Samuel George, explorer, dies at 76Services for Samuel...


September 09, 1991

Samuel George, explorer, dies at 76

Services for Samuel Knox George III, an explorer from Ruxton who found the last rookery of the extinct great auk, will be at noon tomorrow at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, on Boyce Avenue in Ruxton.

Mr. George, who was 76 and living at Hilton Head, S.C., died Wednesday at the Hilton Head Hospital.

Mr. George had fallen off a ladder outside his home two months earlier and died without regaining consciousness.

A native of Ruxton, he attended the old Blue Bird Elementary School, where he became friends with Thomas Gilliard, nephew of the headmistress. He and Mr. Gilliard later discovered skeletons of the last great auks, a large flightless bird that has been extinct since 1844.

In 1933, Mr. George graduated from the Gilman School, already fascinated by ornithology. He gave his senior speech on the great horned owl and brought one along in a canary cage.

In the summer of 1936, while studying at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Mr. George and Mr. Gilliard set off to find the last rookery of the great auk. Mr. Gilliard, then an ornithologist with the Museum of Natural History in New York City, ignored the advice of his superiors in heading for Funk Island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

On the remote, wind-swept island, they discovered the rocky rookery. They retrieved enough bones and skulls to reconstruct complete skeletons and gave them to the museum.

When the museum's ornithology department celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1983, Mr. George was invited back to see the skeletons on display.

In 1938, Mr. George received his bachelor's degree and began training as an airline pilot. He flew for the Africa-Orient division of Pan American World Airways during World War II.

The airline was then under government contract and provided supplies and carried passengers across the South Atlantic to Africa and India.

As a pilot, he survived two accidents, crashing once into the Caribbean near Trinidad and making an emergency landing in Africa when his plane malfunctioned.

Mr. George liked to tell a story of how he befriended a group of natives, who surrounded the plane with spears, by offering them cartons of cigarettes.

In 1944, he married Margaret Rastetter of Ohio. After the war, the couple moved to Forest Hills, N.Y., where Mr. George entered the yarn trade.

He later became manager of the textile department for Uniroyal Inc. in New York.

In the mid-1980s, Mr. George retired and moved with his wife to Hilton Head. He enjoyed watching birds and taking nature walks in the quiet community.

He is survived by his wife and his sister, Caroline Williams of Ruxton. Philip Earl Frohlich, a former professor and retired research analyst for the Social Security Administration, died Friday of liver complications at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 76.

Mr. Frohlich, who taught sociology at colleges in the Midwest for almost a decade before coming to Baltimore, worked for 15 years with the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn.

Born in Souris, N.D., near the Canadian border, he attended public schools in Camp Crook, S.D. His ashes will be buried at Fairview Cemetery in Camp Crook.

He studied at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received his bachelor's degree in English in 1936. Two years later, he received his master's degree in philosophy.

In 1940, he married Jean Denison. During World War II, Mr. Frohlich served for three years as a weather observer with the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific.

Returning to Wisconsin in 1945, he continued his doctoral studies. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1952 and spent a year teaching there before taking a position with Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He later taught at Black Hills State College in Spearfish, S.D.

In 1962, he ended his teaching career and took a job with the Social Security Administration in South Dakota. He was promoted the next year and moved to Baltimore to work in the disabilities statistics division.

He spent much of his retirement after 1977 writing and publishing a book of poetry, "The Dark Wind: Songs of Aging."

He also enjoyed writing letters to The Sun and had more than a dozen published in the last decade. His last letter, on the riots in Washington's Mount Pleasant section, was published May 29, just as he was hospitalized in critical condition.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Anne of Newberg, Ore., and Mary of Mount Rainer; a son, Cliff of Austin, Texas; a sister, Kathryn Vail of Castro Valley, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

No funeral services are planned. The family suggests memorial donations to the Friends of the Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University, North Charles and 34th streets, Baltimore 21218.

Robert H. Sippel


A memorial service for Robert H. Sippel, a retired Baltimore architect, will be at 1:30 p.m. today at Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7601 York Road.

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