ended up becoming President of the company.

In 1942 he met a beautiful, young nursing student named Veronica Hansel, whom he courted until they married in 1945, having proposed to her on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Manny George Family - 50th AnniversaryHe and Ronnie George raised their three children, Tom, David, and Betty-Ann in Aldan, PA. He entertained his children with the adventures of his imaginative stories of the two characters Happy Ole and Gloomy Gus. A special memory of his children is Saturday nights under the care of their dad, enjoying a big bowl of popcorn, cherry sodas, Jackie Gleason on the old black and white 12-inch television screen, and wrestling on the living room floor. They shared good times in camping trips across the Eastern United States and picnics at Sun OilÌs recreational facility.

He believed strongly in the value of education, and in order to provide their children with the best opportunities, both Ronnie and Mannie worked long hours to bring in the necessary income. He supported Ronnie, who as a registered nurse, returned to Penn to complete her college education and become a fourth-grade teacher.

His church leadership included Northminster Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and First Presbyterian Church in Darby where he served as Scoutmaster, Elder and Sunday School teacher. He was also involved at the Presbytery level. Forty years ago his family became members of Aldan Union Church.

Manny George Extended Family - 50th AnniversaryMannyÌs family includes Tom and his wife Barbara, Dave and his wife Jayne, and Betty-Ann and her husband Bill, and his six grandchildren: Benjamin Thomas Lynerd, Sarah Elizabeth George, Stephen William Lynerd, Stephen Emmanuel George, Alison Laura George and Emily Rachel George.

By the time he retired he had taught at 25 years at Drexel Evening College and had earned an Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He served on the GovernorÌs State Education Board for Pennsylvania. He invented and patented a mathematical slide rule chart which ended up being sold widely across the nation. He enjoyed a 50-year membership in the American Chemical Society.

During his retirement, he served as an income tax counselor. In 1994 he and Ronnie moved to Riddle Village. He participated in various activities at Riddle such as the menÌs chorus and residential hall leadership.

His legacy for his children and grandchildren is his work ethic, his Christian faith which matched his way of living, his commitment to his family, and a vibrant prayer life.  

Some Remembrances of Dad
by Thomas F. George

Memories of Manny George by his eldest son, Tom

Ronnie, Tom, and Manny at Gettysburg College - 1987

Ben Lynerd's remembrance's of Manny are great, and I will not repeat those since they are right on the mark. I could of course go on for pages about Dad, like the time he proudly brought back that new black Chevy when I was four years old standing in the driveway, or when he taught me how to ride a two-wheeler bicycle (I remember very clearly when he told me that I had been on my own when I thought he was holding on for the last several minutes.) Or when we would go see the Phillies play and leave at the seventh inning to beat the rush of traffic, complimenting ourselves on our tremendous efficiency. Or his many visits to me at Gettysburg College, Yale University and MIT where we would just hang out together and mingle with my student colleagues.

Let me mention specifically several items. Between my freshman and sophomore years in college when I worked at Sun Oil Company in downtown Philadelphia (a job in the economics department which Dad had "engineered" for me), in the evenings I took his organic chemistry class at Drexel University (he amazingly worked a full day at Sun and then taught up to three nights a week at Drexel). He was an outstanding teacher, and the following fall at Gettysburg College, I encountered a professor who liked to quiz students at the lab bench with material which was a week ahead of his lectures. Since I had taken Dad's course, I was always ready for those tricky questions and soon got tagged as an A student, not because of my ability but because of the training that Dad gave me (I knew what the vinyl radical was several weeks before it was introduced in my sophomore class - way to go, Dad!)

Tom and Manny in Seoul, Korea - 1989 In 1989, Dad and I took a trip around the world together, where I was lecturing on my research, starting in Jordan (there we socialized with Uncle Howard's friend, Mr. Telegraph, who took us to the Dead Sea where I had a nice swim/float), going on to the Thailand, and then Korea. Dad was a great hit with all the scientists! We traveled to Croatia together in 1990 for a scientific conference, where once again he was the hit of the conference. These are memories which will be with me forever.

Manny & Tom by the Snake River in Idaho - 1994 I should close this by saying that I find myself more and more like him as I increase in age, something of which I am most proud. He and I think alike and approach situations and problems the same way, although I must indicate that he was far more adept at finding solutions than I am. On many occasions I would learn that sticky dilemmas that I have encountered as a dean, provost or chancellor were also encountered by him at Sun Oil or Drexel, and he always gave me helpful insight as to how to deal with these.

I cannot think of a better Dad than Manny. His Christian faith was unwavering, and his caring attitude and actions for others was exemplary. He was a model for us all, and I consider myself fortunate and privileged to have been his son!  

Betty Ann's Recollections About Manny
by Betty Ann Lynerd

Memories of Manny George by his daughter, Betty Ann

Dad reveled in the success and visibility of his family, and never failed to show the joy he experienced during events which highlighted family members. And while I was proud of his own personal and professional triumphs those were not the ideals he discussed. Rather, he spoke often about the tortoise, the importance of steadiness, integrity and modesty. He taught me the value of achievement, marked by contribution over glory; he modeled values of routine, discipline, and prayer. And he never wavered in liberally handing out smiles and good words.

Many childhood memories are of seeing Dad in the stands, in the audience, waiting for me at the airport or in a parking lot, always rallying and supporting whichever new venture I had chosen. In Dad's last few years, I spoke with him nearly every day; I always said: "Hey Dad, whatcha doin'?" And he always replied: "I'm talking to you!" We'd chat, we'd laugh, and the day would always go much better.  

I Remember Grandpa
by Benjamin Lynerd

Memories of Manny George by his grandsson

Ronnie, Ben, and Manny

Grandpa was almost 66 years old when I was born, so I was tremendously blessed to have had fully 22 years to get to know him. This was no accident, however: the Grandpa I knew was an aging man who worked very hard to keep healthy the mind and body God had given him. My earliest memories of him are of taking "brisk walks" around the checker-board neighborhood of Aldan, Pennsylvania. These occurred every single morning except Sundays, and a variety of routes were employed - all of them exactly one mile (he had measured his stride and counted the steps).

By the time my own legs were long enough to keep up, I joined him. On these walks, our conversations covered all manner of serious topics, from history to faith to ethics to politics. From my earliest years of literacy, Grandpa took my thoughts very seriously, and I his. He always treated me, even in childhood, as though what I did and said mattered; he counseled well and listened eagerly - never ashamed to learn something from his grandson. Though his outdoor walking was curtailed a few years ago, hardly a week would go by until his passing that the two of us would not enjoy a good long conversation of some intellectual heft. I miss those conversations dearly, and have in recent months caught myself on the way to the phone to get his reaction to some new-found information.

Ben and Manny

While he took us all seriously, and instilled in us a sense of respectable life ambition, the prevailing memory of Grandpa is of someone who thrived on outrageous silliness. In the rapid-fire, iconoclastic tradition of Groucho Marx, Grandpa gave to us a fondness for making harmless fun of people, usually in the form of nicknames. Miss Boone, for instance, the one-time organist at Aldan Union Church, became known as "Babs" in the George home, and her successor, the cranky old Jerry Wright, earned his own sobriquet, "Jerry-atrics." Hardly anyone was safe from Grandpa's quick wit (many of you reading this now, in fact, are in the unwitting possession of a classic Manny George nickname, but I'll never let on . . .). At their best, his irreverent one-liners earned a scolding "Manny!!" from Grandma, followed by side-splitting laughter from my brother, me, the perpetrator, and ultimately Grandma as well.

It is true that those unique traits which amuse you most about your elder relatives eventually show up in your own life. In Grandpa's case, it is his love for the ostensible organization of files. If Grandpa was indoors, he was filing something somewhere. Be it a tax return from 1942 or a Readers' Digest article from 1976, Grandpa made a livelihood of filing "important business." If the "E" file was empty, he would find a picture of an elephant to fill it. This was, of course, a great source of ribbing for the rest of us, which he always took in the same good humor that he dished out. But I must confess that, these days, I find my own daily routine filled with much of the same "important business." I get far more joy out of organizing the projects of the day than actually carrying them out.

My hope is that, in time, I will also begin to notice many other aspects of Grandpa's nature in my own - his love of listening patiently to those folks to whom no one else will listen, his ability to offer uplifting words, the ease with which he broke into laughter, and his fierce, life-long devotion to prayer, to name a few. Most of all, I hope that my grandchildren will enjoy my company half as much as I enjoyed his.  


Eddie George - Minister of the Word
by Edward B. George

Dedicated to the ministry at birth by his parents, Eddie George served the Lord for 40 years as a pastor.

Edward Isaiah George

With bowed heads, Armenian immigrants Isaiah and Rachel George looked down at the tiny premature infant they had named Edward Isaiah, born in their Philadelphia home on July 5, 1910. A shoebox with an electric light bulb was his incubator. In prayer to God for the infant's survival, Isaiah and Rachel dedicated their son to the Christian ministry, a mission he would later serve for more than forty years. He was the first of fifteen children.

Several years earlier, Isaiah, a survivor of the first Armenian Genocide, had come to America from Antioch, Syria and established himself in trade as the first independent diamond cutter in the city of Philadelphia. Edward's future parents met for the first time when Rachel got off the boat at Ellis Island, a marriage arranged with the help of the families. She came from the Armenian Diaspora in the mountain villages of Kessab, Syria, along the Mediterranean coastline.

Along with his many brothers and sisters, Eddie, as he was called by the family, grew up in West Philadelphia. His parents never owned a home, but rented in working class neighborhoods on Lancaster Avenue and on Hamilton and Spring Garden Streets. The George home was crowded, but filled with devotion and hospitality. Many visitors from the old country would stay until they could get established in America. The family was active in church and community. Isaiah instilled a work ethic and love for God and country in his children. It was no disrespect to Armenia, but for the love of America he changed his name before marriage from Giragoshian to George, and the children were taught to speak English.

Eddie was very close to his brother Manny, who was less than a year younger. Many stories are told of the childhood and adolescent adventures of this duo - hiding their baby sister Martha in a box under the bed, mixing the contents of visiting ladies' purses and punching out the tops of men's hats. Once, to escape their just punishment for raucous behavior following a local sporting event, the two took the arms of an old lady, a stranger to them who spoke no English, and escorted her off the trolley as the police came on. "Come on, Grandma, we'll take you away from this," they said. In reading newspaper accounts of the arrests of other young hooligans, Isaiah was amazed and thankful that his sons were not involved!

After graduating from West Philadelphia High School in 1928, Eddie attended Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. When money became tight in 1929 during the Great Depression, Isaiah took his son down to Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. and arranged a deal for his tuition. Eddie graduated from Tusculum in 1932 and the next year went on to begin his study for the ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Once again, as money ran out, he transferred to Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), where he received his divinity degree in 1936.

Rev. Edward I. George was ordained as a Minister in the United Presbyterian Church in April 1937. He began his ministry by serving a series of small parishes in upstate New York, starting with the town of Mineville in 1937 and then Malone and Constable, near the Canadian border from 1938 until 1940. His occasional trips home to Philadelphia gave pleasure to Isaiah and Rachel, who were grateful to God for the son they had dedicated to his service some 30 years before. In 1941 during Isaiah's final illness, Eddie was traveling home to be at his father's bedside when he suddenly felt Isaiah's presence. He later learned that this was indeed the hour of his death.

1941 was also the year when Eddie began 19 years of ministry at the Home Street-Woodstock Presbyterian church in the Bronx borough of New York City. The years in the Bronx were rich in fellowship for him. Among the congregation were Joe Bolton, a wealthy Scottish immigrant who served on the session; Mr. Heinz, the German butcher and restaurant owner; the Douvres who would frequently have the pastor over for Greek meals at their restaurant near the church; and Mr. and Mrs. John Bell who would give him fresh vegetables from the farm behind their home.

Being closer to Philadelphia, Eddie frequently took the train home on Mondays for brief visits to his family. During one of these trips, he was reintroduced to a long time friend of his sisters, Dorothy Evelyn Newkumet (born August 26, 1922). As a young woman, Dorothy trained to be a Red Cross nurse's aide in 1941, served at the blood bank and at the Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia. She was a dental hygienist for Dr. Thomas Dillworth and also worked in the offices the Rev. Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse's Bible Study Hour. During their courtship, Eddie and Dot would attend concerts at Robin Hood Dell, sitting on a blanket on the grass.

They were married at Northminster Presbyterian Church on February 6, 1954. Dorothy became a dedicated preacher's wife, supporting her husband in his ministry. They had three children, Bette Louise, born June 8, 1955; Edward Bruce, born March 19, 1957; and Kenneth Howard, born November 21, 1960. The children were raised in a Christ - filled home. A plaque on the wall read, "Christ is the Head of this household, the unseen guest at every meal, and a silent listener to every conversation". It was not always easy raising three children on a minister's salary - there was never much money to go around. Eddie would frequently quote the Scriptures from Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." He always did.

In 1960, as Bette was set to begin school, the family left the Bronx to take a pastorate at the Reid Memorial United Presbyterian Church in Lyndhurst, N.J. In 1964, they moved on to serve the yoked churches at Lehighton and Jim Thorpe, Pa. One of Edward's predecessors at Lehighton was the Rev. Ernest Hansel, father of the future Veronica George, Manny's wife. Ronnie had grown up in the same town and would share stories with her niece and nephews of the fifth grade teacher, Miss Ruth Jane Hammer, who seemed changeless through the generations.

During this time, the family looked forward to summer vacations. They often traveled with the Hacketts, a fellow pastor and his family from the Bronx. Favorite spots were Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Sandy Cove in northeastern Maryland, and Camp of the Woods in upstate New York.

The George family enjoyed holiday visits to Philadelphia, where five of Eddie's sisters and a brother lived together. An enthusiastic, if not accomplished pianist, he would go right to the piano as they arrived, pounding out spirited renditions of the Battle Hymn of the Republic and Mer Hayrenik, the Armenian national anthem. Eddie also enjoyed a good laugh. His characteristic exclamation at a funny event recalled his sister Elizabeth (Tuddy), "That's the stuff da Tuz!"

Sunday was always an important day in the George home, beginning with morning devotions, often followed by two church services, Sunday school, and evening events. The services were traditional. As a pastor, Eddie would always walk in procession with the choir. His trademark call to worship was heard each Sunday from the rear of the sanctuary, "Let us open our service this morning by singing to the Glory of God, hymn number...." His messages were simple, from the Word and from the heart. The service would end with the benediction, "May now grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be and ever abide with you, now, and forever more. Amen" Other traditions included his moving delivery of the Gettysburg Address every Lincoln's birthday as the choir softly sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, finishing with his favorite verse, "In the beauty of the lilies, Christ as born across the sea÷". Eddie spent Sunday afternoons ministering to shut-ins. He would often take his children along. He carried a portable communion kit for those who could not attend the sacrament.

In the fall of 1972, Eddie and his family moved west to Indiana, Pennsylvania, to serve the farm country pastorate of Crete United Presbyterian Church. In failing health, he retired in the spring of 1976 after 40 years of service to God. In the next months, he had the pleasure of attending the 40th reunion of his seminary class, receiving an honorary master's degree, and delivering the invocation at Bette's graduation from Millersville State College. Perhaps knowing that the Lord would soon call, he often reminded his family of the words in Psalms 90:12, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

He died on the morning of Monday, June 28,1976 of a stroke and congestive heart failure, on the eve of America's bicentennial and just short of his 66th birthday. The Sunday before his death almost everyone important in his life called or visited at the hospital. During the final hours, Dot was comforted by the scripture from John 14:1-3 which recalled one of Eddie's favorite hymns, In the Sweet By and By.

Upon hearing the news, Eddie's brother Manny came out to Indiana to be with the family as head of the household, accompanied by his sister Esther. Services were held at Graystone Presbyterian Church in Indiana. Eddie's casket was draped with a banner of the church and members of the local Presbytery served as pallbearers and honor guard lining the steps leading from the church. A few days' later friends and family in Philadelphia joined for services at Woodland Presbyterian Church. In the weeks before his death, Eddie had heard a Gospel hymn sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither, The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows. He shed a tear as he thought how well it described his relationship with the Lord. The song was sung for him at both services.

Dorothy continues to be a joy and comfort to her children. After Eddie's death, she stayed in Indiana for several years where she founded a chapter of THEOS, a widows support group and remained very active in her church. She later moved back to the Philadelphia area, living in a renovated schoolhouse in West Chester, Pa.

Bette went on earn her master's in library science and was married to John Lewis, (born January 1, 1957) from December 19, 1981 until November 1994. They had a daughter, Rachel Beth Lewis, on February 24, 1984. Bette worked as a children's librarian for 12 years before staying home with Rachel. After a chronic illness, Bette came home to live with Dorothy and still shares with John in the raising of their daughter. She is fluent in German, works in customer services at an office supply store, and occasionally plays the violin in church.

After graduating from the University of Rochester in 1979, Edward B. progressed steadily in a Southwesterly direction through Houston, TX, Tucson, AZ to Southern California, He now resides in Vista, Calif., near San Diego, where he has found success in business as a vice president at SAIC, a large research and consulting firm. As of this writing, he remains unmarried. Edward is known for his wit and computer skills. He is also accomplished in Armenian cooking and has compiled an on-line cookbook to preserve the cuisine for future generations.

On July 11, 1992 Kenneth married Judith Lord, born November 3, 1964. They reside in Parkesburg, Pa. Ken started his career with computer networking and hardware. He progressed to technical consulting and staff support and recently got a new position in Data Center Management. Judy runs a candy business, Judy's Chocolate Factory, at home and is known for her chocolate creations.


The Reach-Out Sisters of Philadelphia

by James R. Adair

Adapted with additions from the Sept. 13, 1987 issue of Power for Living.

Shortly after noon one day in the early 1980s police responded to a report of a burglary at 516 South 46th Street in a middle-class residential section of west Philadelphia, Penn. A resident had returned home after being away a few hours only to find that intruders had taken the front door with its valuable leaded glass window, plus several expensive clocks--all heirlooms.

Taken this time was jewelry--rings, bracelets, necklaces--with sentimental value even greater than its monetary worth.

The items generally constituted the modest inheritance left to five sisters--Martha, Mary, Florence, Esther, and Ruth--by their father, Isaiah George, Philadelphia's first diamond cutter

(see "The Story of Isaiah George").

But, as painful as the loss was, the George sisters rejoiced that they themselves were safe and still possessors of a rich spiritual legacy. Reared in a home where Christ was honored, they each knew Him as Savior and Lord. Their father had been a shining example of a Christian who reached out to help others, often bringing home someone who needed food, lodging, and friendship. Their mother, Rachel, had supported him in his compassionate outreach.

After the robberies, the George sisters installed a burglar alarm system and a new front door to open to people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds, including neighbors, foreign students from nearby University of Pennsylvania, and the elderly. Rarely do Sundays pass without at least one guest coming for dinner.

The George sisters--all cheerful women with different personalities and interests as singles--let their love for the Lord and His Word spill out far beyond Sundays, witnessing to God's goodness and power as opportunities arise.

They are all university or busniness school graduates.

Esther, who has served five presidents as secretary at Eastern College and Seminary, on vacation shared Scripture with a sales clerk wile buying an item for her collection of owl figurines. The fact that the store would not take out-of-state checks prompted Esther to say, "Really, the only One we can trust is the Lord."

She then related how God had protected her on a her first plane trip that involved a forced landing at Kennedy International Airport. Esther, who is often teased for being bold, proceeded to read a portion of Psalms 91:1-2 from her small Bible that had comforted her during the emergency, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust."

"I never heard anything like this," the clerk responded with amazement; "it sounds so wonderful." Esther went on to share with her God's plan of salvation. The clerk promised that she would buy a Bible for herself and read it; and Esther told her she would be praying for her to place her faith in Christ.

While grocery shopping, Martha happened on an elderly Chinese woman who had once visited in the George family home. Martha invited her home to visit again, and this led to her coming weekly for a one-on-one Bible study taught by Mary.

The woman's father had warned her to avoid the Bible, but now she was opening her heart to God's message. Later the woman professed faith in Christ and joined Woodland Presbyterian Church, where the sisters have been members for many years. Martha, Mary, and Florence have had leadership roles in the Woodland Sunday School at different levels. Esther has served as an elder, and Martha as a deaconess for many years.

At 516 the phones on the three levels often are used to "reach out and touch someone," as the sisters give spiritual counsel, comfort, encouragement. Calls are often for Ruth, who not only serves their church as secretary but as official visitor.

One day an operator interrupted a conversation, saying she had an emergency call. Moments later Mary and Ruth were en route to Philadelphia General Hospital to be at the bedside of Bella Taylor, a former neighbor who had been found on her kitchen floor badly burned.

Bella had lived as a recluse after her family passed away, and the Georges ministered to her in her declining years, taking her meals and clothing.

"Before her accident Bella's attitude toward God changed, and I believe she trusted Christ," says Mary. "She praised God for sending us to her. She became more grateful. During her last days I prayed with and reminded her that Christ was with her."

Mary influenced many for Christ. A case in point: When Mary was teaching in nursery school, she became acquainted with a young socialite, the daughter of a prominent department store owner who was helping out to aid her in getting over an emotional problem. Mary witnessed to her, and the young woman began memorizing Bible verses that Mary gave her. She hid the verses under her mattress and a maid found them. The family had no use for religion, and this resulted in Mary's being fired from her job. Later, the young woman made her debut, married, and became pregnant. She died in childbirth. Mary was certain she was with the Lord.

Another story involving Mary: While teaching kindergarten in her Christian day school connected with the Reformed Episcopal Seminary on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Mary befriended a Chinese couple who had come from China for the husband to make further preparation at the seminary to be an evangelist. He enrolled his daughter, Linda, in kindergarten and she responded to Mary because of her kindness and tiny stature, and quickly began picking up English under her teaching.

Over the years Mary has kept in touch with the family, sending support money to the father for his Gospel ministry. Today the daughter, Linda Yu, is a popular TV anchor woman on Channel 7 in Chicago.

The George sisters, working in connection with their church, have been at the center of an outreach to scores of Laotian refugees. They have helped find housing and jobs and have taken bedding, furniture, clothing, and food to families., The sisters even parted with their 10-year-old car, giving it to a needy family, rather than trading it in on a new car.

On Saturdays for more than 25 years, Florence, a secretary at that time for an insurance company, visited a home for the blind to write letters and read the Bible and Christian novels to a friend.

The George sisters delight in following the tradition of their father, Isaiah, in reaching out to help others. A musical family, in past years they have sung and played to bring inspiration, encourgement, and comfort to patients in hospitals and other institutions. They are living examples of the meaning behind 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (NIV).

Since this story was written:
Mary George, often called "the girl of prayer," died Sept. 11, 1996 at the age of 82. She was the chief cook of the George Family. Esther has taken over her kitchen duties. After 50 years at Eastern Baptist Seminary, Esther serves as secretary of the board and archivist. She has an office suite all her own that contains archive items she has received. Ruth continues to serve as secretary of their church and is often in touch with members, though she no longer has the added role of church visitor. Florence, retired, does most of the grocery shopping. And Martha (Tacotti), a former teacher at Philadelphia School for the Blind, the eldest, has charge of the family checkbook. The sisters' pastor, Philip Kievel, is frequently a guest at dinner in the home.

Note: Brief biographies of the progeny of Isaiah George will soon be on the Home Page, along with memories of Isaiah by several of the children.

Reflections on the Life of Veronica Mather George


Veronica George was born as Veronica Mather Hansel to The Reverend Ernest and Bertha Hansel in Ashland, Pennsylvania on January 11, 1923. Her father's parents were immigrants from Germany. The lineage of her mother, Bertha Knapp, traced back to The Reverend Richard Mather who emigrated from England to Boston in 1635.

Veronica was the youngest of four daughters, the oldest being Sarah who lived to her 90s and was one of Veronica's closest life friends. Her other two sisters, Evelyn and Elizabeth, died in childhood. Her formative years were lived out in the manse of Lehighton Presbyterian Church. She was very engaged and loved by the congregation and community, and developed an early appreciation for music and culture, including studies of piano and violin. Following her graduation from high school, Veronica attended Maryville College near Knoxville, Tennessee for two years. Subsequently, she enrolled as a nursing student in Presbyterian Hospital, graduating as a Registered Nurse.

In 1942 at age 19, Veronica was introduced to a handsome 30-year-old Philadelphia Armenian, Emmanuel John George (known as Manny), by his 'match-making' sisters. Interestingly, Veronica's sister, Sarah, had originally introduced her to Manny's sisters. After a courtship that lasted three years (partially due to restrictions on students at Presbyterian Hospital), they were married on August 11, 1945. Manny romantically gave her an engagement ring the previous Valentine's Day on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Veronica, known to most as Ronnie and to her family as Mom or Grandma, bore and raised three children - Tom, David and Betty-Ann. Initially they lived in Broomall, Pennsylvania in an apartment building on West Chester Pike. One-year-old Tom decided one day to mosey on his own down the busy highway. A kind motorist stopped to pick him up and return him, guessing correctly their apartment building. After that harrowing incident, Ronnie and Manny decided to move to the 'safer' residential community of Aldan, which also was near a train station for Manny's transportation to work at Sun Oil Company in downtown Philadelphia. At the same time, Ronnie worked as a nurse at nearby Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital.

Ronnie and Manny believed strongly in the value of education. She supported Manny as he pursued his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the evening after his working hours. Then in 1955, when Tom was 8, David 6 and Betty-Ann 3, Ronnie decided to return to college to earn a baccalaureate degree in teaching, so that she could have more normal working hours and could spend more time with her children. She was on the vanguard of non-traditional learners, and administrators at the University of Pennsylvania tried to discourage her from enrolling, saying that she belonged at home to raise her children. She persisted to the completion of her degree and did her student teaching in fourth grade at Aldan Elementary School. The following year, she was hired as a fourth-grade teacher by the Folcroft School District (eventually moving to the new Delcroft School), where she served until her retirement 21 years later. Joey DeFrancesco, internationally renowned jazz organist, fondly remembers "Mrs. George" from his days as a student at Delcroft.

Ronnie and Manny felt that their children would benefit greatly from a private Quaker education. All three attended Lansdowne Friends for elementary school and Friends' Central for junior and senior high school. Mom would do anything to help - for example, she stayed up most of the night to help David prepare his speech when running for Student Council president, which he won. When Betty-Ann starred as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Mom designed and sewed the ball gown for the dance scene, stitching on several hundred sequins by hand. Beyond high school, Ronnie and Manny enabled their children to attend and complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees at private colleges and universities. She took pride in the fact that each of her children earned a doctorate in their particular field of expertise. Ronnie encouraged her children not only to excel in their schoolwork, but also to gain an active appreciation of music, swimming, ice-skating, tennis, nature, culture, travel, and Scouting (she supported and nudged Tom and David to reach the rank of Eagle Scout).

As committed Christians, Ronnie and Manny were active at Marple Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Darby, and for the last 50 years Aldan Union Church. Her numerous church ministries included choir, youth group leadership, Vacation Bible School, women's fellowship, fill-in pianist, and various key committees like the search committee for her current pastor. They instilled in their children an understanding and faith in Christianity. This included weekly family worship, Bible memory, neighborhood Bible clubs at the house, and personal instruction in the Children's Catechism.

In their retirement years, Ronnie and Manny decided to travel extensively worldwide, visiting places like Turkey, Russia, England, continental Europe, and in our own country, Hawaii and Alaska. In fact, her most recent trip just before her death on December 31 was flying alone to St. Louis for Christmas with Tom and daughter-in-law Barbara at the age of nearly 88. (Interestingly in terms of numbers, her 88th birthday celebration would have occurred on 1/11/11.)

In 1993, Ronnie and Manny sold their home in Aldan and moved to Riddle Village. As typical of every previous phase of her life, she was fully engaged in the community. She sang in the women's chorus, participated in bazaars, was known as a whiz at Scrabble, did volunteer work in the Emporium Village Store, regularly visited residents in the assisted-care wing and nearby Riddle Hospital, and until her last day was the floor captain on Williamsburg 4. It is safe to say that she was one of the best-known and most-loved residents of Riddle Village, and she probably knew more residents by name than any other resident. She has always been committed to her friendships, from her Sewing Club ladies of over 60 years to her Delcroft colleagues, to her newer friends at Riddle, and to her late-in-life 'boyfriend' Bill Neef. During the last ten years of her life, she assisted new immigrants through Teaching English as a Second Language.

She was always proud of her family's accomplishments - for example, Betty-Ann's extraordinary musical abilities and leadership skills in church, family and community. Mom reveled as well in the talents of Betty-Ann's husband, Bill Lynerd, as she did for David's wife, Jayne George, and Tom's wife, Barbara Harbach. In addition to her children, she was most proud of her six grandchildren - Benjamin Thomas Lynerd, Stephen William Lynerd, Sarah Elizabeth Majorins, Stephen Emmanuel George, Alison Laura Steiner and Emily Rachel DeLew - and her six great grandchildren - Abel Emmanuel, Luther Isaiah, Trinity Erika, Esther Ann, Rachel Gloria and Robinson Augustine. She never missed a wedding anywhere in the country, she consistently prayed for and stayed in touch with all of her family, and she continued to upgrade her computer skills in order to maintain electronic communication with each of her kids and grandkids.

To conclude, as children of two remarkable parents - Ronnie and Manny George - we are most fortunate to be benefiting from their faith, wisdom, vision and work ethic, which they shared not only with us and their grandchildren and great grandchildren, but with every person and organization with whom they interacted. At her advanced age, a great delight was the heritage of sincere faith from her and Manny's parents to their children, to their children's children, and modeled before their great grandchildren. The evening before Mom died, she told her children that she knows where she is going, that she is ready through her faith in Jesus, and that she is in God's safe keeping. Veronica - your name means "true image" - and you are now "imaging" the glory of God in his presence. For this, and for you, we thank our Lord. Amen!