Mr. George W. SchlinsogMarch 5, 1928 ~ August 28, 2017 (age 89)
George W. Schlinsog was born on March 5, 1928 in rural Medford, Oregon. He was the youngest of 5 children. Growing up George worked hard picking berries and pears. He developed a lifelong love for gardening as he spent many hours helping his family prune peach trees and tend to the orchards. It was while he was still in grade school that one of his older sisters attended a revival meeting and the whole family joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
He attended Walla Walla College but financial pressures required George to take a break from college to earn more funds to complete his education. He taught at several rural schools in Oregon and Montana, Including Rogue River Academy. He carefully saved money until he could return to Walla Walla College. But his education was again interrupted when he drafted into the Army.
George fund himself stationed at an Army Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany where he worked in the lab. During breaks he and a coworker would often visit the PX located on the floor below the lab. There was one very attractive clerk, by the name of Gertrud that George always enjoyed seeing. Gertrud says she was drawn to George because he did not smoke, drink or use profane language like so many of the other enlisted men. They soon started dating. Although Gertrud was raised a Catholic, she clearly remembers that it was George that first put a Bible in her hands and gave her Bible studies.
Gertrud laughs when she remembers the first time George cooked for her. He served steak and Gertrud had never tasted such tough, strange meat. When she asked George what kind of meat it was he offered up the explanation that it was canned Camel meat. He did not know to explain that his mother mailed him vegetarian canned food from home. For some time, Gertrud had images in her mind of Americans all over the US sitting down for an evening meal of canned Camel! George finally fessed up.
As his tour of duty was nearing an end, George proposed to Gertrud. There wasn’t money for a big wedding or honeymoon. They got married at the Justice of the Peace. Mom wore a suit she had sewn and after the service she had to return to work. Gertrud remembers their neighbor learned that they had just married and baked them a cake. While the marriage did not start out with a huge celebration, it was to be a long, happy marriage.
When discharged from the Army, George returned to Oregon with his new bride. Gertrud was welcomed into George’s family with open arms. George resumed his education at Walla Walla College and completed his degree in Education.
Their first child, Ingrid, was born and while she was only 3 months old, George and Gertrud returned to Germany. George had taken a job teaching the elementary children of the Armed Forces stationed in Frankfurt. It was while playing ball one day with his students in Frankfurt that George injured his back and had two discs removed. While he quickly recovered, that back injury plague him for the rest of his life. But his children say they never remember Dad complaining about pain or feeling sorry for his situation. Most people never knew the discomfort he often felt.
When it came time for Ingrid, to attend school they moved to Eugene, Oregon where George taught at the Junior Academy while attending the University of Oregon where he obtained a doctorate in Education. The family continued to grow as Karl and Anthony were born. George and Gertrud both loved living in Oregon. There were many fishing trips and weekend camping expeditions to the coast. George’s love and respect for nature was instilled in all three children.
But the family did move on and after a brief stent teaching at Arizona State University, the family settled in Charleston, Illinois where George spent most of his professional career as the Assistant Dean of Education at the University of Central Illinois. The University of Central Illinois was known for the large number of quality teachers they graduated. While in Illinois George published a book on early childhood education and was active in the Illinois Conference.
Upon his retirement George and Gertrud moved to Apopka. They planned to attend several local churches before deciding which would be their new church home. The first church they decided to attend was the Apopka Highland Church. As they arrived at the church they were greeted in the parking lot by Minnie Toeper who recognized that they must be visitors. Well Minnnie was German, and so was Gertrud, and that was the beginning of a great friendship. They never felt the need to check out any of the other local churches. From that first visit they felt at home and came to love the Apopka church and it’s congregation.