Cambridge-It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our much-loved father, grandfather, and husband, George Hobbs Orlemann, on the morning of Tuesday, March 14, 2023. George died at home, surrounded by family and friends, who kept vigil together through the night.
George was born to George Stewart Orlemann and Phyllis Edith Hobbs Orlemann, of St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 16, 1940. He attended Central High School and the University of Minnesota, before obtaining his Masters of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Wenham, Massachusetts. George was stationed in England while serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1969. He relocated to Cambridge, New York in 1970, where he was called to pastor the Coila Church for forty-two years, retiring in 2012. George also faithfully drove a school bus for the Cambridge Central School District since 1985, only stepping down after his cancer diagnosis in December.
George and his wife, Karen, raised a son and five daughters, while a sixth was sadly lost in infancy. George had a passion for serious theological study, a gift for Biblical teaching, devoting many hours to reading, writing, and crafting sermons, and an abiding commitment to prayer. When not in his office, he was often on the road, ministering to individuals and families in their homes across the upstate area. Despite his 24/7 on-call schedule, George prioritized family time, maintaining a nightly family sit-down supper, phone off the hook, and rallying his children for Sunday afternoon picnics, hikes, boating, and camping. In addition to his more adventurous outdoor pursuits, George enjoyed country road walks with friends and gardening and landscaping around his home, although he did not appreciate the squirrels and groundhogs who helped themselves to his manicured lawn and scrupulously tended bird feeders, keeping a BB gun ready by the back door in his efforts to fend them off.
When they outgrew their picture books, George introduced his children to the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. He was often discovered, still engrossed in the narratives, reading aloud into the night, long after his children had fallen asleep in their beds. In later years, there was no doubt of his enduring love and quiet pleasure whenever a child or grandchild showed up at his door, and he frequently found reasons to briefly stop in their homes on his way to or from innumerable and far-ranging errands. Even in his final weeks, the sound of their voices brought a smile to his lips.
George had a unique relationship with each of his children and showed his love through action, whether that meant driving several hours on a dark and rainy night to pick up a daughter too nervous to brave the Thruway alone, lingering at many birthday parties well past his bedtime, sheetrocking more than one living room ceiling, tinkering on a tractor together, or simply leaving a message on an answering machine. To the end, he remained the gentleman, insisting on holding the door, even while he needed assistance to walk through.
Constantly curious about the world, George read and traveled widely throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. He derived great joy from music in many forms, from his 1950s quartet, the Vi-Counts, to playing 1960s folk songs on his guitar, to singing in the church choir, to membership in the Battenkill Chorale, a tour of Russia in 2008 remaining an unforgettable highlight. Above all, George loved to hear Karen play the organ, often moved to tears by his favorite piece, Psalm 19, by Benedetto Marcello.
George was predeceased by his mother and father, his two sisters, Eleanor Johnson and Edith Schoberg, his brother, John Stewart Orlemann, and his daughter, Kathleen Amy Orlemann. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Karen Marie Orlemann, and his children and grandchildren: Beth, Glen, Isabella, Alexander, and Fritz Knecht; G. Andrew, Valerie, and Ellen Orlemann; Elizabeth, Philip, Emily, and Ryan Jones; Amaris, Keith, Catherine, and Johanna Lynip; Joy Orlemann and Todd Miner; and Maria and Callan Johncox.
The loss of our father, grandfather, and husband has pierced our hearts, and we know many will miss him. A funeral service will be held at the Argyle Presbyterian Church, 48 Main St., Argyle, NY, on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 2:00 PM, with a reception following. All are welcome. If so led, please make donations on behalf of George to the Music Mission Kiev @ https://www.musicmissionkiev.org/give
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