Shelburne resident George W. Bitler passed away Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, after a battle with the flu and pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
He was born in 1929 in Nyack, N.Y., grew up in the aftermath of the Great Depression, and was a young teenager during World War II. He attended the University of Rochester, where he earned his degree in chemical engineering and met his wife-to-be, Barbara A. Schneider. They were married in 1952 and honeymooned at Lake George.
Shortly after they were married, George was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served honorably for two years, working as a scientist and chemical engineer at Fort Dix in New Jersey.
After the Army, he worked throughout his life as a chemical engineer for American Cyanimid, Kay-Fries Corporation, and then Dynamint Nobel. He and Barbara had two children, Bob (with wife Maribelle) and Wendy (with partner Rich). He has five grandchildren, Christopher, Michael, Eric, Kathryn and Jonathan; two great-grandchildren, Lilly and Henry, whose parents are Christopher and Cassie. A new great grandchild is now on the way. He was always a very loving father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He had many hobbies and pastimes, which included sailing (he was an expert sailboat racer), carpentry, crossword puzzles, smoking a pipe, drinking martinis, listening to classical and jazz music, skiing, playing the piano, discussing issues of science, politics, and religion, and playing tennis.
Throughout his life, George served the general good in many ways, including as an Army scientist, as an EMT volunteer, as the president of the local Board of Education (during which the town’s new high school was built), as a volunteer member of his town’s utilities commission, as a member of the Girl Scouts’ Board of Directors, through the Lions and Rotary Clubs, and as a volunteer driver for those housebound in Vermont. He was honored to serve as Commodore of Minisceongo Yacht Club in Stony Point, N.Y., a place and community of people he loved to be with.
He was a good man with a very good heart – kind and gracious to all – and he will be missed greatly by all his family, friends and acquaintances. If any would like to make donations in his name, four charities he also donated to are: Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International and the Nature Conservancy.
A Circle of Remembrance was held at Wake Robin Retirement Community on Saturday, Feb. 17. His family and friends gathered to celebrate a wonderful life.