George Franklin McCleary, 85, passed away Sunday, June 26, at Neuvant House in Lawrence.
George was born April 9, 1937, in Springfield, Ohio, the son of George and Timmer McCleary. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1955 and then attended Yale University on a Naval ROTC Scholarship. He graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in geography in the spring of 1959 and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy. After leaving the Navy, he earned his master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He taught at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., before becoming an associate professor at the University of Kansas, where he worked for more than 35 years. During his tenure at KU, he was also heavily involved with freshman advising and commencement ceremonies for several years.
He married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Baldwin, in June 1959. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, Lawrence; his sister, Ann Shuttleworth, Springfield, Ohio; three sons, Joe, and his wife, Heather, Centennial, Colo., John, and his wife Zoe Ann, Woodbridge, Va., and Frank, Blue Springs, Mo.; one grandson, Eli, three granddaughters, Evan, Audrey and Sydney; and two nephews, Eric and Joel.
George was involved for several years with the Boy Scouts of America, including planning camping trips and organizing pine wood derbies. He traveled the world for work, visiting Antarctica while in the Navy, and presenting papers at international cartographic conferences. He also traveled for pleasure with his family. He was also a connoisseur of wine, frequently visiting wineries during his travels and bringing home a case or two of wine. That passion also led him to work with friends in Lawrence to produce their own wine.
He also was a fan of the fine arts and frequently attended concerts at the Lied Center at KU.
The family encourages donations to the Friends of the Lied to help support the performing arts.
Services will be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be left at www.rumsey-yost.com.